Work conspires this week to keep me at home rather than letting me travel to relatives for Thanksgiving, so I’m on my own from Wednesday evening until Saturday evening or Sunday afternoon.
I mention this “free” time, because it highlights one of the mistakes people make when they talk about writing, where they say they don’t have enough time to write. The truth, of course, is that you make time; you don’t wait for opportunities to present those spare moments, all gift-wrapped and fresh and untouched by experience. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told my daughters they don’t get something for nothing. They’d probably say too many times, but the point is still valid.
However, when the stars do align and remove all distractions (both welcome and not), it’s best to take advantage of what you’re given. Rather than bemoaning the fact that I won’t get a homemade turkey dinner with all the fixings, finished off with pumpkin pie and whipped cream topping (I can always stop at Holiday’s on Thursday for the former and Kroger for the latter), the holiday will find me at my desk, working on my computer or on a legal pad, knocking out a rough draft on the new short story.
Right now I’ve got the workings of a first line and a rough idea of where I want the story to go, riffing off Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass and selected poems, such as “The Sleepers” and “Song of Myself.”