Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Griffith: Unplugged

Last Saturday I got to drive a bunch of teenagers to the lake two hours away so they could waterski and wakeboard and get sunburns. The organizers of the trip probably hoped I'd help out, but instead, I did the hermit-writer classic move and hid in my cave (Suburban) and wrote!

It was the first time in I don't know how long that I was on a computer with no Internet access. Can I say how weird and disconnected from all mankind I felt? I'd forgotten. I mean, seriously--deserted island feeling.

But shazam! I got so much more done!

(Imagine that! )

It's been a really busy time around my world, with school ramping up and 2 year old at home with me declaring me as her one and only friend all day long (which I love, but it sure does mean a lot more of my attention gets diverted her way than it did all summer with the other four kiddos home) and other exciting stuff going on that I won't bore y'all with.

Still, I got more done in 4 hours on the shores of Roosevelt Lake in the sweltering car (intermittently plugging my laptop into the battery-jumper-box thingy) than I have in the last three weeks combined. I implemented about 20 edits, added about 10 pages of new writing, got rid of some super lame subplots and scenes, cleaned up some rough patches. Loved it!

Which tells me something. I am lazy? I have ADD? I'm addicted to facebook and email and mindless surfing the net?

Probably. But also, that a little more self control and technological isolation is good for the soul, and the plot, and the productivity levels.

I might try to recreate the circumstances here at home by switching off my modem and putting myself on the desert island again, but on the comfort of my sofa and in the cool whir of the air conditioning with piles of candy at my side.

Oh, wait. The candy might distract me.

Especially a candy that's also a toy. Like PEZ. Or Lik-M-Aid. PEZ is for sharing, I have always believed. What could be better than eating a rectangular disc of strawberry flavored sugar directly from the neck of Batman, or Kermit the Frog, or Princess Leia? Seriously? I wonder if there was a Leif Garrett Pez dispenser in the 1970s. I guess you know you've "arrived" fame-wise when they make a Pez dispenser with a model of your head.


  1. I've started going to B & N for the 2 hours my youngest son is in preschool. Like going to writing heaven. It's amazing what can get done when you're not at home with the children and piles of laundry calling you...

  2. That's a great idea, Melinda. Sometimes I need earplugs to block out the laundry's cries for help.

  3. I actually love it when I have my little Acer with me and have no internet connection. Then I MUST look at whatever writing project is in process instead of "just reading one agent's blog" before I start writing. ;)

  4. THIS is why YOU have a *completed* novel, Tracy. I need to follow your example! What's a little Acer?


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