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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Writer's Challenge (NOT the FaithWriters Challenge) (06/10/10)

TITLE: Those Sneaky Austrians
By Joanne Sher


12:54pm Well, today's the day. My professor told me that I just needed to set some time aside and protect it, and my goal will be within reach.

So, I did. Three hours once a month, starting in about five minutes. The phone will be off the hook. Email, Facebook, Twitter, and my cell phone will be off limits. This time, the kids will have The Sound of Music and Jenny from down the street to keep them company.

One hundred and eighty minutes to sit in my recliner: computer on my lap and reference books (and snacks) to my left and right. Three glorious hours to let my muse take over and actually make some progress on my novel. Ten thousand eight hundred precious seconds of uninterrupted writing time. I can hardly wait. Better get started. Jenny has to leave at 4pm sharp.

1:10pm Remind me to close the door next time. Apparently, while I was making breakfast for the kids, Evan came in and...um...reorganized my stack of books. I've found about half of them so far, and the cover has only been torn off one (praise God it wasn't a library book). Glad I hadn't opened my can of root beer, though it appears my drink choice will still have to change. Better find the rest of these books before any more time is wasted.

1:45pm Well, I found my thesaurus: under Lily's rear end on the living room couch. That was when I remembered how much I loved this movie. Watching Julie Andrews sing "I Have Confidence" was enough to boost my own-self esteem, and I couldn't possibly get to writing when I knew the scene with the children marching down those stairs was coming so soon. Finally tore myself away when the family finished dinner.

Doesn't mean I'm not humming "My Favorite Things" as I get settled.

2:10pm I wish they'd turn down the volume on that TV. The soundtrack is lousy background music for my murder mystery. Every time I get into the ambiance and start writing those words, I hear the Von Trapps singing, or catch a favorite line from the movie. Totally ruins the mood.

Wish I had earplugs.

2:30pm For future reference: as odd as it may seem, stuffing cheetos in your ears is actually a very effective way to block out background noise.

3:05pm I am SOOO tempted to check Facebook. I just remembered Yvonne had a doctor's appointment about her hip, and I'm sure there's an update there now. Besides, I just found the most remarkable quote on writing in my reference book. Totally tweetable.

No, girl. Time is running out. The muse rules.

3:15pm The muse lost. Yvonne needs to have surgery. And I've already had 3 RTs on that quote. Good marketing, right? Getting my name out is important too - isn't it?

3:30pm Okay - really buckling down now. I will write out this scene. Half an hour? Plenty of time.

3:55pm I did it! Got my scene done. Certainly not as much as I'd hoped for three hours ago, but at least the scene is done.

But wait. I don't remember a hike through the Austrian Alps in my outline.

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This article has been read 1038 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Laury Hubrich 06/17/10
Wow. Ouch. Hurt toes. :) Hilarious rendition of a writer's plight, indeed. I need to remember that Cheetos's trick!
Ruth Clowater06/19/10
Those sneaky Austrians indeed!
Yvonne Blake 06/19/10
Ha Ha Ha!! I didn't know you could do that with Cheerios. Oh..BTW, my hip feels fine! *smile*
Barbara Lynn Culler06/19/10
Your title was a great hook! This was such an enjoyable read.
I find it interesting how we manage to unknowlingly write down things we are hearing around us!
Seema Bagai 06/20/10
Loved the humor in this piece. :-)
Catrina Bradley 06/20/10
Totally relatable. You've described my best intentions to a tee. :)
Connie Dixon06/20/10
So distracted. There's not hope of writing when the music is on - especially The Sound of Music. Very real to life!
Ann Grover06/20/10
Realistic, to the final minute. Enjoyed it very much.
Sarah Elisabeth 06/20/10
Love, love, love! Cheetos and the Sound of Music...can't believe you were able to pull yourself away :-)

Perfect ending ;-)
Susan Montaperto06/20/10
Very amusing and realistic. Cheetos for earplugs, very ingenious. I think. But, what if the dog likes Cheetos? Anyways thanks for the read. Keep writing.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 06/21/10
This was a great way to start a great day with a hearty chuckle and a mental picture of the cat trying to eat the Cheetos stuck in MC's ears.
Verna Cole Mitchell 06/21/10
Delightful--beginning to end. I could so identify with the distractions.
Patricia Turner06/21/10
Three glorious hours to let my muse take over and actually make some progress...famous last words! Oh how you nailed this topic just beautifully!
Rikki Akeo06/21/10
Great snippet into a writer's challenge!
I enjoyed the read!
I agree, the Cheetos advice threw it over the top!
Colin Swann06/22/10
Very amusing - I thought you were name calling the Austrians at first! The Austrian Alps are glorious, walked them a few times over the years. I'm not as keen on 'The Sound of Music' as some of you seem to be. My wife played the record so much after seeing the film I got fed up of it. The Musical of it has just opened in Birmingham - my wife is dragging me there (don't let on I'm grumbling). No, I'll probably enjoy it!
Gregory Kane06/22/10
Mercy, mercy, I REALLY don't need to have any of those inane tunes pursuing me through the rest of today! A delightful dose of distraction
Carol Slider 06/23/10
Oh, fun!! I can relate to this SO well. I love absolute silence when I'm writing, because music will ALWAYS affect what I write. Loved this!
Edmond Ng 06/24/10
Ahhh, the very thing all of us encounter when we are getting down to write—how times fly! A little bit of this and that, a little disruption, and there goes our musing and our story. That's the story of our lives. Great way of putting across what it means by challenges in a writer's life.
Beth LaBuff 06/24/10
LOL! This is wonderful! ...with a great title! I love the way the Sound of Music permeates your writing...and now my brain too! :) LOL. Congrats on your Editor's Choice award!!!!
Laury Hubrich 06/24/10
Congratulations, Jo!!!! Proud of you! Awesome story! Yay for the EC!!!!
Kimberly Russell06/24/10
This was hysterical. I live alone and struggle with distractions so I can't imagine how people write when they have a whole houseful of them! Very funny and well deserved of your high placement. Congrats, Jo, and of course: WOO HOO
ThresiaPaulose varghese11/09/10
Thank you Joanne, for your comments for my articles. Your article is very nice to read. Please do help me to promote my writing.