Thursday, June 19, 2008

Beautful Silent Slice of Heaven

I tried to be a good mother yesterday. Mostly because I knew my mother was tired (my kids wear her out!), and I knew I shouldn't neglect them just because I hand extra hands. I think I did pretty well. We took the kiddies to the library and we even stayed for story time! Have any of you gone to story time at the Provo Library? No? Yes? Well, honey, let me tell you, it's like a mosh pit of children, with tired, bleary-eyed parents looking on with grim faces. Hundreds of people (there had to be at least a hundred or more, I swear) crammed into the circle, hoping to glimpse a mediocre puppet show and story book reading. Oh, don't get me wrong, the kiddies adore it. LOVE it. I just find the whole thing a tad tedious, and so we don't go every week. But I should, you know. I really should. My kids had a great time yesterday. So, yeah. We'll go back to story time. Sigh.

After I helped feed the children and put #4 down for a nap, I headed to the conference. Today was different because we didn't have classes or a main session. We were able to mingle with some of the authors, but then it was Registrant Writing Time.
I spent approximately 4 1/2 hours listening informally to authors, buying books at the tiny make-shift bookstore (I bought Nine books by Nine different authors and tomorrow, they will all sign them for me! Hooray!), talking with the same college friend I ran into on Monday where we critiqued each other's various manuscripts, writing, editing, going through notes, and then reading. For One Hour and Forty minutes, I sat in silence and read. I read This is What I Did: by Ann Dee Ellis and I was simply mesmerised. It's a great book written from the viewpoint of a 13/14 year old boy in kind of a journal format. I truly loved this book.
The best part? Not one interruption. NOT ONE INTERRUPTION! For nearly three hours! Can you believe it? Silence and time. It was a slice of heaven. Complete slice of heaven.
By the time I drove home, the slice of heaven carried me into the house and I was more than happy to hug my children, make them dinner, and listen to their whining. Okay, maybe not so much the whining, but you know what I mean.

[Side note: My friend, Ann, taught a Healthy Eating Class for Enrichment last night. My mom came with me and we had a grand time. Ann did a fabulous job! You did, hon! You did great! I'm glad you did it. Maybe one day soon I'll post about the whole healthy eating thing since it's such a great subject...]

In closing, here's some more writing! Each day during the conference, they offer some writing contests. Usually the contestants have about three hours to read the prompt and submit their entry. Yesterday morning, the writing prompt was entitled "Clueless Author" and here were the instructions:
For Writers: Explain to your writing mentor, editor, or agent why your latest manuscript, [fill in an outrageous book title here], about [fill in an unmarketable premise here], would be a bestseller. Limit your response to 300 words or fewer. Typed or clearly hand-written entries that are double-spaced are preferred.
How exciting, eh? And now, for your entertainment, here is my entry (I have to give a shout out to Bythelbs, because it was her consistent sock monkey posts that inspired me!):

Dearest Mr. S.P. Tinklehoffer, Grand Master of Editors:

I would like to submit my latest work of genius, The Wild, Wonderful, Wacky, Wistful Wisdom of Three Tree Slugs and Four Argyle Sock Monkeys, for your
consideration. My kids love it, so I know you will too! How I have gone this
long without publishing it has surprised all of my closest relatives, especially
my mother.

The Wild, Wonderful, Wacky, Wistful Wisdom of Three Tree Slugs and Four Argyle Sock Monkeys is a story set in rural England, where, unbeknownst to all of mankind, tree slugs and sock monkeys share many of the same hopes and dreams. Relish in the world of how four humble sock monkeys and three competent tree slugs find themselves despairing over unrequited love. Mourn with them when they find, to their horror that death may be around the corner because of increased Sodium production and a sudden decrease in Scottish fashion. Rejoice when the tree slugs find their purpose within the world of the argyle sock monkeys, where both species combine for one glorious afternoon at little Susie’s tea party.

This book will change the world. I am confident that you will agree, so I am
including money for pre-production, some author photos for the book jacket, and
a tentative schedule for a nationwide book tour. My phone number is
555-555-1234, and I plan on waiting for your phone call day and night.

Can’t wait to go Bestseller!

P.S. What do you choose to do when you have beautiful moments of silence without interruption of any kind? Or have you ever had those moments?


Susan M said...

Often I tend to waste those quiet moments because I'm so unprepared for them.

I've had family visiting for two weeks and today's my first day without anyone here. I'm kind of still in a daze and I know I'm just going to do nothing all day.

Julie said...

The first thing I thought when you said you had 3 hours to read uninterrupted was that I would totally fall asleep. I won't lie. If I had 3 silent hours to read, I'd fall asleep -- not because I want to, but because I just plain would.

I think if I could plan for those moments and knew I would have uninterrupted time, I would sew and make cards -- two things I'm really far behind on. And little gifts for friends. Yup, that's what I'd do. And sleep.

Ann said...

LOVED your book proposal. I think you should actually write that book! I'd read it! (But only 'cause of the cool author.)

Let's see, with 3 hours? I'm going to have to agree with Julie and say SLEEP. I miss sleeping. But if I had 3 hours to myself and wasn't tired? I'd go shopping for some new clothes. I've found that clothes shopping for myself is just something I don't do anymore with 4 kids. I can't take them all into the dressing room with me 5 times and expect them to behave whilst I try to do Houdini dress changes. Plus I get to look at myself in the mirror for all of about 10 seconds to decide whether the clothes fit well (which, let's be honest....most of the time they don't). So I would go buy myself some new clothes! And spend at least a full minute in front of the mirror in each outfit.

ps Thanks for coming and supporting me last night!

Anonymous said...

I can't remember the last time I had uninterrupted time--at least not at regular hours of the day. I would probably sit around wondering what to do and then read and then fall asleep. Ooh, that's so sad.

Jeanette said...

I really enjoy these posts about the writing conference and your writing. Very nice.
3 hours of no interruption? I'd spend it outside basking in the warm sun either working in my newly planted gardens or reading.

Jumbo Shrimp said...

I'm with the others and probably would just fall asleep unless it was a super good book that I couldn't put down. If I had uninterrupted time I probably would just wonder what to do and sit at the computer still bored..LOL I really should think of things to do in that situation--oh wait it hardly ever happens! LOL

The Motherboard said...

silence? what's that?