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Full Stop

It was 11:30 yesterday morning when I clicked the final button to upload Emperor Pius Dei to the printer’s FTP site. My computer threw up a progress bar which told me it would take 23 hours to complete. A full day of uploading time, and nothing more for me to do but wait. I had dozens of other projects waiting on me. I had plenty of things to do. Instead I stopped.

Stopping was not a conscious choice on my part. At first I jittered about trying to get things done, but it was all scattered and fractured. The deadline fear which kept me moving at top speed for the past week had vanished. The only thing I could do was watch an extremely slow progress bar. I actually did that for awhile. Or rather my eyes watched the bar, my brain went larking through fields of thought without bringing a thing back. When I attempted to gather thoughts, they slid away from me and vanished.

Usually when I achieve that level of mental burn out, I give up and watch television episodes for awhile. Except my preferred method is streaming through Netflix, which uses the same internet connection through which I was trying to upload. I ended up buying a very fluffy book for my kindle instead. It was the literary equivalent of a sugar wafer cookie, filled with sweetness, sameness, artificial flavors, and prone to give me a headache if I get too much. I switched over to Enchanted April, which I discovered free in the kindle store. It is a story about women in gray and rainy Britain who escape for a month to a castle with warm breezes and wisteria in bloom. While there they discover things about themselves which they can take home to make their lives happier. The thought of lounging in a chair near blooming wisteria sounds lovely to me. It sounded lovely two decades ago when I first saw the movie based upon the book. That lovely thought led me to plant wisteria along my back wall. It has not bloomed yet this year. The weather has been too cold. When it does bloom, I need to remember to lounge next to it in a chair. Then I could close my eyes and pretend I’m in a castle. I’ve barely started the book, but I look forward to the escape it represents.

This morning my computer tells me that the upload will take another two hours. Fortunately my brain is in better gear today. It began composing a blog post. Or rather it began throwing ideas at me. This is the topic, and this should go in, also this, and this, and that. So now that the kids are off at school I need to sit down and assemble the loose notes into a coherent train of thought. Perhaps by the time I’m done the upload will also be done. Then Howard and I will go out for a celebratory lunch date.

2 comments to Full Stop

  • Laura

    When I’m in that mood I often choose short story collections, usually the themed collections edited by Martin Greenberg, because my brain can’t focus on a novel-length plot but because the stories have a theme, I feel like I’m reading something longer.

    • Interesting. I actually find short stories harder when I’m brain fried. They force me to learn a new setting with each story. Anthologies are great for me when my snippets of time are small, but my brain is prepared to think.