I just returned from the well-loved Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop in Ohio, where I learned so many things about what I should be doing. I did not see playing Senior Bingo and watching Hallmark romances on the list.
See, those things are fun until you have to wear the figurative cone of shame, which in this case means finding that pile of very important contacts, connections and writing tips a year from now under a pile of stuff marked “THIS WEEK!!!!!” in bold, purple Sharpie.
I’m tired. Tired from traveling, tired from learning, tired from laughing. I had a cumulative four and a half hours sleep over a period of three days. That’s not true. It was more like five. I did lose some sleep because when I laugh so much, something inside me says I should stay up and write and watch lots of TV sitcoms so the humor area of my brain (located very, very close to the chocolate area) can pull in all the funny it can hold and not spill out.
Here’s my plan for this, based on the workshop:
Day 1: Get up early, make a to-do list that includes all things writing-related, about 30 of them, some of which should take, oh , maybe a year. Get car fixed, eat spaghetti, walk, have just one piece of chocolate (with caramel) (that’s darkchocolate) (in case you want to try this weekly plan), and read a really great novel I brought with me to EBWW but had no time to read because of that whole learning thing.
Day 2: Update my blog, wash hair, have cake for lunch, try to write, take a nap, rewrite this list to ease into re-entry (see part about brain contents disappearing.) Postpone daily exercise by a day.
Day 3: Have therapy, remember the “I can write” mantra of the conference, examine if I really want to keep writing as opposed to the equally fulfilling prospect of day trips to casinos, have lots of coffee, and WRITE. Danish pastry? Yes, please. Evening: sleepwalk.
Day 4: Look over notes from last year’s “Columnists” conference in June, put them on top of this year’s “Erma” conference pile, make soup, decide how many times one should may properly use quotation marks in a day of “writing” (to paraphrase an old TV laxative commercial and talking about prunes: “Are two enough? Six too many?”), have tea and a croissant. WRITE, for God’s sake. Update the blog that didn’t get updated two days ago because we all know it didn’t happen.
Day 5: Have pizza and a small (less than the height of a refrigerator) ice cream sundae to reward self. Because it’s the weekend. THE WEEKEND, PEOPLE! TIME OFF! After that, I will definitely get back to writing.
— Kathy Eliscu
Kathy Eliscu is a retired RN and an award-winning writer and columnist whose column “Lightly Roasted” in Maine Women magazine earned her a 2012 National Society of Newspaper Columnists award for Humor. “Lightly Roasted” now appears in My Generation Maine magazine. Her humor columns have been widely published in Maine and beyond. Her novel is Not Even Dark Chocolate Can Fix This Mess. Go to www.kathyeliscu.com for her blog.