Finding Time to Write and Finding Your Way Home

on January 21, 2013 in Misc

Sigh. Where did my weekend go? Why didn’t I get more writing done?

I mean, it’s not like I spent it cleaning my place.  My only housekeeping was to vacuum for the first time in two weeks, but with cat hair covering my keyboard and desk, it’s not like I had a choice.  Then I ran a few errands. Exercised.  Went to that 2:30 a.m. showing at the Van Gogh exhibit I told you about.  But that’s it.

So why is it the only writing I got done over two days was two hours of editing on Saturday?

See, I had big plans to enter all my redlines and changes into the computer (I mostly edit in longhand).  I also planned to edit several more chapters.   But here it is late Sunday night and I got squat.

One of the benefits of planning to swear off writing at the end of 2013 is that I can finally acknowledge I DON’T HAVE TIME TO WRITE NOVELS!  Especially not my chocked-full-of-historical-details tomes that call for endless research and meticulous proofing.

Oh, for the wonderful life of the successful full-time writer.  The kind of creature who doesn’t have to hold down a full-time day job.  Who doesn’t have money concerns.  Who can travel and enjoy life and…

Ah, hell!  I can’t even imagine what that would be like.

Anyway, I mentioned cat hair, which brings up the subject of pets, which brings up a story in the New York Times, “A Cat’s 200-Mile Trek Home Leaves Scientists guessing.”  It’s yet another tale of a pet that was lost on vacation but found it’s way back home – and yes, the kitty had a microchip so there’s no mistaken identity here. OMG, I love these kind of stories.  Yes, they’re sentimental, but the mystery of HOW some pets know things they just plain shouldn’t know always intrigues me.

Here’s a personal story.  Years ago my parents were a young couple and living in a suburb of Denver.  My Dad was with the U.S. Geological Survey and spending a few weeks doing field work in Wyoming.  One night my Mom went to bed, but their dog Puppsie wouldn’t let her sleep.  He kept nudging her and acting excited and hanging around the front door.  Finally my Mom got up and was sitting in the kitchen when my father suddenly arrived home.  He wasn’t supposed to return for another day, and back then long-distance phone calls from phone booths were expensive, so he never told my mother about his change of plans.  Puppsie happily greeted him and then went off and fell asleep.

There’s a book by an English biologist that’s called “Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home,” and one of these days I’m going to read it.  The author, Rupert Sheldrake, wrote another book that I did read called “The Presence of the Past: Morphic Resonance and the Memory of Nature.”  He has this theory about a collective memory in nature which will either freak you out or fascinate you.  I’m fascinated.

Any strange animal stories of your own to tell?  How do you find time to write? Or do you have to sacrifice other parts of your life just so you can write?

10 Responses to “Finding Time to Write and Finding Your Way Home”

  1. Animals have that extra sense. Around here, they know when a hurricane is coming.
    Understand not having time to write. Another reason I might stop as well.

  2. Helena says:

    Alex – And I’ve heard that animals sometimes know when earthquakes are coming, too.

  3. I have time to write, but find other things to do because I don’t want to write. What does that make me?

  4. Helena says:

    Michael – A realist who knows how tough writing can be.

  5. I love that about animals. They know so much more about many things than humans do. I get up early to write.If I don’t write, I get cranky.

  6. Helena says:

    Carol – I can get cranky even if I don’t write.

  7. Hart Johnson says:

    Joel whines for about five minute before my husband gets home. We used to think it was that he heard our ancient, noisy van, but now we have a quiet new car that isn’t the only Hyndai in the neighborhood and he still knows. We also used to have a dalmatian lab mix who would smile when he heard the word ‘grandpa’… oh, Henry LOVED grandpa…

  8. Helena says:

    Hart – I just love hearing stories like these about dogs. They really can form some kind of connection with us.

  9. Old Kitty says:

    I love stories like these too! Lost pets who find their way home! They truly are gifted with senses that have been evolved out of humans! LOL!!

    Awww I do like the report of how dogs are able to “catch” a yawn when a human yawns. I think the conclusion is that dogs empathy with humans runs deeper! How lovely!

    As for finding time to write… well I’m pretty disorganised so am not much help. I write when the must bites me in the bum (very rarely!) but most times I’m quite exhausted to allow this to happen! LOL!

    Take care

  10. Helena says:

    Old Kitty – I think you’re right about the homing gift being evolved out of us, while animals have kept theirs. I’m sure Charlie and Gumtree know when you’re coming home.