Sunday, March 4, 2007

The house is still standing

I was warned that the minute I attempted NaNoWriMo, the world would conspire to turn my efforts into a grand waste of time. The good news, though, is that I've so far managed to thwart those efforts. To wit:

On Feb. 28, the night before I'd scheduled myself to begin hacking away at the keyboard, Mrs. T managed to leave an oven mitt too close to a stove burner before walking out of the kitchen for a five-minute break. Naturally the thing caught fire, and I, upon entering the kitchen, thought the chicken piccata smelled a bit, well, chemical.

It was a bit surreal carrying a flaming oven mitt through the house and out the front door. Mrs. T and The Boy were in the front yard, laughing and playing, and wondering what the heck I was up to. After stomping out the flames and cooling the remains with a garden hose, I did caution Mrs. T to be a bit more careful. And yes, I managed to remove the scorch mark from the stovetop later in the day.

The real bullet we dodged? The oven mitt had been about five inches from a standing roll of paper towels. Had the mitt burned any longer on the stovetop, the paper towel roll would have ignited, and the whole kitchen would have gone up.

So, whew.

Then, as I was typing away during the early morning of March 1, I was employing my new "Do Not Approach" signal: an Oakland Raiders hat I wear as a means of garnering increased focus through preventing interruptions. The theory, as I'd shared with Mrs. T for several evenings before embarking upon NaNoWriMo, was if I'm wearing the hat, there are only two reasons I can be interrupted: a deceased animal in the house, or (ironically) the house has indeed caught fire.

Well, after going over that ad nauseum with The Missus, about an hour into my Day One efforts, she walks into my office, sees the hat on top of my head, and stares at me until I remove both it and the world-blocking headphones I'm wearing. Thoroughly interrupted, I look up, only to hear, "Honey, just wanted to let you know I need to get in the shower a little early."

Was that a deceased animal? No. Was the house on fire? Not this morning. And no, she never tells me otherwise about her morning grooming schedule.

One hour into the efforts, and she's already blown through my interruption shield.

So, I'm still managing to get out those daily word totals, despite dodging the bullets of fire and interruption. But I persevere. And I can't wait to see what the next dropping shoe will be.