I get up, wash my face, brush my teeth, and make a coffee which I take into my office and set down next to my laptop.
I push up my sleeves. I am ready.
I have a minor goal. Finish a chapter I'd started three months ago. I am aiming so low if I lift my head, I'll make progress.
Nearly every day, I go to my morning writing group. It is a Zoom thing. 'Go' being the operative word. Because I think routine is important. This morning people are talking about eggs. Well, not really eggs. Chickens. They're talking about getting chickens. If you've ever been to one of these things you know there is a little preamble when everyone chats. It's often the seed to the rotting carcass of my not writing all day.
I open my story when the leader calls for mics to be muted and time to write. I re-read what I've already written in the chapter, and then I stare out the window at the little tree I planted two years ago. The sun is shining, and it looks happy even in the snow. I can see little sparkles of ice on its bare limbs. Stories about animate trees whiffle through my mind. All the trees have rainbow streamers that look like hair.
I imagine the tree with eggs hanging from it. Scrambled eggs, to be precise. Stuffed into those little plastic multicolored easter eggs that come apart in the middle. I nod. I need a spatula. Not a rubber one or a metal one, but one of those nylon ones, flexible and narrow. I start to research. One website takes me to another. I surf Amazon. I visit Bon Appetite. I find one! It's perfect. It's beautiful. It's 65.00. It's out of the question. But just in case I ever write a story with a spatula, I know a lot more about them.
I wander into the kitchen for a banana and start some tea then I stroll back toward my office, stopping along the way to pet the cat on the head. Prose about talking unicorn cats bubbles up from my fingers. The cat's eyes glow with imaginary fire and tiny wings sprout from his shoulders.
The leader calls, "Time's up!" from the next room. I hurry in and take my seat, noticing I already have a practically full cup of coffee. I set the tea down next to it. I don't want to be caught not paying attention. They might kick me out of the group that lets me waste an hour and a half every day pretending to do something really important to me.
I look down at my screen. There is an open quote with a lot of white space stretching out beyond it. Everyone on Zoom is chattering about their poetry, short story, and how-to handbook. I stay silent hoping she’ll miss me when the leader asks everyone how their writing went. Otherwise, I can be truthful as inspiration to everyone else who wasted their time, or I can pretend I didn't write much but the thinking time was invaluable.
I feel good.
At least I got something on the page.