a new level of psychosis

Some time ago, my son committed the Class B misdemeanor of playing with a Batman bounce ball in the apartment. His sentence, of course, was a scolding and confiscation of said bounce ball.

I was on the computer at the time - aren't I always? - and slid the ball under my desk to keep it from being unconfiscated by sneakiness, something His Majesty thinks I don't know he does.

I found that it made a great footrest. I'd prop my feet up on it, and when bored or working through a plot problem, I'd sort of roll the ball between my feet. My way of saying Om.

A couple of days ago, he found the ball. And unconfiscated it. I couldn't exactly protest. It had been confiscated for months, far beyond the scope of the Class B misdemeanor.

I can't seem to write.

It's been a struggle the last two days, after at least a week of smoothish sailing. I seriously spent the last ten minutes searching my house for the stupid bounce ball. Even now, my whole balance is off. I've got the Creeplow encounter and the entire climax of the book to slog through in the next twelve to 24 hours, and I can't write because I don't have the Batman bounce ball under my feet.

This is a new level of psychosis. Sometimes I think I'm honestly not meant to write on deadline. That's quasi-hilarious, since I live my day job by deadlines. I'm very good with deadlines at work. For eight years, I knew I had to finish my story by 5 p.m. so I could leave by 5:30 and make it home in time to pick up the boy before 6 p.m. came and they started charging me a dollar a minute. That meant if I didn't have all my reporting done by 4 p.m., I needed to press the panic button and warn the editors that it wasn't coming. It meant if my writing wasn't done by 4:30, I wouldn't have time to reread, edit and add detail.

In fiction, I find the closer the deadline comes, the harder it is to slog through the book. To the point where my feet are aimlessly circling the carpet under my desk, seeking a rubber ball that isn't there. Where in heaven's name did he put it?

My ridiculous search - including sneaking through his room and attempting not to wake him - reminds me in a wry, chagrined manner of an early WEST WING episode. Sam and Toby wander the building, both afflicted with writer's block. "Somewhere in this building is our talent," Toby says. "It can't have gone far," Sam says.

It can't have gone far. And how much sillier is it that as soon as I post this blog entry, I will go check the patio closet for the rubber ball. He might have put it in there.


  1. Anonymous7:23 PM

    I don't find it that weird... I tend to need to fidget with things in order to concentrate - so, needing a ball for your feet to fidget with isn't so different from having a tangle or other puzzle type toy in your hands while you're thinking... You're constantly typing - having a fidget toy in your hands isn't as efficient - so you're letting your feet have all the fun...

  2. I appreciate it that even you have deadline problems for non work related writing. Makes me feel there's hope for me.

    Why not just ask Kiddo if he can keep the ball under your desk when he's not using it. Keeps him out of trouble and keeps your feet happy.


Post a Comment