Do you need noise?
I do.I only recently discovered this need for noise, or at least for the right kind of noise.
As a high school teacher and a mom of four, I guess I've acclimated to working with noise. (Check out my Roaringmoms Blog post from February of this year.)
Today the need is most crucially felt.
I sit down to move forward on The Prom List. Those imaginary teens living in my head are more persistent than the real ones I live with. The only way to shut them up is to write it down, right? My biological teens are not home. The day is young, so I get the tea and clear a spot on the desk, settle into my big comfy chair and--
Fred Binx coughs up a hairball. For ten minutes.
Then the overhead banging starts. (I'm still trying to convince my kids that our upstairs neighbors are avid exercises, but I assure you, banging is the correct term here.)
Next comes the ticking. I've lived with that wall clock for six months now. Was it always so loud? Every second ticking away like an irritating reminder that my life is, too, while the page is still blank.
I need cover up noise. Music won't work because I will sing along. I can't sing along and write at the same time. At some point, the brain synapses would cross, and my angsty characters would start belting Bon Jovi. Not a good fit.
Television. That's it.
My television is in the living room, down the short hall from my office. The noise will float in, but I won't be distracted by the screen. Perfect
There's just one problem. Just Like Heaven is on. Now, I realize there are dozens of other channels, but come on! It's Mark Ruffalo and Reese Witherspoon. Just Like Heaven is one of the best overlooked, underappreciated romantic comedies of all time. I can't just keep flipping channels past Mark Ruffalo and Reese Witherspoon. What self-respecting romance authors does that? Besides, what better cover up noise than one of my favorite funny love stories? I mean, I am composing funny love stories. It's gotta be fate, right?
Just Like Heaven plays in the background. I heat up the tea. I check on the cat and clean up the barf, wash my hands and...
"The power of Christ compels you. The power of Christ compels you."
I run back to the living room. Father Flannigan missing Reese with his holy water in an attempt to exorcise her is one of the best scenes. It's followed by the wanna-be ghost busters and "Napoleon Dynamite" channeling her spirit.
And I'm done. I give in. I sit down and watch one of the best overlooked, under appreciated romantic comedies of all time. Sigh. What else am I gonna do? Yes, I'm a prepublished romance writer, but I'm a hopeless romantic first.
So it's an hour later and I haven't fulfilled my noise need. My tea cup is empty. My angsty characters are in panic mode. And my page is still blank. At least the banging has stopped--for now.
Maybe I'll hire someone to kick a soccer ball against the wall or bicker with his sister in the kitchen. My empty-nester writer friends often wonder how we single moms get any writing done at all. I now have an answer for them. It's all the noise.
Dee Linn loves words. When she was in the third grade, her exasperated teacher told her she'd probably talk to a pole, if she happen to be sitting beside it. Not much has changed except that now she says it in writing. She is a single mom of four, a teacher of teens, a cheater at board games, and a lover of life. She's a Kansas girl, but travels to all kinds of places in her head with characters living there, some of which she's sure she's created. Some, she's not sure how they got there. But they are way more interesting to talk to than a pole.