Tuesday, April 8, 2014

AtoZ Greetings From the Sea Monkeys

Welcome back AtoZ fans! I hope you're having as much fun visiting blogs as I am. The list of participants are linked to the AtoZ badge over there in my sidebar if you'd like a quick link to who's participating. (After you're finished here, of course. lol)

Today's rerun comes from a post back in 2008. It was a piece I wrote for my writing group's newsletter, and contains the first official mention of sea monkeys at this blog. The Sea Monkeys made many more appearances as the years went on. For instance, any author who does an interview here, must complete the Sea Monkey S.A.T. portion at the end. Though I've been unable to bend them to my will and force them to become my minions to deliver my wrath, enjoy this first peek at why they're so dominant here.

Writing Versus Reality

Sea monkeys are living in my bathtub. Or, at least, that’s what I’m telling my husband. They come in the night and commandeer the shower, creating an environment conducive to sea monkey survival. That’s why I haven’t cleaned it lately. It’s a little known fact that sea monkeys are on the endangered species list. If I cleaned the tub more often, I’d literally be wiping out one of the largest known colonies on the planet. How could I live with myself?

The dust rhinos, on the other hand, are beginning to bully my dogs. I may need to do some eradicating in that arena soon. What am I talking about? Reality. Yes, reality. Reality crashing in and taking away from my time to write.

I wasn’t raised to be a slovenly housekeeper. On the contrary, being raised in the home of my grandmother, I can house clean with the best of them. I can shampoo rugs by hand, mix a powerful cleaning solution out of Borax, and fix an old Hoover faster than Macgyver. However, my ability to clean is not under scrutiny right now. The fact that I choose to sacrifice a supremely clean house for time to write is.

As an aspiring author, I’ve found I need to make trade offs with reality to fit in time to write. I’m sure I’m not alone. We all know it’s crucial to make time for the things important to us. In this case– writing. Unfortunately, no matter how sacred writing time is, reality continues to rear its ugly head and take bites out of any carefully laid schedule. Deftly gobbling up chunks of time set aside to write.

Tell me if this sounds familiar. Have to stop at the bank. Must do holiday shopping. Got to get the oil changed. Holy moly, what’s for dinner? Who used every square of toilet paper in the entire house?! Why didn’t you tell me before that you volunteered me for that? How come there’s no dish detergent? What happened to all the towels? Tell me again why you need to be driven to the library right now? If I don’t do the laundry soon I’ll have to beat it back with a stick when it walks out of there of its own volition.

You get the idea. Reality one; writing zero.

My advice? Let go of something small before all your writing time is eaten away. Having time to write is the only way an aspiring author can make it to authordom. Don’t let the reality time-eaters win!

Here are a few guidelines I’ve created to get that writing score a little higher and to ease my conscience from all the housework I am currently dodging. Feel free to adapt it to whatever you might decide to let slip in the name of that elusive writing time.

1. Dust leaves a lovely patina on furniture, especially if left undisturbed.
2. Dust bunnies make excellent pets.
3. Dog hair is the dog’s contribution to decor.
4. Same thing goes for cats.
5. Dish washing builds character in children.

So now you know my dirty little secret. My house is a bit messy, but I’m feverishly typing away in the small intervals of the day to change my status from aspiring to published. I refuse to let the small time-eating realities of everyday living erode what time I have to write. So fight the good fight and struggle on. And know that the sea monkeys are on your side.


Natasha Duncan-Drake said...

Dust bunnies make excellent pets LOL - I love it.
I think my dust bunnies were breeding mutant dust bunnies behind the door in the bathroom the other day.
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Pat Hatt said...

Dust bunnies got to go at my show, but cat hair, bah let it flow

Sherry Ellis said...

I like your philosophy! I have a few pet dust bunnies and sea monkeys of my own. ;0)

Crystal Collier said...

LOL! Any good writer worth their salt either lives in a dirty house or hires help. At least that's the conclusion I've come to. ;)

Sophie Duncan said...

With one dog and one cat who shed madly, I am so with you on the cat and dog hair adding to the decor!
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randi lee said...

I laughed so hard at the "dust bunnies make excellent pets" line that I turned every head in the break room! Hats off to you, I have to say: you are SERIOUSLY one creative writer...and that's not something you can teach!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Great post about tradeoffs. Add the children into the mix and the housework really suffers.

Liz Blocker said...

"If I cleaned the tub more often, I’d literally be wiping out one of the largest known colonies on the planet. How could I live with myself?" Oh man, I've GOT to use this one in my house. This is genius.

On a similar note, I love your brand of humor :) It's clever, quirky, hilarious, and totally unique. This is always one of my favorite stops on my blogroll!

Andrea said...

Long live the sea monkeys! Preparing nice dinners should also be one of the first things to go, since mine all prefer chicken patties and fries anyway! (but I should get to the store to make sure we have some)

Lynda Dietz said...

I can homeschool, cook meals, and clean, but not all three at a time. Only two can make the list on a regular basis, and cleaning is the first to drop off my to-dos. And we've always told our children it was "character-building time" when the dishes needed done. :) Glad we're not alone in that.

Lexa Cain said...

Absolutely! Why don't people understand these simple excuses -- er -- explanations? And by the way, I have the 2nd largest colony of sea monkeys in my bathtub. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!

C.D. Gallant-King said...

"Dish washing builds character in children."

We have a dishwasher and I still plan to adhere to this rule. If my parents made me suffer through it for years, my kid's not getting away without it.

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