Writer procrastination, brought to you by the letter B


Welcome to Day B of the A to Z Challenge. What you will learn this month is: 26 Ways to Procrastinate a Writer
2. The second way to procrastinate a writer: BEACH balls

Granted, just about any ball will do, but some options are better. Bouncy balls are hard and tend to play hide-n-seek with you, winning because they lodge themselves under the couch and hunker down until you get new furniture. Footballs can break windows, and baseballs can knock over frames and break glass. Very few houses have a basketball court hoop in their living room. Nerf balls are soft but bland: their bouncing consists of a soft plunk on the carpet or a withering slunk down the wall. A desktop basketball Nerf combines both, but this game may become annoying as the writer gets up every 15 seconds to pick up the ball just to toss and miss again.

The beach ball is ideal because there are multiple sizes to coordinate with a small office or a large deck, and since it is soft plastic filled with air, the risk of physical or material damage is minimal. In fact, there is a pleasant pa-doink sound when the ball hits someone on the head. The beach ball makes a great distraction as the urge for a writer to play overwhelms the task of typing. Setting a beach ball back and forth across a room or in a circle of chairs reminds the writer that there is a world outside their cramped computer desk or writing corner, and one should never let Life pass you by. Finally, the colors are cheerful green-yellow-red-blue, reminding the writer of tropical vacations and relaxing times under palm trees, thoughts more worth ruminating on than writing–unless the writer is crafting a fun-filled sandy scene. Writers, however, rarely write fun stuff that doesn’t feel like work to them, so this is an unlikely situation.

Jayne is Write Beside Herself

“Tomorrow’s Friday,” Tom said in his teasing voice.

“Yes, it is,” Jayne replied, tossing peppers into the stir-fry.

Friday, she thought. The end of a week, another great, unproductive writing week. Yeah, Tom can relax, but not me. I haven’t earned that. Unless. Well, I can get up early Saturday morning and get some writing done before Tom gets up. Maybe he’ll want to visit his folks, and I’ll just say that I need some time to…to what? To finish my character, yeah. If I knuckle down and bang out maybe 2000 words or 5000 more, I can drive over there in time for dinner. Then I can relax and maybe we’ll see a movie.

Better yet, she continued thinking, maybe he’ll want to hang with his friends. That’ll be great, I won’t have to make up an excuse or anything.

Jayne turned around to look at Tom. Please let it be that.

“The weather’s supposed to be good,” Tom said. “Do you want to go to the beach on Saturday?”

Jayne felt her brain muscles freeze, her mind and vocal chords struggling for dominance. She pushed the vegetables around in a circle then pushed them into each other “That sounds nice,” she said, taking a breath, but the pause said more than her words.

“Or I can go and just scam shorties at the beach,” he laughed, raising his eyebrows.

“Ha, ha. If you think you can find better than me out there, go for it.”

Tom walked out of the room, and for a moment, just a moment, Jayne thought he might be serious. When he didn’t come back in, she wondered, Did he just go to the bathroom or is he in our bedroom packing? That’s just silly. She concentrated on making sure each piece of broccoli had the same amount of oil on it before she added the chicken. Did she miss a spot on that side of the pan?

“Look what I found in the closet,” Tom called. Two seconds later, there was a white-blue blur to her left and a soft pa-doink on her head a heartbeat later.

“Owww, Tom, what the–? You almost spilled dinner.”

Tom strolled around the kitchen and grabbed the beach ball off the counter. “Sorry,” he said. “Remember when we got this?” He tossed it up in the air. “We drove down to see that band last year.” He tossed it up in the air again. “Everyone was tossing beach balls, and you were smiling so much.” Tom bounced the ball on his wrist. “I bought you this as we left.” He caught the ball and held it secure on the counter.

Of course she remembered that. He asked her to move with him the following Friday, over dinner at– The memory caught her as she studied the stir-fry. They were eating at Stu’s Stir-Fry Studio when he asked. She’d had the beef special. Special. Their restaurant.

She looked at Tom; he stared at her, but he might have well been staring through her heart. “Sure that sounds nice. I could use a break from this.” She tossed the chicken in and heard it sizzle.

<to be continued>


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Susan Gourley
    Apr 08, 2015 @ 22:05:42

    I’m a great procrastinator. Haven’t tried beach ball yet. Are you still participating in A to Z. I couldn’t find your more recent posts.


  2. Heather M. Gardner
    Apr 09, 2015 @ 21:45:54

    Thanks for joining in the chat!
    Will you be posting more?

    Heather M. Gardner
    Co-host: Blogging from A to Z April Challenge
    Blog: The Waiting is the Hardest Part [http://hmgardner.blogspot.com/]


    • dwhirsch
      Apr 24, 2015 @ 11:13:51

      Yes i am. Slowly working my way back-back thru alphabet, a delay due to work, minor house disaster and the subsequent cleanup, illness and vaca. Hope youll come back for more.


  3. J.L. Campbell
    Apr 10, 2015 @ 22:30:30

    I can see how a beach ball can be a distraction.
    J.L. Campbell – The Character Depot | A-Z Challenge Co-Host


  4. Arlee Bird
    Apr 13, 2015 @ 13:43:17

    I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for the next installment. Don’t procrastinate too much longer or you’ll be taken off the list.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out


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