I’m waiting for my editor to read pages of my new novel and to get back to me. She is a thoughtful and incisive editor, and whether she wants my novel or not, she will have nice things to say about it. I’m not worried about what she will say, but I’m having a hard time focusing on my work while I wait for her to read. Waiting around for editorial notes makes me think I want a different career. Something steady and craft based, like blacksmithing.
I hate to wait for anything. Pretty sure this is an ADHD thing. Having to wait for anything makes me want to set stuff on fire, metaphorically speaking.
Okay, I have literally set stuff on fire, but it has been a while. There was that one time when I was waiting for my first EGB (evil genius boyfriend) to finish an odious and protracted point during a dinner table discussion. In a fit of impatience, I waved my napkin through the candle until it caught fire. Because my napkin was a paper napkin, it burst immediately into showy, oversized flames. This was certainly not my intention. To avoid being burned, I dropped the flaming napkin on the nearest thing, which happened to be a pile of paper napkins. The whole table turned into a bonfire.
In my defense, the EGB had just quoted Nietzsche, and he knew how I felt about Nietzsche. I was never quiet about this. I’m not in any way condoning lighting stuff on fire to make a philosophical point about nihilism, but I do think if you are the kind of guy to quote Nietzsche at the dinner table you should probably expect flames. I’m just saying.
But back to my metaphorical fire. Generally, if I want to set something on fire, it’s by doing something else, when I should be working on writing.
This morning my husband got up hours before me, made coffee and binge-watched Mountain Men. I stumbled into the room where my husband was watching TV, and he presented me with a a cup of coffee. Nice.
Most of Mountain Men was about guys chasing down bobcats with a pack of dogs. My sympathy was definitely with the bobcats. I couldn’t even feel bad for the cameraman who was attacked by one of the bobcats. I have a cat, and I know that when a dog barks, the nearest person turns into a tree—a tall climbable object. The bobcat's attack of the cameraman wasn't personal. He simply was the nearest tree.
Not all of the Mountain Men were making a dubious living hectoring glorified house cats. One was living in Arkansas, making knives to order on the internet using a homemade blacksmith forge. What a perfect mix of old and new technology! While the Mountain Man pounded and shaped and quenched the metal in a pan of oil, his wife hand-crafted a leather handle for the knife. They were perfectly happy and in agreement. They drank speckled tin cups full of coffee heated over an open flame, and compared their respective handiwork. I turned to my husband.
“You know, we could set up a forge in the backyard. We could make knives on the internet.” I said.
My husband was not convinced.
“I'm pretty sure that by the time we learn blacksmithing, your editorial notes will be back.”
Very true. MY husband is a genius of patience. But not evil, which is the best sort of husband.