NaNoWriMo Day 22 – looking back in distraction

It was a quiet day at EBL Towers, so obviously I was going to make great strides both at work and in my writing. Yeah, right.

I suffered that syndrome known far and wide, that leaves us weak in its power to prevent us from achieving more than a fleeting moment of partial success. I did manage to achieve agreement over a particular question in a meeting. Whoop. Hang out the bunting. The Eagle, as they say, has landed!

With all the resources at my disposal, a clear run at a major task that had been hanging over me, and a firm instruction to colleagues regarding the advisability of interruptions, I failed significantly to even open the document I had to work on. First I caught up on the backlog of emails. Then I tidied up some folders. I did open a completely different document and faff about with that. Then it was nearly time for a booked call so not worth starting if I was going to have to stop. Plus the birds on the bird feeder were so cute.

All in all, I only managed to force myself to start work on the thing at midday, and edited about two paragraphs before I was genuinely interrupted with a proper problem.

Those hours, my dears, are lost and gone forever, and I have nothing to show for them, except some fond memories of the birds on the feeder, and worrying that the ash tree we were going to cut down ought to be left in case it is one of the minority immune to Ash Die Back. I am old enough to remember Dutch Elm Disease. I don’t want to see it all over again, although apparently no one is going to ask me. I know, I was as shocked as you!

On the subject of elms, when I was little I went to visit the undertaker. Our next door neighbour worked there, and we were doing a project about trees at school so I thought I would go and ask him what they used to make the coffins.

“Elm,” he said and took me and my friend into the workshop where they made them. It was great! The smell of wood shavings and lots of beautiful, carefully made, lovingly and respectfully made, caskets with gleaming polished surfaces and gleaming polished brass handles and adornments. I found it profoundly satisfying.

When Dutch Elm Disease devastated the nation a year or two later, I was very concerned about how people would be buried, having lost my grandmother the year before and being of a naturally morbid frame of mind. Mr B reassured me that they could use other wood, so that was alright and I found other things to worry about.

See how easily I am distracted? Yesterday was like that all day.

I did write in the evening, upstairs in my lovely new office. Sigoth wanted to watch television after a hard day down the treacle mines, so I left him to it, and we caught up over a cup of tea when the programme was over and I had crafted 1775 words. Hard graft it was, because as I mentioned previously, I am now in edit mode rather than full blown outpourings. So more distraction as I realise that someone’s jumper has inexplicable changed into a duffle coat, or whatever.

I hope your own outpourings are free and untrammelled, and you bestride the page like mighty colossi.



Go on then, it's your turn

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