Today is hit-the-wall day here in paradise, otherwise known as the Casa Colonial in Oaxaca, Mexico where I've been holed up for two weeks, occasionally going down to the Mercado or Zocalo but basically sitting in the garden and working on my novel.
I have six days left of my retreat. But today real life intrudes! I need to write two manuscript critiques, deal with scheduling issues for March, send a class announcement to my Haas students, do an interview with Parenting magazine, and send a confrontational email to a woman who essentially plagiarized my work by performing it (with my permission) but not crediting me ("I felt it would have more impact if the audience thought it was my story"). Ugh, ugh, ugh.
I don't WANNA!!!
I want to work on my novel. Because I just realized:
- I've been writing gangbusters for fourteen days straight and I have the same number of pages I had when I came down here. How is this possible?
- When I get home, I have to finish this book, and if I can't finish it here, how the hell am I going to do it there with the driving and the dogs and the daughter and the husband and the orthodontist and my lovely clients and my students and the gym and my friends and shopping and cooking and cleaning and my whole life? (Oh, wait. I never expected to finish it here.)
- My characters can't be cooking moussaka in winter time! They're all organic and PC and all. They shop seasonally and locally. There would be no local eggplant in February! Oh wait, is there even eggplant in a moussaka?
- Oh no! He's a key character, but I don't understand how Johnny feels about all this. What's "this," you ask? Oh, all the stuff that's happening in the novel. Who is Johnny? Well, you'll have to read the book. IF I CAN EVER FINISH WRITING IT! (Breathe, Ericka, breathe.)
In short, time is running out on my retreat, and it's hit-the-wall day.
If I was wise, I'd pull a Gandhi -- "I have so much to accomplish today that I must meditate for two hours instead of one" -- which for me would mean meditating for 50 minutes instead of 25, but I can still barely manage 25 without twitching out and having my legs turn into hot pin needle-y, fleshy lumps.
SO. Deep breath. Six days is still a lot of time. I'm still in paradise. I SHOULD NOT WHINE!
I'll do the "real life" work (WAAAH!). But I'll finish in time for comida, take a brief siesta, then google the recipe for moussaka on epicurious.com, freewrite Johnny's feelings, type and delete, type and delete (the usual pattern) -- and just calm down.