How Mom writes a novel

How Mom Writes A Novel, a drama in 5000 parts.

Part 482:

“Mom, can I watch TV?”

{set up TV, sit at computer to type}

Kevin and his partner were just finishing up when they got a call about a car accident.  They responded with

“Mom, the DVD isn’t working right.”

{arise, eject DVD, clean DVD, set it up again.}

sirens screaming, racing down the centerline of the

“Mom, can I have a fruit snack?”

“Me too. Want fuut nax.”

{get fruit snacks}

{return to computer}


“Mom, can you type your password so I can play Zoo Tycoon?”

{enter password, return to computer}

as cars dived to the curbs. He arrived to find two cars mangled together like lovers shot by a jealous husband. A Ford Taurus on its back, the side caved in, and a Camry impacted so

“Mom, can I have an egg?”


“How much later?”

“You just finished breakfast.”

“I’m staaaaaarving!”

“Well, you’ll just have to imagine the tragic headline: Breakfast Eaten, Girl Starves To Death In Kitchen.”

hard on the driver’s side it was bent like an L.  A third sedan, make and model

“Mom, did you know that Venus and Uranus will both be at opposition on August 15th, 3168?”

“Put it on the calendar.”

unidentifiable, had its engine in the front seat, smashed head-on into a wall.

Running through the glass shards that crunched like ice

“Mom, he hit me!”

beneath his steel-toed shoes, Kevin went to the Camry and shone his

“Mom, can you get my bear for me?”

“Get it yourself.”

“I don’t know where it is.”

“It’s where you left it.”

“Fine. I’ll get it myself. You never do anything for me!”

flashlight through the shatter-frosted window

“Mom, can I go to Michelle’s house?”

“Sure, but be back in an hour before you starve to death.”

to see there was no way to help this woman.  His partner checked the flipped Taurus, and again, nothing.

“Mom, can I borrow your computer?”


“Why not? You’re not doing anything with it!”

Yeah, I wonder why?

(Text from The Boys Upstairs, coming in December, 2010 from MuseItUp Publishing)


  1. Tanya

    Ah, life interrupted …

  2. Nina

    I feel your pain. I applaud you for working through it, though. And I can’t wait for the next installment!

    1. philangelus

      They go back to school next week, so I’ll have more undisturbed time then (with only one kiddo.) The novella is finished, but I’m working on HAFT whenever I can get thirty undisturbed seconds.

  3. Ken Rolph

    And then they all grow up and move away and you have all this wonderful space in the day just to sit and think and read and write. Let someone else have the kids and take care of them for a change.

    And then they do. These are called grandchildren. So they get brought home for you to spend time with.That’s when you discover that all your discipline for writing around interruptions has entirely vanished.

    We’ve watered every plant in the garden with our blue elephant watering can. We’ve watched every train go past the back fence. We’ve fed the birds. We’ve rolled evey wheel toy (and others) down the ramp — several times. We’ve shared our meals with the dogs under the highchair. We’ve cheerfully gone to bed at 7 . . . and 7:30 and 8 and 8:30, finally to sleep. It only remains for grandpop to pick up a few things and he can get down to the days work.

    So how come it is 1 am? I think I just starred in a new James Bond epic, titled Write Another Day.

    1. philangelus

      I understand it’s a season right now. We only have children for a very short period of time, relatively speaking. Sometimes I think it would be better to be able to jump forward and backward through all the seasons of our lives in order to have time with our kids, then have some solitude, then to childhood for some freedom, and so on.

      1. cricketB

        I agree, it would be nice if the seasons weren’t all-or-nothing for years on end.

      2. Ken Rolph

        I turned 60 last year. At this time of my life I do get all the seasons, sometimes within the same week. For so much of our lives we have to act in an appropriate manner. Then you get to the point where you don’t care about that.

        We were looking at stuff in Hobbyco. Jan asked if I was buying something for Lincoln or for myself. A silly question. Even at just over 1 year old Linc has more than enough stuff to play with. Whereas now there is all this great stuff that wasn’t around when I was young, and I can afford it.

        There’s been some public discussion about the baby boomers, who have inconsiderately decided to live longer and stay alive and healthy. There was an expectation that when the kids left home (eventually) we would want to move into smaller, more compact living spaces. But the kids leaving is just an illusion. They come back quite often and they are more of them.

        This weekend was the son-in-law’s 30th birthday. His friends had a car rally and barbecue instead of a party. Some friends came from faraway places. Late at night it got too late for some to go home. So they all parked here. We keep a selection of foam mattresses and sleeping bags for these occasions.

        We had people sleeping everywhere but in our studies. That right. Studies plural. At some point you do get your own working space all to yourself that you can shut the door on to everyone else.

  4. Normandie

    Love it, Jane. How I remember the toddler under foot, wanting to sit in my lap while I tried to type, the older one rubbing up against my arm because, gosh, mom is busy and that’s no fun. Five AM writing because, hey, it’s quiet, but then by 3 PM all I can think of is sleep, and that’s not going to happen, not when the toddler fell asleep earlier and the older needed mommy time…

    Now they’re grown and I have silence…and I think I’ll be on Social Security before I get a grandchild.

    Enjoy. For someone with as many distractions as you have, you turn out wonderful prose.

    1. philangelus

      Thanks. I admire anyone who can get up early to do work. I have to stretch things out on the other end, and work late at night. Too early and I feel like i’m just not safe to drive or think. :-b

  5. Lucy

    This mom never gets past the third interruption. I want to be you when I grow up. 🙂

    1. philangelus

      LOL! You might want to wait until I grow up and see how I turn out before saying that. 😉

  6. Shannon McNear

    Oh … ROFL!!! This is so true … and it’s just as bad, if not worse, with teens! (Of which I will have five for a mere month this year … )

  7. Jim Kane

    Read this to my wife and she said, “Welcome to my world!”

  8. Colleen

    Too funny! 🙂

  9. The Sojourner

    What’s funny is that I read this post and started doing my sappy grin thing.

    I should probably be careful what I wish for. 🙂

  10. Charlie Volnek

    love it, love it. I remember those days as if they were yesterday. I made my muse be patient, and it’s all worth it. You won’t regret the time you had with your childen. It goes by fast! Still chuckling. Great job.

  11. Mary333

    And I dared complain about my prayer routine being disturbed! How you can write with the constant interruptions is beyond me. Do I have to apologize for laughing while I read this post? 🙂