Playing Hooky (Well, Sort Of)

Today, I played hooky. Well, sort of played hooky. I’m writing this entry, after all, and after I’m done, I kind of sort of want to drop in on Hero and Heroine for a little bit. You know, to see how they’re doing, and all. Make sure they don’t feel too neglected after the weekend, that sort of thing. Touch base. Set up for tomorrow.

I didn’t start out intending to shirk responsibility. I got up early, had breakfast with Housemate, and tackled some email before lugging a load of laundry to the Laundromat, which is where the whole hooky thing started. There’s reading I should be doing (aha, there’s that sneaky should) for pending posts on other blogs, and there’s writing I owe, and good gravy, is there work to be done on both Her Last First Kiss and the Beach Ball, but I’m also feeling rather crispy crittered, as Real Life Romance Hero would put it. The bits of conference workshops on recovering the joy of reading and writing pounded at the inside of my skull, and so, with a reckless abandon, I called up one of the books on my phone. Not the eARC I should be reading, but Jezebel’s Blues, by Barbara Samuel, a classic contemporary romance I’ve been wanting to read for years, because A) it’s set in her Gideon, Texas world that I first discovered in The Sleeping Night, a twentieth-century historical romance/women’s fiction with a contemporary frame, and B) I am twirling-around-in-circles-in-fields-of-daisies in love with both her use of language and skill in finding the intimate emotion of the story. In short, I needed it. Needed to get out of my head and into my heart, because, you know, romance writing and all.

So, I started reading . The voice and the story washed over me like the river whose flood brings Eric and Celia together in Jezebel’s Blues. Oh, yes. This is why I love romance. This is why I write. This is what feels like the most natural thing in the world. This is what I want and need to be doing when I sit down to work. The dryer cycle ended before I even knew, and I closed the reading app with great reluctance. Still, the story simmered.

This was Real Life Romance Hero’s day off, and, crispy crittered as he was himself (both Mother’s Day weekend and graduation weekend are tough on the restaurant business) he asked if I’d like to have lunch at a local pub we’ve been meaning to get back to for long enough that, when we were seated, they had a whole new menu. We had this:

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I had a Diet Coke, he had a Guinness, we spent some time focusing on each other. Talked about how we wanted to address the whole desktop situation, since the original plan fell through, and the laptop is feeling the strain. Plus, I miss my Sims, and we’d both like to take a shot at Fallout 4 and Skyrim. I throw out the idea that maybe we could just hang together after lunch, watch a little TV at home, and then I can come back fresh at this whole writing thing tomorrow. We debated taking a walk through the park, for baby waterfowl watching, but nixed that, due to the strong wind chill. It’s May, and we refuse to be cold in May. So, home, Kitchen Nightmares, and…here I am.

With permission to kick off and do nothing, I reached for the laptop to fill some pages, not because I had it on the schedule, not because I should, but because that’s what I  want to do. No pressure, just the fun of putting my imaginary friends through the wringer, because I know it’s going to be worth it in the end. For them, and for me. I didn’t feel deprived. I didn’t feel distracted. I didn’t feel dry, or as though I had to drag individual words out of nowhere. I felt…relaxed. Natural. In touch with my story brain. This day of giving myself some space and taking in what I want to put out may not have been that wasteful after all. Maybe I need to do this more often.

 

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