Distraction or Procrastination?

I’m spending the day supervising my son as he works off a significant monetary debt that he owes to his mother. The plan was that I would set him to work, be available for questions, and get some writing done.

So far, he’s done a decent amount of work and I’ve been very distracted. However, considering what Bruce Holland Rogers says in Word Work, I wonder if my son is actually the source of my distraction or if I’m distracting myself. I doubt if I would be getting much worthwhile fiction or poetry writing done right now, with him saying “Hey Dad, you know what?” every few minutes, but I could at least be working on revisions or outlining a story.

In Word Work, Rogers outlines several different types and aspects of procrastination, and that’s exactly what I’m doing right now. However, I’m also kind of fooling myself into working around it, because I’m writing something — and that something is acknowledging the procrastination. No, it’s not a good justification for not doing the real writing, but it is making me examine and be aware of the procrastination, and that’s part of the purpose of this creativity journal.

I got e-mail from Melanie Tem today, asking if I would bring my guitar to our next writing class. She wants to examine the storytelling aspects of “Ode to Billy Joe” by Bobbie Gentry. I’ve got the music and the lyrics for that, so it should be fun. I’ve often thought that song was similar to Hemingway’s “The Hills Like White Elephants” in that it hints at serious topics without ever directly addressing them.

It’s about lunch time, so I’m going to go pick something up for Keith and me. He’s doing a pretty good job, but this will only go part of the way to paying back his Mom.


Today I didn’t do much that was creative. I read some more of Word Work, and I played Literati online with my wife and sister-in-law. It’s nice having broadband at home now, but I hope I’ll be able to resist the temptation to waste all my time on it.

Today, I was not successful in that regard.

Failing Memory and Stereos

There used to be a different page here, but I haven’t the foggiest idea what the topic was, and the file is not on my backup tape. I hate that feeling. I guess it’s possible that I just missed a day, but I thought I had an August 29th file in here. Hmmm …

Ah! I remember! I was planning to go to an open mic poetry reading at Coffee on the Lowell this night, but when I got home I found out that my wife had bought me an early birthday present and she wanted me to open it. It was a new home stereo system, and I spent the next hour and a half playing around with it and setting it up. That was a very sweet gesture for her to make, especially since my birthday isn’t for another month!

Anyway, I didn’t make it to Coffee on the Lowell, but I did get inspired to write a silly little poem anyway. Maybe next month I can present it as a small bit of comedy at the open mic.

Sophie’s Wor(l)d Work

As I promised yesterday, I did write a review of Sophie’s World today. I was a little surprised that the review didn’t come out as positive as I expected; I genuinely enjoyed the book, but I’m afraid the review may not come across that way. Thanks to Michael Main for introducing me to Jostein Gaarder’s work. (By the way, Michael, I saw the picture of the neon computer on your site, and I’m suitably jealous.)

I also started reading Bruce Holland Rogers’ Word Work today. I’m definitely biased here, since I’ve studied writing with Bruce, but it felt like he was talking to my soul in the first fifty pages. I didn’t want to return to work after lunch; I wanted to read and write. The man certainly has an infectious passion for his chosen craft.

I also replaced all of the links to my old e-mail address on this website. All new mail should go to lytspeed_web@comcast.net now. If you see any other e-mail links that I missed, please let me know.

Wired at Home

I took off work early today to meet the cable installer, also known as The Savior. The Savior arrived on time, and quickly installed the big pipe in my bedroom. (I’ll let you make up your own jokes there.)

Unfortunately, he couldn’t install a cable jack in the office down the hall; he said something about AT&T regulations regarding passageways in the home, and since my town home unit is is the middle of the structure, he couldn’t do much with outside walls. That means I have a CAT5 cable stretched from the bedroom, over the doors and down the hallway to the office. When I get time, I’ll run that up to the ceiling and secure it more properly.

Initial speed tests varied between 1.1 and 2.0 Mbps download, with 256 Kbps upload. I think I can live with that. My buddy Dave asked me when I was going to be hosting an online Unreal Tournament game now that I’ve got all this bandwidth. I might just have to do that.

I did finish Sophie’s World today, but I spent the evening reveling in the divine glow of fiber optics, so I didn’t get the review written. Maybe I can do that tomorrow.