7:38- Morning ablutions done, kids off to school. Sit down to computer in basement office. Boot up, check email. No news from agent on submitted novel.
7:50- Reread yesterday’s writing, all four paragraphs. Realize yesterday’s writing all worthless, start over.
8:04- Almost getting good third rewrite of first sentence. Comes to a screeching halt when wife, carrying laundry, passes through basement office to son’s finished bedroom. “Just go on, don’t mind me.”
8:09- Back to work, trying to recapture lost thread of thought on sentence restructuring.
8:16- Sentence redone and acceptable for first draft. Second sentence begun.
8:22- Wife calls down reminder of school meeting on following evening.
8:25- Finished with thoughts of divorce, return to sentence #2.
8:37- Marginally acceptable second sentence completed.
8:42- Wife calls down to say she is going to the store- NO, nothing is needed. Except a lack of interruptions.
8:51- Phone rings, making dog bark. NO, do not want to answer poll.
8:55- Bathroom break. Notice home project needing immediate attention. Ignore it for now, as good writer should.
9:01- Back at computer, tackling sentence #3.
9:07- Phone rings, making dog bark. Daughter forgot flute, needed for next period. Take flute to school. Needle on E, yellow light on. Stop for gas.
9:55- Back at computer, tackling sentence #3. Again.
10:01- Sentence three crystallizing in thoughts, shattered by doorbell. Dog going crazy barking. Sign for package.
10:12- Am going to finish sentence #3 if it kills. No matter who it kills.
10:17- Phone rings. Scream gibberish to assistant from dental office reminding of upcoming appointment.
10:20- Calm breathing, return to writing.
10:27- Wife returns, calls down that she’s home. Dog barks again.
10:30- Feeling like Jack Nicholson in The Shining, return to sentence #3.
10:48- On to sentence #4. Wife comes down to pantry for can of soup. Asks about lunch choices.
10:54- Once more into the breach.
11:07- Call from writer friend, asking how writing is going. Venting begins.
11:29- End call, back to writing.
11:44- First paragraph complete.
11:55- Wife calls down that lunch is ready.
12:21- Back at computer, check email. Latest story has been rejected by 18th magazine. Editors recommend buying subscription anyway, as have previous 17.
12:24- In severe pain from having kicked something which turned out to be harder than it looked. Foot may be broken.
12:28- Begin search for next market for rejected story. Cannot let them sit and gather cobwebs.
1:02- New market found, fresh hardcopy printed to specifics, cover letter carefully crafted, mailer addressed, SASE enclosed. On pile on stairs to go to Post Office.
1:05- Bathroom break.
1:10- Tackling second paragraph.
1:22- Wife down for stamps. Dinner options reviewed.
1:31- Back into second paragraph, third sentence.
1:40- Dog coughs, throws up. On pile for Post Office.
2:05- Mess cleaned up, new submission packet ready. Carefully placed away from surface dog can reach.
2:08- Back to writing. Thread of passage lost.
2:14- Yawning uncontrollably, unable to stay awake. Jump on exercise bike for half hour. Of course, no interruptions occur at this time. Plot line worked out in head.
2:47- Upstairs to shower. More story developments come to mind.
3:03- Back at computer, fingers flying.
3:05- Kids home from school. Son needs computer for school essay due tomorrow.
3:12- In upstairs bathroom with yellow legal pad and tiny unsharpened golf-course pencil, scribbling hurriedly as beautifully thought-out prose dissolves like Coleridge’s Xanadu dream.
3:26- Knock on door, son says dog is coughing again. Offer to shoot *%#@ dog.
3:28- Wife knocks, asks if anything wrong. Spew more obscenities, but quietly.
3:40- Daughter knocks on door, asks for help with math homework. Sit with her to discover you remember nothing of Venn diagrams and null sets.
4:02- Back in bathroom. Slow but constant drip from faucet is like water torture.
4:14- Pencil breaks, unable to sharpen. Wife's leg razor ruined. Wonder if blood will suffice for ink.
4:27- Frantic search for usable writing implement yields dog-chewed pen under bed, which sometimes works okay if you shake it and press down hard enough to tear paper.
4:44- Daughter knocks, asks meaning of ‘obtrusion’.
5:07- One crumpled, torn, illegible sheet of prose completed.
5:15- Son knocks on door with reminder of basketball practice after dinner.
5:23- Wife calls for dinner.
5:55- Drive son to basketball practice.
6:09- With new pen, begin writing while sitting in bleacher at school gym.
6:13- Other parent asks, “Whatcha writin?”
6:14- Other parent shocked at response, moves off to finds new seat.
6:21- Loose ball knocks pen, pad from hands. Pen rolls under bleachers.
6:23- Cackling like crazy cat lady, produce backup pen.
6:24- Backup pen out of ink. Begin sobbing.
6:25- More parents move away.
7:00- Practice ends, race home, run to computer.
7:04- Feverishly attempting to transcribe hieroglyphs from legal pad. Wonder what ‘see hdvufj’ means.
7:30- Page done. Attempt to print. Printer cartridge out. More sobbing.
7:35- Mail from magazine publisher. Story written seven years ago and submitted nine months previously to be published in upcoming 2012 issue, circulation of 50. Payment of five-dollar bill to be on publication.
7:44- Celebratory bottle of eight-dollar wine opened. Toast made to success.
7:50- Back at computer with wineglass #3.
8:15- Accidentally close document without saving, losing last twenty-five minutes of work.
9:00- Page painfully retyped, as hand now sore from pounding on desk. Completed.
9:05- Gaze once again at acceptance letter from magazine.
10:00- Walk dog, taking in night air.
10:05- Pick up doggie doo, trying not to see metaphor for life.
10:15- Turn in, reflecting on glory of writing life, and one day closer to publishing Great American Novel.