Mama said there’d be days like this. She just didn’t mention how many or how harrowing they’d be.
Now, I’m nothing if not stubborn, so I can slog through long dark dog days just as well as the next person but yesterday proved to be THE Day Of Days.
I’ll skip over the mundane bits and get straight to the point.
- I woke up determined to enter a flash challenge I hadn't yet partcipated in.
- I worked on my piece throughout the day, in between duties at my day job, and was ready to post just before four.
- I saved the story to my travel drive (attached to the office desktop), as is customary, removed drive and inserted in internet capable netbook.
- While netbook read drive, I opened the site where I was going to upload my story.
- I noticed the drive wasn't reading, which sometimes happens.
- I tried reinstalling the drive. No luck. Holding a gigantic wave of panic at bay, I try reading the drive on the office desktop. No luck.
- Two more computers, a handful of scans and a whole lot of begging and pleading, I had to accept that the drive was a lost cause.
- Which Meant:
- I had no story for the day's challenge
- I had just lost all an entire archive of my writing, along with miscellaneous general documents.
Game over, right?!
Um, yeah. That is, until I got this crazy idea that I could make it home in time to sort of piece together my memory of the story and get it posted in the nick of time.
So, I left my office at 5 pm, made the hour and a half commute home, arriving at 6:30 pm (thirty minutes before deadline), and announced I was going to write like a madwoman until 6:59 pm and did not wish to be disturbed.
Sounds good, right?
Yeah, I totally got a game plan now. Weep over the lost stuff later. Writing my guts out right now. Yeah, I got this! Can do!
Until my arrival home sets off a fracas between the three dogs and we have to spend five minutes getting them separated.
And then as I'm getting into my laptop, still nurturing that tiny seed of hope that my drive will somehow magically sync with it and my world will be saved, my middle grandchild comes into my room and asks to play Monkey Lunchbox on my kindle fire, so I take a deep breath and get her settled.
Now, I have twenty minutes to write a story I'm not even sure is worth all this trouble, but I have gone through too much crap not to try. Also, I am an itty bitty bit stubborn, so there is no way I can back down or give up or throw in the towel without serious personal repercussions.
So, I sit and stare at the screen, because that's what all highly skilled writers do in the clutch, right?! I try to 'see' the words that were on the screen earlier in the day when my story was finished, but it's not working. I'm gonna have to open a vein and bleed into the keyboard.
Just as that first sentence fills the white space, an excruciating pain shoots through my mouth. My random toothache, missing lo these many weeks, has returned with a vengeance. I want to cry but I don't have time. I keep typing.
Five minutes from deadline, I try reading my piece aloud for clarity, but the side of my face is screaming and my stomach is growling and someone has turned on the Disney channel full blast. I cut and paste my story into the site, click send, and cross my fingers for luck.
Afterwards, I check in to let the twitterverse know I prevailed, take a handful of pain pills and close my eyes for ninety seconds. In a moment, I will get up and go on an ice cream run but it won't be a celebratory event, because really, my accomplishment was no feat of legend.
No, it was merely a demolition-cars-slam-into-a-circus-of-midget-elephants run of the mill day for those of us who live for the smell of ink on paper.
We all know the drill:
- A deadline looms.
- Disaster descends.
- Battle is won with persistence, pen and Phish Food.
And now I must bid you farewell and rest my wittle peepers.
May the ink flow smoothly, today and always,
~Lady Bullish ~
The best way out, is always through. (Robert Frost)