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500 Words a Day

This is the post excerpt.

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This seemed like a good challenge to me. Can I write 500 words per day for 31 days? Do I really have the discipline to sit down, come up with the necessary idea, or ideas if it’s a really good day, and actually create that kind of volume? OK, so 500 words aren’t really that many when you look at some of the great writers through the ages. Look at Shakespeare’s phenomenal accomplishments, and he wrote with a quill and ink.  How many millions of words have authors like James Patterson written, never mind how much more has been written by his collaborators?

The next question is going to be what time is going to be the best time to write? I’m not a morning person. By that I mean that I don’t have anything against morning per se, I just have a lot of animosity towards my fellow members of the human race, and I use that term loosely, who not only manage to rise but actually shine in the morning. I rise. I do not shine. There has to be a certain amount of caffeine buzzing around in my veins before I am willing to communicate with the world. There is a reason we invented answering machines and voice mail.

Actually, morning might be a good time to write. Once the coffee is brewing and the cat has been fed, although not necessarily in that order, it would be a good time to deal with all the random thoughts and voices that ping around inside my skull when I wake up in the morning. I’m sure most are a leftover from dreams that aren’t worth recalling, but there are always stray scraps of conversations with characters that have yet to be released from my computer. These are the voices, not the kind that urges a person to go out and commit murder and mayhem, or fashion a tinfoil hat and go and sit inside a pyramidal structure. Then there are various opinions that have developed while reading the exploits of the aforementioned human race on the morning news on the internet. Some of those might need to be heavily censored before being released to the general public, as my personal opinion is that the word ‘civilization’ has come to mean far less than it once did.

Yes, morning is looking better and better. During the summer I can escape to the serenity of my garden with my laptop and cup of coffee. Of course, there will be a few interruptions. The hummingbirds get very territorial if I choose to sit too close to their favourite laurel leaf willow tree, and the cat sees no difference between snoozing on my desk in the office and attempting to snooze on the keyboard of my laptop. The first will require moving my chair a judicious distance from the tree, and the second can be handled by draping the cat around my neck, which is his second favourite spot to sleep.

Part of the winter is spent in the cold country of Central Alberta where the morning routine could consist of the laptop, coffee, cat and the couch and part of it could consist of a wide open door, and watching and listening to the Arizona birds squabble over their bird seed.

Yes, I believe 500 words is definitely doable before the world intrudes for the day.

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Day 2, Still Here

It’s now day two of the 31 days, 500 words per day, challenge.

Yesterday, mornings seemed like an ideal time to write. However, this morning kicked off in high gear. I was woken up at 5 a.m. by the yipping, and yammering, of an enormous number of coyote pups, all bent on waking everyone and everything in the river valley at the exact same moment.  And if anyone has ever listened to young coyotes trying to establish their voices, it’s not always soothing to the ears.

This horrendous pack kept up the noise long enough for all thoughts of serious sleep to go out of the window. OK, so maybe it wasn’t a horrendously big pack. In all actuality, it was probably more like two or three pups, but when they’re practising their ventriloquist skills before the sun has even thought of creeping over the horizon they sound like legions of hounds from hell.

So, now I’m awake, the sun isn’t up, there’s no coffee made, and my better half is blissfully snoring in counterpoint to the pups’ wailings. At this time in the morning, I should be able to get several chapters of my book read. However,  that requires turning on a light which will wake up said better half and our conversations at that time of day leave a lot to be desired, as well as unsaid.

When you travel a lot with a motorcycle, you become an expert in the art of travelling light, and down-sizing every necessary item. One thing I acquired a lot of years ago was an e-reader, and now the first thing that is installed whenever I purchase a new phone is my collection of E-reader software, because I refuse, point-blank to ever be stranded somewhere without books to read. A two-hour wait in the doctor’s office is much easier to handle with equanimity if there is something good to read.

But, I digress.

After quietly scrambling in the dark for my phone, I was happily contemplating a couple of hours of peaceful (except for the coyotes) reading. I hit the On button. Nothing happened. I carefully counted the position of the buttons on the side of my phone and pressed the appropriate button again. Again, nothing happened. There was no soft glow of my phone coming to life. I had left too many programs open in the background last night and the thing was dead as a dodo, drained like a marsh, and… well, you get my drift.

Nothing left for it but to try to go back to sleep.

That particular endeavour didn’t pan out in the slightest, but I still thought that I would catch a little peace and quiet once the coffee was brewed and the cat fed, not in that particular order. The phone started ringing by seven-thirty and it was a death-by-telephone marathon from then on that went through most of the day. Days like today should not have to be endured. Did I mention yesterday that I’m not a morning person?