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A Day in the Life of a Writer (presumably, me)

Posted by Cecilia Leger on 10:57 PM

A little while ago, my friend Robert (who is writing a children’s book) described for the rest of us what a typical day looked like for him, living out his dream in his chosen profession. Now, I am not writing full time; however, I thought I might give you, my adoring public, a glimpse into my life as you peep through the keyhole in my front door (you voyeurs). I will relate to you the activities of this past Sunday (yesterday), a day carefully chosen and set aside to pursue my own writing endeavors.

8:00 AM
It’s a brand new day! I make a determined vow to forget how I procrastinated yesterday (and the day before that). So what if I was unable to reach my 2K word goal? I’ll just make up for it today! That’s right…. I’ll write 4K words. And, hey, why stop there. I bet I can get 6K, or even 8K….. I’m unstoppable!!!!!

Which is why I should stop and have breakfast.

I realize that I must go out of the house in order to do this because the only thing that’s edible in the entire apartment is the frost in the freezer and I don’t have any chocolate syrup to pour over it.

Anyway, it should only take me, like, 10 minutes to go grab some McD’s for my Breakfast of Champions meal.

10:37 AM
Time to turn my computer on so I can get started. While the computer boots up, I start to wonder about my belly button. Well, more specifically, my belly button lint. Actually, lest you think me self-centered, I start to tackle this mystery for the benefit of the entire human race.

Seriously, where does it come from? Does it come in peace? Is it influenced by diet?

The computer has finished its various morning exercises and is fully connected to the Internet. Which is great because I’ve got a lot of research to do!

Anyway, it should only take me, like, 10 minutes to find some answers.

12:43 PM
People! People! No need to panic! Turns out belly button lint is completely harmless, and requires no corrective action. Now we call all breath a collective sigh of relief.

Well. No more distractions. Time to wwwwwwrrrrrrrioiiioiisifsiofjs’dfisdj’ofjs’dofgjsd skdfsodisjoisd psofjspdovskx pefus09ihvxokvn popfos j’opsv;lk cvspiefwis pfosjovis


1:52 PM
Kitty climbed up to the keyboard looking for someplace warm to lay down. I’d have moved her but I felt so bad about having neglected her so much lately, what with all my writing getting in the way of running away from her in abject terror.

Of course now the morning’s gone. Still. I’m not panicked. It’s not like I’m a morning person anyway. All I need is a little inspiration. Since I’m writing a love story, it occurs to me that the reason I haven’t been very productive is that I’m not listening to the appropriate music. I need a song. No, I need The Song. You know, the one that just melts your heart because the guy says exactly the right words and promises just enough to make your heart soar, but not so much that you’re like: what kind of idiot do you take me for? Yeah. That one.

There was this song I used to listen to when I was in high school. Something about cactus in the spring time and fog… I think there was fog. Darn! What were the words again? I must find out because my brain has suddenly decided that it cannot live through another day without this song.

It’ll just take me a minute to find it on YouTube.

4:06 PM
Annie’s Song by John Denver.

I knew I’d find it!

Of course, now that I’ve listened to it for the first time in about 20 years, I’m not sure why I liked it to so much back then. It’s kind of depressing. Wow. What a waste of time. I need a break. I’ll just watch TV for a few seconds.

8:39 PM
No way!!!! I almost missed the Giants v. Chargers game… I can’t believe I’d forgotten that was today. Well, to be completely fair to myself, I didn’t really know that they were playing today, but boy was I glad I got to watch that blood bath.

Ha! In your face, Eli! The New York Giants are completely out of the running for Division leaders now, and with both Dallas and the Eagles doing so well right now, they’re not even looking good for being the Wild Card team. I’d be so psyched if they didn’t even make it to the play offs. :) Sweet!

See? NOW that that’s settled, I can sit down to write in peace. Oh, I know I didn’t get to write the whole day, like I’d planned. But I’m a night owl, so it’s all good! The night is young… Wooo Hooo!

11:19 PM
Wow. I must have drowsed off there for a minute….. The cat is sitting on my chest, licking my face so I gather she missed dinner. Hmmm…. Incredible. I can’t remember the last time I fell asleep so early. I must not be entirely over my cold yet. Maybe my body is trying to tell me something.

I should go to bed right now and start fresh in the morning. I know I didn’t reach my 2K-word goal for today. But I’m sure I can write 4K tomorrow.

Heck, why stop there, I could probably do 6K… maybe even 8K….

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Medea

Posted by Cecilia Leger on 12:56 PM

Medea tilted her head back and allowed the spray of water to hit her face full force. The sound of running water had always soothed her, but she hadn't stepped into the shower today to be soothed or comforted today--she was beyond all of that now. What she hoped as she had made the water scalding hot was that she could scrub away the thin layer of cliché that clung to her pores.

Jason's betrayal had done more than deceive her; it had changed who she was. She had become a shallow grave, a faint memory, a déjà vu. The archetypal (her detractors would probably say stereotypical) woman scorned.

How many would ever understand what she'd done today? Would anyone?

She knew that she'd be vilified, but a strange sense of calm had overtaken her.

For Jason, and the ones who'd come before him, she'd been nothing more than a rag to be dirtied and then tossed aside. She had facilitated that by making excuses for them: he's tired; he's under so much stress; he hurts. I can wait. My needs can wait. And so, one after the other, they'd only scorned her, ridiculed her, used her.

But this time was different; she'd made sure of it.

There would be no next time, this time.

As she washed the blood from her hands, she felt an endless nothingness in the place her heart had lived. She had killed her hopes, her dreams, her future. She should have been weeping. Instead, she felt relieved. And in control of her own destiny for once.

There would be no next time, this time.

After her shower, she dressed in simple robes, then walked out to her balcony where the chorus was already assembled. She could hear their wailing and their cries.

"Jason is gone. The children are gone. Oh, Medea, you are left desolate. What is left you?"

She surveyed the crowd stoically. "What do you mean what is left? I am left. Everything is left."

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My Thoughts on Writing Well: Step Aside, Zinsser!

Posted by Cecilia Leger on 2:07 AM

Every so often (every 784,467,901 words to be precise—-but, hey, who’s counting?), I write a phrase that is so beautifully, well, phrased and so accurately punctuated that I amaze myself with my own talent because this phrase, this thing of beauty and perfection, was brought forth from some hidden spot inside my creative brain without any actual work on my part.

Because of this admittedly uncommon happening, I make the very logical, realistic assumptions that (1) every word I write must rise to this level of genius and (2) unless this genius is achieved effortlessly, I’m not really a writer. The natural consequence of this particular line of reasoning is that I give up the minute my writing does not live up to those two self-imposed conditions.

Oh, don’t get me wrong: I’m not a slacker. I don’t give up easily. I mean, there’s a whole routine.

First, I read and re-read the Wonderful, Beautiful, Awe-Inspiring Phrase to remind myself how brilliant I am.

Second, I read and re-read the Wonderful, Beautiful, Awe-Inspiring Phrase again because now I’m beginning to think that maybe I could have written it differently.

Third through infinity, I meticulously pick apart all the other words surrounding the Wonderful (if you’re willing to overlook some things), Beautiful (or at least better looking than average) Phrase.

All this work is tiring. And time consuming.

It’s little wonder I can’t get any writing done!

Anyway, some time within the last few weeks, a weird little thought occurred to me: maybe, I heard it whisper, maybe writing is a craft that can be learned and practiced. And, maybe, the biggest obstacle of my writing career is finding and challenging all my preconceived notions about writing.

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