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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

World Enough, And Time

"When is the last time you wrote a short story, babe...?"

You know, I had to think about it.  And after a couple of blinks, I was *really* thinking about it.

I've entered one Friday Challenge since April.  I've written a couple of these columns, but those aren't stories.

I could reasonably throw out excuses of "work" and "money" and "don't have time"...but this column is not about making excuses, it's about finding the time, and my track record of finding that time for the last several months has been...dismal.

Around our house, Friday is game or movie night.  We pull out two family-friendly movies (and one less so, for after the munchkins are safely packed away in dreamland), pile on a bunch of chips and dips and call it "dinner," and basically kick back for quality time with the kids.  We've worked our way through Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings this way.  Some nights, we skip the movies, and dig out a game instead (the five year old is freaking dangerous at Risk, believe me).

Last Friday, just before I left work, She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed asked me that question, "when did you write your last short story?"  And when I didn't have a solid answer for her, she said "When the movie starts tonight, you are to grab my laptop.  You are to ignore the movie, and you're not getting up from the couch until you've written me a short story."

The result is "Offline Backup," 1580 words of dialog and flashback and a nice, creepy, finish, which will get tossed onto the Slushpile tonight.

Yes, I've thought about double-duty Fridays in the past...movie time and writing time simultaneously, that should work...but I was doing it on a desktop, in a whole 'nother room, because my own laptop died a long time ago.  It's really hard to have "quality time" with the kids when you're not sharing the couch with them.

This shows just how tunnel-visioned I can get when it takes being *ordered* to write before I actually start cranking out spooky short stories again.  And it also shows just how important spousal support is.

Thank you, babe.  Hope you liked the story.


Allan Davis is a writer/photographer/programmer who loses so many games to his kids he's decided to never teach them how to play poker or blackjack...
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