Tuesday, April 24, 2007

My Writing Time

I am very strict about writing. Charlie sleeps for approximately 2 hours each day, beginning at some point in the morning, and that is my writing time. As soon as I have placed him in his cot, I go straight to my computer. I do not stop writing until he wakes up. I do not check e-mail or answer the phone. I don’t run downstairs and quickly put on a load of washing and get myself a vegemite sandwich. I never think, “Huh, I wonder what happened to that boy who stole the breadrolls from the tuckshop in second grade? Maybe I should google his name and find out?” Or: “That sounded like the postman! I’ll just check the mail and get myself a Mini Mars Bar.” Or: “I’m sure I’d write better in my pink-and-green striped pyjamas, I’d better go and put them on.” Or: “Shouldn’t I be cleaning out the fridge?”
And, let’s say I walked into my study one day and found that a spider had strung its web between the frames of the window by my desk – just outside the window by my desk, the spider gazing calmly at my desk chair – well, it would never occur to me to run from the room. Then slip back in to take a photo of the spider through the glass. Then close the study door and go straight back to bed to read Joan Aiken and eat waffles with maple syrup, kiwifruit and plum for the next two hours until Charlie woke up.

The Brave Police Officer

I went to my sister Kati’s place for dinner, and when I arrived she was washing up a couple of things and her lime green rubber gloves matched her lacy shirt. There was a triple-decker chocolate cake sitting on the bench. “Look at that cake!” I said. “Oh,” she apologised, “it’s not finished yet.” Then she peeled off her lime green gloves, took a saucepan from the stove, and began to slather frosting on the cake. To be honest, the whole thing, the matching greens, the triple-decker cake, my sister’s generous swoops of chocolate cream, all of it made me very happy.

I drove home through the new tunnel, and that made me happy too. There was a haunted, whooshing sound, and it seemed to go on and on. I kept thinking, “Surely, this is it?” But no, there was more. Like an especially satisfying theme park ride.

And yet, there was an edge of uneasiness and then I remembered why: when they were constructing the tunnel, there had been some kind of error, and the whole thing had collapsed. It had taken an apartment building with it. The building is now buried underground.

Still, I remembered next, nobody was injured. Everyone got out. There was some sadness about a budgerigar having been left behind in an apartment, but even that was rescued by a brave police officer.

So then I cheered up and enjoyed the tunnel, driving its generous swoops.