The escaping to write theory didn't work to well. It might have except for Mr. P. I'll explain. I had gone to the bookstore and taken up a seat in one of the quads of chairs that are in the cafe. I had me strawberry Italian soda sitting on the coffee table in the middle and pulled out my knitting. It was like a homing beacon for Mr. P. (not his real name). Mr. P. is an older man with wild bushy gray hair and a beard that can best be described as grizzly. He always wears this gigantic wood cross around his neck. It's huge. He also always wears some sort of t-shirt that has the word GOD or JESUS in equally enormous letters. I have no problem with people expressing their religious beliefs. I just wonder sometimes about this man's obsession with his own (and if you could meet him you would agree it is an obsession not simply a fever.) So yesterday it was a GOD t-shirt and he sits down across from me and watches me knit. And then he starts talking. "What are you doing?" "Is it hard?" "How did you learn?" Then he tells me how his mother made an afghan once and his sister stole it from his rightful inheritance. I continue knitting. Then he asks me if Jesus' mother may have knit. I explained, patiently, that most likely she wouldn't have as we have no extant (had to explain that word as well) pieces or tools from that region or time. I return to knitting. Then he wants to know if I would teach him. I smiled as nicely as I could and said that I was a professional instructor and he could go to JoAnn to sign up for classes. I decide that my knitting is too distracting for him and maybe if I were curled up in my notebook he would get the message and leave me alone.
I pull the notebook and pen out of my bag and set to writing. Things are flowing, but there is that weird feeling that you get when someone is watching you. Sure enough Mr. P is staring at me. I don't make eye contact. It's the first rule of the wilderness when encountering wild animals. I scribble some more. The words are finally starting to flow. I'm in my groove. I reach for a word that is escaping me momentarily, causing the pen to cease its flow of ink on the page and Mr. P says, "You might as well write a book." I give him a tired smile and say, "I am. I came here to get away from distractions so I could write." He doesn't get the hint. "So is it a book about knitting?" I try not to sigh. "No, it's a fiction novel." I click the end of my pen a few times and start writing again. His voice interrupts the flow again. "You shouldn't write books about fiction. You should write about things you know."
I pretend I have a telephone call and then sigh because I'm being called away.
I return home. It's actually quiet here and there is no annoying person asking me questions as though he is my friend. And then my daughter calls and tells me that there is this fantastic sale at a clothing store and she needs some clothes. I go and find that there really is a good sale going on and $42 later and eight pieces of clothing in a bag, I finally make it home. I just make it into the book and am finally enjoying where I am going with the story when the children remind me it is dinner time. When did that happen? Sure enough it is six o'clock. I stop, get dinner (thank you Publix for rotisserie chicken). I decide to take a break (as though I really need one) and watch last week's episode of Saving Grace. Finally around eight o'clock I return to the computer. At eleven thirty-eight I type the words THE END at the bottom of my last page. 54,846 words in ten days.
Now the editing begins.
And today I'm making cheese.