If I have time to write a (belated) letter to Santa, then certainly I can summon the resources to write a formal apology to my followers for the unannounced nonblogathon I completed the week around Christmas. Those of you who read “Dear Santa” will understand that it was a busy time. But it’s not like I was in a coma or anything. I have been busy in the past and managed to blog. So what was different this time? (And no, I still maintain that any lapse is NOT because I was watching back-to-back episodes of House, really. Netflix only allows me one DVD at a time and doesn’t stream the good doctor.)
But for the sake of clarity, let’s do a differential diagnosis:
100 notable things occurring per hour
It’s a short list. Everything points to hyperinput in a weakened state, causing a crash in the system. I kept noticing things, and even grabbing scraps of paper and scribbling down quotes and observations. But there was so much. And at the end of the day, and at the beginning, so few resources to process it. What do I blog about? I would think each day. And then: What do I not blog about? And no one, even my mother, although she would refute it, really wants to read the unabridged version.
In the 2000 movie Wonder Boys, Michael Douglas plays a professor and acclaimed novelist who’s been writing his second book for years. It’s reached over a thousand pages. A student finds the unfinished behemoth in his desk, reads it, and says something to the effect of: “You always tell us that writing is about making choices. But…you didn’t make any.”
Blogging has taught me many things. Time management is not among them. But this is: that writing is about making choices. Writing’s not much different from cooking, or getting dressed in the morning for that matter: a little bit of this, and an awful lot of not that. A lot of the work is in deciding what to leave out.
This morning, on the last day of the year, the Midgets made purple hand prints on the New York Times after painting rocks. I insisted they wear smocks (two maternity tops that come to their ankles, worn backwards and tied around the waist). Gbot calls his smock a “Monet” because Mbot has told him that Monet always wore a smock to paint in. “He has a tiger smock. He got it at Chuckee Cheese’s. Mom, did you know that Monet started out as a talking billy goat?”
I did not. But I know that two months ago, Monet was really really small, and he was a really really old mouse named Googy. When I told Mrs. Pursell this during the parent-teacher conference, she smiled and brought out the photograph of the painter that she’d been showing the class. It was about 1 1/2″ inches high. We all agreed that Monet, if not a mouse, was at least really really old, and really really small.
When you remember this day, this year, what will you leave in? What will you leave out?