Donna Everhart

The Land Of The Distracted

No one’s had to call 9-1-1 yet on my behalf, but I’ve had a few close calls lately that could have ended badly.  I’ve vowed to myself, no, make that sworn, crossed my heart, pinkie promised with my right hand to my left, to be more careful.   I’ve realized I’m so distracted with writing, I’m only half way (if that) engaged in what are supposed to be present moments.

I can’t seem to combine writing and cooking.  Recently, I left the stove on, which isn’t all that uncommon for anyone.  But, we have a gas stove, and you’d think it would be easier to notice when it’s left on, right?

I’d cooked something on low, so the flame was reduced to a small bluish looking ring.  I slid whatever I was cooking off the burner, transferred it to a dish and washed the pot.  Then, I went upstairs to write and about two hours later, I came back down and that’s when I noticed the burner, still on.

Good God, I thought.

The second time was again, with cooking.  Please, believe me when I say I’ve NEVER exhibited such mindlessness in my day to day routines until I started writing.  I put a couple chicken breasts on, (yes, the same burner, yes, using the same pot, yes, on low again. )

I said to myself, “Donna, remember, you’ve got chicken on the stove,” believing if I spoke it out loud, I’d remember better.

I didn’t.

About forty five minutes later, I smelled something.  It smelled real good.

I actually thought, “where’s that good smell coming from?”  🙁

Another 30 minutes later, the smell changed.  I stopped typing.  What is that smell?

Oh shit.  The chicken!

I jumped out of my chair, scaring little dog, and ran downstairs to find a blackened pot and chicken breasts.  They’d just started to smoke, but the smell lingered for HOURS.

Good God, I said again.

The most recent was when I was driving.  My small town doesn’t have a branch for my particular bank, so about once a month I have to drive to the closest one, which is about 30 minutes away.  I was on I-95, going along, thinking about the WIP.  I thought I’d looked in my blind spot to change lanes, but somehow missed seeing the car right there.   Luckily we both reacted quick enough to avoid a wreck.

I guess this means while I’m writing, there ought to be no cooking and no driving.  I’ve had some other distracted moments too, not as dangerous as the ones above, these are more like oops moments.  Like, leaving the soaker hose running all day, or putting clothes in the dryer and forgetting to turn it on, or forgetting to feed my little doggie on time, and leaving the side door open for hours on end, air conditioner blasting.  My hubby sometimes wonders why we’re fighting flies during dinner.

“Um, I don’t know honey, how’s the chicken?  Too done?”

What have you forgotten to do, all because of writing?

6 thoughts on “The Land Of The Distracted”

  1. Forgot to pay bills, start dinner and a long time ago, forgot to pick up the kids. I’ll start a fire in the fireplace and let it burn out because tending the fire is less important then cutting a hundred words from a column or posting on my blog. I sometimes forget to eat…snacks. Funny how I always remember to eat my meals.
    I cannot tell you how many times I have missed the entrance leading to work because writing is going on in my head.
    Just recently I left the oven on 450 with a tray of french fries inside. Now whenever I know i have to step away from the stove I put the timer on.

    What is that funny beeping noise anyway.
    Gotta go.

    1. I’m waiting for someone to one up me on forgetfulness. Those fries are equal to my chicken…LOL! My problem with the timer? I’ll think I hear it beep, or did I? Nah, peck peck type type. Moments later when that burnt smell arrives, then I know, yeah, it WAS beeping. .

  2. Sleep.
    If I go to bed without clearing whatever I’m writing from my mind, by reading or watching something stupid on tv, My obsessive mind writes all night in my (sort of) sleep.
    Not at all restful. I wake about every hour, drift back in. Many times it’ll be the same paragraph, all freaking night.

    Writing takes a lot of energy. For some of us at least, much of the rest of our lives must be cut away, so we have the energy the writing deserves. Things like socialising. Fixing those broken things around the home. Cooking. Holidays. Working what people call a real job. All that money a real job earns us just gives us too many choices that waste our time anyway.

    Writing’s a difficult mistress, and will take all it wants from us.
    If we are writers.

    1. I’ve done that!! Broken sleep caused by writing! That’s probably why I burn chicken et al. It’s sad, but our social life has just about become nil. Hermit like, we are. I think my husband hates it. But, the holidays will be here soon and I’ll be forced to attend some functions. Damn it.

      1. I would be perfectly happy at home 24/7 with vacations at the grocery store once a week.

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