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It never seems to fail: everytime I get in The Mood to start working -- really, really working -- on my various writing projects, the distractions start to pile up.

I came home from work the other night with a powerful, nigh-unstoppable urge to eat a fast supper and then spend the rest of the evening scribbling furiously and constantly in my writing notebook. I planned on getting at least a dozen pages -- if not 25-50 -- finished before bedtime. So I noshed down a sandwich, pulled out the notebook, got down on the floor (my only writing desk doubles as my computer desk, and I wasn't about to let my Internet addiction distract me again), uncapped my pen, wrote one word... and the telephone rang. It was my mother, full of fairly unimportant news from my aunt that she nevertheless told me about for almost 40 minutes.

After I escaped, I got back to the notebook and wrote three whole lines before the phone rang again -- it was an old college buddy who rarely calls unless he's going through tough times. And he was having very tough times right now -- he kept me on the line, telling me about the hardships he's enduring with his car, his computer, the cops, girls, the weather, his landlord, his job, etc., etc., ad infinitum, for over two hours.

Then my brother and his wife came over. "Hurrah," I thought, "An excuse to escape this tyrannical telephone!" And sure enough, I was able to use my brother's arrival as an excuse to hang up the phone. But they'd brought over their favorite movie, hoping we could spend some quality time watching it together. What am I gonna say? "Thanks for helping me get off the phone, now get out of my house"? I think not. So we sit there for another two hours watching this movie.

And then it's bedtime. Actually, it's past bedtime. Total creative output: three lines in the notebook. Prospects for writing tomorrow: Not good -- I put off the grocery store, bill payments, and several other chores so I could have this one night free.

Clearly, the Fates want me dead before I can finish my novel...

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