Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: BUSY (02/02/17)
- TITLE: Either You is or You Ain't
By Hugh Houchin
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ADD TO MY FAVORITES
Somewhere, in some road house, in a dark and empty room, lays an unmade bed, because, tonight, I’ll sleep at home. The thought excites my travel weary body and I press down on the accelerator.
Like the proverbial back of my hand, I knew the route I traveled. Each old and dark mining town nodded as my vehicle whizzed by. Whether on a curve, or a straight-away, every section of white line, every solid line alongside a no passing zone heeded the hum of my Firestones.
The monotony of familiarity unhinged my subconscious, and it strained against its leash. “Dare you to make this your last trip. You’ve thought about it before; c’mon, make the decision. You know what it should be.
“Empty your soul of those restless words. It’s time to dust the cobwebs clinging to your pencil and pad, to pepper pages with paragraphs of penned expertise.”
Nevertheless, I found a fallacy in my inner-self’s train of thought. Yes, I wanted to retire and write, but I’m divorced and not a carouser. What will I do with my spare time?
My writing experience consisted of papers I’d written in school decades ago, and numerous poems I’d drafted to each of my five offspring, for special events. Occasions like sixteenth and twenty first birthdays, high school and college graduations, weddings, and, of course, baby poems for each of my grandchildren, all twelve of them.
Every now and then my poems still materialize, mainly for my grandchildren, but, sometimes, I’ll write one for the worship service where I attend church.
I want the poems to my family to stir pleasant memories when I’m no longer part of this world’s population.
“Self,” that’s what I call myself, “Writing articles and stories will be as natural for you as writing poems.”
But that nagging question persisted. “If I quit work to write how will I stay busy? What will I do with my spare time?”
Nevertheless, there were no more business trips north to South Dakota. Two weeks later I retired to the leisurely, carefree, no stress, and no struggles life of a freelance writer.
I live in a small town and went to the newspaper office and told the editor, who, of course, I knew, that I wanted to write articles and community news. “I’ll write for free and when you decide I’m worth it you can start to pay me.”
Eight years later I still write for the paper; yes, they pay me.
The spare time, though, is another story. Between the newspaper and creative writing, like the Challenge, spare time lies under the six-foot table my computer and other writing materials are on, it’s disguised as pools of blood, sweat and tears.
The biggest puddles are underneath my cushioned office chair that boasts a three-inch-thick padded wedge I sit on for spinal support.
Also, that final pose includes my bud MC, (My Cat), who sprawls across my lap in her glorious speckled black and white splendor.
Did God have writers in mind when he created the short 24-hour day? I’ve found that, each and every day, writing takes about 36 of the 24 hours I’m allotted.
No matter how I structure my freely-given time, there’s never enough for what I need to do, for whatever I’m writing. Sometimes the research takes more time than I've allotted, or maybe new and more profound plot ideas pop into my mind; a new slant for character development demands my attention.
It’s those never ending concentration-busting thoughts that rear their constructive heads. Certainly those thoughts are important, or I wouldn’t think of them, would I? I can’t shake the calamity that what I’ve diligently structured and nurtured I now shouldn’t write the way I planned.
Hardly seems fair. You know what I mean?
Nothing outweighs the importance of being busy with ideas, but my mind gets so busy I can’t find time to figure how to write all those thoughts in a meaningful way.
It’s the challenge of being involved, doing what I love to do, and ain’t it fun. Between you and me, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Would you?
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