When I opened the refrigerator and found the pigskin sitting next to the eggs and cream cheese, I knew it was time to get out of the house.
For the last week, I’ve been sick, too sick to write. Oh, maybe if I didn’t have to get up and go to work at the crack of dawn, I could have mustered up enough energy to put a couple thousand words on the page each day.
But having been consumed by the plague, the name I’ve given to the persistent hacking and coughing and fatigue that eventually sent me to the doc for a round of antibiotics and two shots in the old keister, I just didn’t have the energy to write and to teach. Either the writing or the teaching had to be put on hold.
I’m not sure my boss would have understood if I called in sick while sitting with my laptop at Starbucks, so every morning for the last week I dragged my weary body into work and assigned those essays, graded those papers, and did my best to keep all the kiddos from killing each other before the holiday break.
Now, having a day off from school and having regained my strength from my mystery illness, I decided to escape Manchester and to look for my muse in a coffee house somewhere out of town.
I packed up my computer, jumped in my truck and turned up the volume on the radio. I like to drive to music. But a Fox news broadcast preempted my listening pleasure, warning me that there was a wild hog outbreak across the state.
Could the outbreak have anything to do with the pigskin in my refrigerator? I doubted it.
But there was always hope that along my journey I might be swarmed by a herd of them. There’s nothing like a herd of wild hogs that says creativity.
But I encountered not one wild hog. The drive to the coffee shop was painstakingly normal. And the coffee just didn’t do it for me. And the music was just dreadful. What in the world does Danken Schoen mean anyway? And who was that woman singing to me?
As I looked around the shop, I hoped I might find one interesting character that might wander into my current WIP (work in progress), but, alas, these people were just too normal, sitting alone, texting or talking to an invisible friend—alone.
How am I supposed to eavesdrop on their conversations if they won’t speak up? They could have at least had the courtesy of inviting a friend to meet them for coffee.
Bad atmosphere, bad coffee, bad music, and a room full of bores. Well, there you have it. Forget the wild hogs—I’ve been swarmed by monotonous bores.
You would think that I would know by now that I cannot pre-plan adventures that result in ideas for my books and blogs. I must stumble upon them—hence the name of the blog, SerendipiTee.
But I was hoping the pigskin in my refrigerator and the radio report of the wild hog threat were omens that a stream of creativity was on the way.
You see, at the beginning of November, I committed to NaNoWriMo. In less than a week I am supposed to have 50.000 words logged in. I only have 40,000 to go.
But I was sick! I was sick!
Who cares? NaNoWriMo, she don’t care. If I don’t come up with 40,000 words, I fail, and there’s nothing a sounder of wild hogs can do about it. (In case you are wondering, during my boar-dom at the out-of-town coffee shop, I resorted to a mad Google search and discovered that when referring to a group of wild pigs, one says sounder, not herd.)
So I sat there for another 15 minutes, waiting for my muse to walk through the door. And by muse, I almost always mean my “a-muse” because I draw my greatest creativity for those things that are just preposterously hilarious.
There’s nothing funny about a woman singing “Danken Schoen.”
I finally gave up, dumped the coffee, and drove back to Manchester. Want to guess what I heard as soon as I turned on the radio? You guessed it—another report of wild hogs ravaging the countryside.
Where are these wild hogs when you need ‘em?
Desperate for something, anything, to spark my creativity, I returned to my home coffee shop and ordered another drink. The barista, probably noting that I was hyped up on caffeine and half crazed, said, “Let’s make this one a de-caf.”
And here I am. Sitting a table in the corner, listening to smooth jazz, and….answering my cell phone.
You’re not going to believe this. It’s a fundraiser rep calling, reminding me that I still owe for the HAM I’m supposed to pick up tomorrow.
But I’ve already paid for the ham—I shelled out two twenties and four singles. I’m sure of it, but the caller has no record of it. She says I have to pay. I’m sure it’s an oversight.
Guess I’m going to get my excitement after all.