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Quiet, Please
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    It's a good thing I never write at night. Especially last night, what with all the bombs bursting in air, sparklers, boomers, screamers, and zingers going off in all directions, until all hours. There hasn't been an offcial July 4th fireworks program in my town for decades, and shooting them off at home is, of course, illegal, but that doesn't stop the scofflaws in my unincorporated part of the county from setting off a thunderous display. It was cool for awhile, standing out on the back deck with a glass of wine, watching the sky light up again and again under an almost-full moon. But less fun for the kitties, who made a beeline for their safe room, squishing themselves (both of them) into the scant few inches of leeway on top of an old cedar chest, under a table, from whence they did not emerge until dawn's early light.
    Writing, as we all know, is not like a real job with paid holidays, so it's not inconceivable that I might have found myself at the keyboard on a day most normal people have "off." Fortunately, I write in the morning, when my brain is still relatively active, because last night would have been impossible. I know writers who hammer away at the keyboard with their entire iTunes playlist blasting out of their laptops, but I can't work that way. Deathly silence is my preferred MO. If some guy on a construction site three blocks away has an AM rock radio station turned on, I freak out. Not that I mind rock; it's just that I inevitably find myself singing along, while the words that are supposed to be in my head (like the ones I'm writing) scatter like dandelion froth in the wind.
    My husband, fondly referred to as Art Boy, is an artist who also works at home. He likes to listen to music when he paints, so we've had to compromise. He only plays classical music in the mornings when I'm writing. Choral music is okay, too, as long as its suitably ancient or foreign; anything sung in, say, Latin, medieval French or Estonian defies even my ability to chime in.