Fiction Holiday

I hate deadlines! I’m told I was born late...past my due date. Maybe that’s why I have found myself doing things at the last minute...procrastinating...it must be in my blood. I was almost late for my own wedding! After forty years it’s etched into me...I seem unable to change.

As I ponder my predicament I look out the window and watch the snow, hoping to be filled with inspiration...with the words I need to reach the 1,000 word minimum or even the 3,000 word maximum...I ‘ll settle for somewhere in the middle. I pray the God of Words will provide me with the words I need.

I take a sip of my black coffee and push a blonde curl away from my forehead...I usually put milk in my coffee, but I’m trying to stay awake and focused, so I left out the milk. I squint at the computer and add a couple sentences before being drawn back to the window and the snowflakes swirling under the street light. I click on the weather icon at the top of my computer screen. It’s 18 degrees with a 10 mile an hour wind, out of the north. Brr...I shiver, although it’s warm enough in the house. Still I get up and throw another piece of split wood onto the fire.

“Honey, do you want to watch the countdown on television with me?” Brian, my dear, sweet, understanding husband is standing in the doorway dressed in his Christmas sweater (the nice one...not the ugly one).

“I’ll join you, as soon as I finish this.” I look at my solar Seiko watch, the one Brain gave me last year for Christmas. I have my own countdown to worry about. Why do I do this? I put other people on hold because I keep putting my writing on hold...usually until the last minute. Although I must admit that words sometimes flow faster when the clock is ticking down to the last few hours before a deadline.

Focus, I tell myself, and this time I write a whole paragraph before looking out the window again. It’s still snowing...I think the forecast is for 3 to 4 inches. The kids will have fun making a snowman tomorrow...I might join them. 

How easy is it to get fingerprints off of a cigarette butt? I leave the document page I’m working on and click on my open browser to search for details about getting fingerprints from cigarette butts. Hm, not very likely...maybe my main character can fool the suspect.

After about two more paragraphs (I’m making progress now) I come to another roadblock. How long does it take to get DNA results? I’m sidetracked again while I do some more research into the ins and outs of investigating a crime. 

I like my character...I like the way she thinks...she’s very creative and has a quick wit. I like people with a good sense of humor...laughter really is the best medicine. A whiff of the bayberry candle flickering on my desk brings me back to the task at hand. Stop digressing and get back to writing and finishing this story so you can join your husband for a glass of champagne and toast in the New Year. You only have 500 words left to reach your goal.

After writing another 100 words I click on “Save” before getting up and grabbing my empty coffee cup...I don’t want to lose what I’ve already written...that happened to me, a few years ago, and I was devastated. 

As I head for the kitchen, Brian looks at me over the top of his wire rimmed glasses and asks, “Are you done?” 

“Almost.” I bend down and give Brian a kiss on the cheek before continuing on my way to the coffee pot. This time I add a little milk before reheating the coffee in the microwave. “I love you honey. Thanks for being so understanding,” I utter on my way past him again.

It’s still snowing. Enough of weather watching...back to work. I sit down in front of the computer, take a sip of coffee and resume thinking and writing. I need to show more details of my main character...what makes her tick? I reread what I have written. I need more dialogue.

Popping and sizzling noises come from the fireplace and I am distracted again. If it isn’t my wandering mind, it’s the unexpected noises, or the falling snow, or the need to research something, or the nagging question...is this feasible? Will I ever get this done, in time? My watch is still ticking and tells me to write faster. Enough...no more personification...watches can’t talk.

Maybe some music will help me focus. I click on my iTunes icon and search through my library. I chose an instrumental album so I’m not so tempted to sing along. After adjusting the volume, I’m back on my document page and ready to steam ahead...aiming for “The End”. 

What do you call a condition which is included in a will? Now I have to stop and do more research to find the answer so I can include it in my story. No wonder it takes me so long to write just one or two thousand words...I have to stop my creative juices from flowing while I look up answers to the questions which keep popping up. Ah, here it is: it’s a condition precedent.

Someone once told me to write about things you know about, but that’s difficult when you’re given prompts to follow. Also, I like to write about characters who want to take me into unfamiliar territory. Most of the time I am following where my characters lead me rather than putting a leash on those characters and taking them where I think they should want to go. 

A glance out the window confirms my guess...it’s still snowing. I return my focus to the computer and watch the words appear...”The End” 


After submitting my story, with fifteen minutes to spare, I join Brian for the rest of the countdown to the New Year. We toast the New Year and seal it with a kiss.

December 24, 2020 22:39

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