Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The other half of a writer's life: family, friends, the other work

Write when you can.  Be there the rest of the time
All writers juggle their private and public lives with their writing lives.  It doesn't matter if they write for a living or write part time.  Yesterday, I had a rare day free from any after-work demand from my job.  I had a post for my blog to write, and the possible chance that I could work on Book 4 of my Students of Jump series during that open evening.  All in all getting home and working on my computer was definitely one of the options open to me.  But it was not to be, and I knew that at the start of my day.

My daughter had a project to do for a scholar's program she was accepted into.  That project called for her gathering quite a few pictures, audio and video together.  Normally, this is not a problem.  We have a computer we used to use, before we got out of the business, for wedding videography loaded with all the necessary software and support features needed.  But technology is not always reliable, and the monitor started intermittently failing.   It is not hard to figure out what sort of delaying factor this had on her project.  We worked for hours nursing this monitor along from the time school let out and her midnight deadline arrived.

I was there for advice, instruction in software usage and emotional support as that monitor raised her stress level.  Fearful of  finding herself with a two-minute film imprisoned on a hard drive we could not access, she was working from a flash drive which slowed her progress as well.  But when we came close to the deadline and she had completed the video, we switched to another computer to upload the rendered product.  You're probably wondering why we just didn't shift the software to another computer. Well, it's been some years since we were videographers and that software is old and cannot work with Windows 7 or 8.  She was managing with the oldest computer in the house because she had no choice.

Usually it takes a few days to hear back how she scored on a project.  Today we arrived home, and she checked her email to find she had been notified that her grade was posted.  My daughter told her father and I about the notification then accessed her grade book.  The nervousness she was feeling was evident in her grip on her iPod and how she turned away from looking at its screen.

If I wasn't nervous myself, it would have been funny watching her slowly turn her head back toward the image, her eyes squeezed as though anticipating having something thrown at her as she tried to make out her grade.  With a dramatic "Oh, my, God," she threw back her head and leaned against the back of her chair, a picture of sudden enervation.  We weren't sure how to interpret her response and asked how she did.  To avoid bragging, I'll just say she did very, very well.  Neither of us had much sleep last night, and there was some uncertainty about what was actually wanted, so I would have clapped my hands over just about any grade.  She had reason to be pleased.

So you found me out. This is one long excuse for not posting my weekly Wednesday post this morning.  But tired as I am, and though I did not get to work on my book and went through a school day feeling a bit fuzzy and running on my "I'm not a tired teacher" gear, I'm glad I was there for my girl. 

Family, friends, work: we write in and among, around and through these demands every day.  Sometimes they are big events; some inconvenient; some, like this activity, part of being a mom.  All of these are part of being a writer.

What have you had to write through and around?  What moments are you thankful for that got in the way of writing but left you feeling proud you were part of it?  Tell me your tale of distraction/connection.

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