I'm back home in Portland, and its hot. Like over 100 hot. Every day. I do not like this. My office is upstairs and as we all know heat rises and hot damn it gets hot up there. My computer does not like it either. It tells me this by bluescreening and then fading quickly to black.
So at the moment I'm working from the one air-conditioned room in the house, the family room, which is the wee-est bit problematic because other people have this crazy idea that they want to share this space with me. No matter how much I snarl and bare my teeth at them they persist and before I know it, the TV is on and I'm absorbed in the Olympics. Yes, water polo is too fascinating.
Despite these problems I have valiantly pressed forward and managed to complete the entire introduction for a ghostwriting project today. And this situation has made me think back to the days before I was a professional writer. I wanted to be one so badly, but I had two small children and little clue how to go about it. I'd graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in journalism in the post-Watergate days when everyone wanted to be a newspaper reporter (now a quaint occupation), the main reason being that all reporters looked like Robert Redford, of course.
To work at a newspaper I would have had to go to a small town to get a job and since I was painfully shy (I'm not kidding, this is true) then, I just couldn't see myself doing this successfully. So instead I did the logical thing for women who graduated and didn't know what to do–I got pregnant.
My two children are lovely, amazing adults now, and I love them both beyond all reason. But dear lord they were a distraction when they were little. I was not one of those together super-mothers. My house was always a mess and I was always frazzled and out of it, and I didn't even have a job outside the home. Things were less organized and frantic back then than they are now so I could get away with this. I look at all the things young mothers do now and I'm grateful I'm not trying to raise kids now. I'd be shunned for ineptitude.
Through it all I desperately wanted to write and once in awhile would take little snippets of time to try, try being the operative word. Finally the wee tidbits got a bit bigger and for whatever reason I landed a job writing a book. To this day, I can't remember how. I set up a desk in a corner of the bedroom and wrote the whole thing on a typewriter, which now barely even seems possible to me. Who watched the children while I was doing this, I have no clue. Hmmm, maybe that's when Lewis got that scar on his head? Kidding, really!
What I do remember is sitting at the typewriter writing and being thrilled to my core. Just sitting there, typing away, thinking, I'm writing, I'm writing, I'm writing. It just didn't get any better than that, even though my "office" was one little corner of the bedroom and I had as little clue what I was doing writing a book as I did raising children.
All these years later, and here I am, sitting in the family room, with people wandering in and out, and still I'm writing. The typewriter is now a laptop computer, but still sometimes I catch myself as I complete a project, thinking, I'm writing, I'm writing, I'm writing.
And I'm thrilled to the core.