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Some Days I Don't Write the Book
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Tuesdays are my day off from the day job, which means they're generally the day each week when I work the hardest. Between freelancing, getting fiction writing done, grocery shopping, doing my part to tend the baby, etc., it's pretty busy. But it's also my favorite weekday, because I get to spend time with my kid, and work on things I'm passionate about. I like my day job a lot, but writing fiction is where my heart belongs.

That's all in a perfect world, though, and today was rather imperfect. The kid woke at the eminently reasonable hour of 7:30 a.m., but I woke with possibly the worst headache I've ever had in my life. I almost never get headaches, so I'm probably a wuss, but it was bad enough to nauseate me.

I thought I was dehydrated, but drinking lots of water didn't help, nor did my morning coffee, and by the time the painkillers kicked in I was in a foul mood. Took me all day to shake it. The most pleasant part of the day was taking a walk to the playground, though the kid only played for about forty minutes before it got insanely cold, so we returned home, then went out again and did an epic grocery shopping run. Major advantage of having a random weekday off work: off-hours shopping. (I'm somewhat mollified in my rage by the knowledge that I have lamb stew and fajitas and white bean/tomato/italian sausage soup in my near future. And it's psychologically satisfying to have a full fridge and pantry.)

By the time I got home and turned the kid over to my wife and got a million groceries put away and had gumbo beginning to bubble in the crockpot it was already after 2 p.m. The kid napped, so I settled down to do my freelancing -- not fiction writing, but paying weekly work, so it floats to the top of the queue -- and made good progress on that. Then the kid woke up, and my headache came back, and I ended up taking a nap to avoid greater collapse.

I hate taking naps after I've had a perfectly reasonable night's sleep. It's like I'm stealing time from myself. (I can be pretty unreasonable with myself.) I kept thinking "I'll write later..." But I didn't. Oh, I had a nice enough evening -- headache finally went away, spent time with my wife, made cornbread, watched some cartoons on the internet, important things like that. But no fiction. Just can't get my head into the right place.

Elvis Costello says "Every day I write the book," but I can't claim the same. Still, somehow the books get written. I can afford to lose a day every once in a while. As long as it doesn't become a habit.

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