My fingers freeze on the keyboard. The creative juices have completely dried up. Tomorrow is the deadline! I am desperate at this point and look around for inspiration. "1001 Article Ideas" the yellow book in the top shelf of my bookcase catches my eye. As I crack it open, a musty smell attacks my nostrils. For several years now it has been on the shelf, wasting and neglected. My husband had picked it up at a book sale and presented it to me. But it had been relegated to the “read” pile, along with other books that have suffered a similar fate.
As I quickly run through the ideas listed on page 3, the phone rings. It’s my father who begins a long-winded explanation on why he needs the driver. “Cut to the chase, Dad” the words slip out inadvertently. For a moment he’s too befuddled to respond. After all, he’s still not come to the reason of the phone call! I assure him that I would return his call in a few minutes and race back to my desk. The ideas are now jumping at me and I’m raring to go. For the next few minutes the sound of furious typing echoes in the living room. Only the quiet chime of the clock can be heard in the background. As I’m halfway through the piece, a sneaky thought appears . Is the writing a tad dull? Does it need a bit of pizazz? Soon enough, alarm bells start ringing in my head. But no, it’s the doorbell – who could it be now?
My sister-in-law breezes in behind the maid announcing, "I need to see my brother!". There’s a light of battle in her eyes. "Close your ears, I’m going to talk to him!" Easier said than done. I’m out of cotton balls at the moment.
Mentally wishing everyone to perdition, I head back to my cozy little corner. The piece is shaping up well. It’s time for that punchline. One that will make or break the article. I run through several scenarios in my head, laugh out loud even as the spouse looks askance at me. When I write the last word of the article, I expect to hear the roll of drums. Or better still the strains of some soft music. Instead I get the jarring sounds of vessels being dropped in the kitchen sink.