The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Friday, July 21, 2006

Excuses, excuses...

by Patricia Parkinson

So, I'm not writing. I think, well, it's been hot, and it's expected to get hotter, starting tomorrow! Which would be today as I'm writing this post early, early, not exactly a strong suit with me which has nothing to do with anything but is one of my summer excuses for not writing. It's too hot to think or move my fingers, they swell and sweat at the very thought of it. Hot weather is a well used excuse for everyone from snappy cashiers who complain, "We don't have air conditioning because," they say, and bend over the conveyor belt, "My boss is an asshole!" one such woman told me. I did my best to look sympathetic, to which, for some reason, she, the mad, hot, maybe menopausal cashier felt obliged to tell me the woes of her life that not only included the asshole boss but her "dickhead husband", and then, as if nothing else has happened, she asked, "Paper or plastic?" I wasn't sure how to answer. I bagged my own stuff.

The other excuse for not writing is that the kids are out of school and I want to spend time with them. However, this excuse doesn't work because I write at night when they are in bed. This is not an excuse.

Is the real reason I'm not writing that I'm lazy?


Is it that I feel I have nothing to say. I have no new ideas?

HA! HA! My mind is whirling with stories and plots and great first lines as I write this!

I'm sitting here in my robe and I'm spent,exhausted, and not from any type of physical, huh, hum, activity. I'm tired of shopping and planning and preparing for party after party after party at our home. The next soiree is this Friday night,July 21, 2006, in two sleeps, one of which I work till nine, p.m., the next shift, nine in the morning until six. The party starts at seven. HA! Can I pull it off is the question on everyone's mind, mainly my husband's who is, at any moment, expecting my preparty meltdown to occur.

Parties have been the theme of my summer. I'm not sleeping in. I'm not writing. I'm arranging, cooking and inviting. This is not summer vacation. Summer is usually my most productive season. I love writing in the summer. Sitting outside at night, my laptop humming will my fingertips tap in the quiet, darkness while I create surrounded by candles and my ever present glass of wine wearing some divine lounge wear. Ambiance plays an important role in my writing.

My excuse for not writing, is that I've been planning party after freaking party since my kids got out of school. First, an impromptu dinner of 7 that involved an illegal substance, then came my son's birthday party, our friend's 60th birthday party, a spontaneous invitation to friends I hadn't seen in a long time that was great and tonight there I was, rearranging the backyard again, losing my balance on a step ladder - I climbed up in thongs - attempting to hang white lights in our corner cherry tree, that is not that strong but incredibly beautiful, and in my mind, the white lights have become the newest "must have" for this party. It's a Hawaiian, tacky tourist, well, more Hawaiian then tacky, but you never know. I'll be wearing my new Fantazizer bathing suit that fulfills it's promises of sucking in my tummy and adding to my double A cup, that, and a black and white sarong. I'm set. Maybe I'll get a flower for my hair, this would add one more thing to my to do list, but, I rationalize, I have to go to the flower shop anyway to get the balloon bouquets. I love balloon bouquets. Don't you? And leis, I must get leis, fake ones, you know, to fit in with the motif of the evening, so, the bottom line is this, I haven't been writing this summer because...I'm a party animal.

I can live with this excuse....xoxooxoxox

Post Party

In bed, alone, going outside to the firepit, just me and my husband and his friend are left, sitting beneath the tree with the white lights, sitting in my robe, happy, the party was great, everyone left early and I ran down my street in my bathing suit in the dark. I felt eight and happy and my hair was wet, it was a pool party, we have a pool, and I skipped along the concrete and giggled and my hair is damp on my pillow, and well, it was great and I'm going outside to enjoy the fire...xoxoxo

head count of the night: 54 at the peak of the party

one person got thrown in the pool

no one threw up, yet

we have twenty seven pounds of samosoas and two meat and cheese platters for the rest of the weekend, oh...and I'm hoping some Pinto Grigio, Santa Marghereta...or however you spell it,it was a success and see ya...soon, oh..and next ELLEN MEISTER MEETS THE CANADIAN CHICK...XOXOOXOXOXO


Blogger Andrew Tibbetts said...

There's a reason writers are surly misanthropic hermits. They need all that alone time! I don't have a social life and I barely crank out a flash fiction piece a season these days. If tried to organize and participate in a kraftdinner party for two, I'd cut into that cornucopia of literature. I don't know how you do it.

Although, I was thinking the other day: what do I have to write about? Maybe my problem is I don't have enough social life. I forget how people interact with each other.

Could you write about each of those parties? Maybe a novel, "The Summer of Parties"?

Thinking out loud here! Love your post.

Sat Jul 22, 10:42:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

I'd love to be in your pool! I can't believe this heat. I want a refund -- Victoria isn't supposed to be like this.

Sat Jul 22, 11:17:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger J.A. McDougall said...

I'd love to pop in at one of your parties! Good to hear you're enjoying the summer as it should be enjoyed - with friends and family :)

Sun Jul 23, 01:04:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger Joseph M. Faria said...

I'd love to be invited. You'd have to send me a long, long invitation, not in words but in distances, but at the moment I'll just sit back and pretend I'm there, and that's the one of many things I find in your writing, you're ability to take the reader with you over the bumps and bruises of life, and most often leaving the reader at the end, smiling.

Thanks for a wonderful party, Patricia.


Sun Jul 23, 09:26:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger craig said...

Hey, how do I get an invite to those impromptu parties with illegal substances?
You B.C. folk have all the fun.

I loved your description of summer parties, Patricia. I've had a few of those 50+ bodies shaking in my back yard.

I have a hard time writing in the summer - too many kids bouncing around, parties, and especially this year, killer heat. But somehow it fuels you for the big Sept. push.


Sun Jul 23, 05:28:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Patricia said...

I'd love it if everyone could come for a party!!! wouldn't that be fun? anyway, the last of our company just left!!!

it turned into a three day soiree, the guest list dwindling each day, thank god...and blender has been working overtime, we're out of sunscreen and I think tonight, we're going to rest our tired, sunsoaked bodies and watch a movie...

thanks for reading everyone..xoxoxoo

and cheers to you all..xoxoxo

Sun Jul 23, 08:46:00 pm GMT-4  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enjoyed the piece, Patricia, and the silly bit at the beginning.

Just a wee bit got cut off with the pic. Maybe it can be slid over a smidgen. Diane

Mon Jul 24, 03:20:00 pm GMT-4  

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