I’m writing to explain why I did not submit my story for your esteemed competition.
It’s because I suck. And because I have a toddler. And because the story has only one line.
‘Whose idea was this?’
And I was very excited about it. Until the week I had to write the story was the one week my husband had to work in his city office. Which meant he wasn’t here to ply me with White Russians until I
fell asleep wrote a complete story.
And did I mention we’re moving? Yeah, that’s next week. I’m sharing the home office with empty bookshelves, full boxes and a bedframe.
And we’re still waiting to hear about our mortgage. Which is y’know, kinda important for the move. I spent a bunch of time this week gathering proof of residence, because I’m still American. Apparently. I sent copies of my green card (I really have one. It’s actually a stamp.) And then there were copies of my tax returns.
And I still needed more proof. Two years of proof. And so, I suggested we send them a picture of Isla.
I unpacked some utility bills and copied about 40 pages of bank statements. At the bank. Because who gets paper statements any more? So I went to the bank and probably rambled on a bit too much, but thankfully the lady at the bank was really understanding. Or maybe it was that thing where customer service people aren’t supposed to call customers really fucking stupid.
At least to their face.
As the paper pile grew, so did my heartburn. How was I going to scan all this? And would I like an envelope?
I took my envelope and my kid and trudged to the library. I scanned four of the 40 pages and hoped for the best.
Even with all this daytime stuff happening, I thought I would be able to write my story at night. But did I also mention that Law & Order: SVU is really good? And that there are 5 different episodes a night 34 different channels?
I forget about this stuff when Neil is home. Because, well, we read a lot.
And then there was Storm Gertrude, the awkward little sister of Storm Jonas. She rattled some windows and kept me awake. Which was good. I got the whole story in my head. When I got up from two hours of sleep, my new story threads were as frayed as my nerves.
Other stuff is happening that isn’t my story to tell, but I’m having flashbacks to my Grandmother with Alzheimers breaking out of movies and into other people’s cars. Flashbacks to eggnog and bacon-grease and nice teeth and peach polyester not-so-much power-suits.
And how, farther back than all that, she was my best friend. And I still miss her every day. These are weird, if somehow appropriate, feelings to have in the midst of packing up to move into my first home, with my favourite husband and my favourite kid, all of which I wish she was here to enjoy.
So, apologies for not writing a comedy that includes a cooking show and a paramedic. I tried. But life happens.
And, full disclosure here, I haven’t written a piece of fiction since before Isla was born.
I look longingly at my notebooks and prompt books.
And then I blog. It would seem that these words are safer. But I’d like to shake things up again.
The competition entry fee was part of my Christmas present from Neil. Yesterday, I did some crying while I paid him back. He didn’t ask, I just felt like a fraud.
I’m even tearing up now. I can write over six hundred words about not writing. That’s a real skill.
I’m going to really try at the new house. Maybe unpack some new characters.
Starting with 500 words a day. Coffee essential, White Russians optional.
Will write harder,