#Writers, Find the #Adventure in No-#Writing Time.

“Didn’t you know school’s cancelled for today?”

My sons’ backpacks sit alone by the door. My car is the only one in the parking lot. Biff and Bash ask yet again where the other kids are, why can’t they say hi to Mrs. L., why can’t they stay…and I’m wondering all these same things inside, but outside I say, “No, I thought, you know, since they had three days off last week, they had school this week.”

“Oh, never for parent-teacher conferences,” Mrs. A., says with a wave of her hand and a doughy grin. She’s the shape of a cupcake, and just as sweet–Bash adores her, which has helped make the shift to a new school all the smoother. But out of two months, the boys have only had three full weeks of school. There’s always been something to cancel pre-school: screenings, conferences, in-service. For all the teachers’ talk about routine and structure, how on earth is a kid supposed to know that structure if his school can’t function for more than a week at a time?

I could go on. I was ready to go on then, but another parent had come for conferences. I had to figure out what the hell to do with two little guys who didn’t want to leave. The playground was still wet from rain earlier that morning, the air chilly. But by the look of them running up and down the halls, locking them indoors was out of the question. So:

Nature walk!


I take them down the path I visited alone just a few weeks ago. It was a peaceful refuge then.

Now, not so much.


“Mommy, I can give the forest raspberries!”

Yes, I suppose so, Biff.


Bash takes a break from his hunt for caterpillars and wooly bears. I try to tell him it was too cold, but he would not be daunted.

Keeping up with these two is nigh impossible, and there isn’t much for color…


But I remembered my foolish disappointment from cloudy days before. Even in these days, where autumn wraps itself in a mourning shroud, I find life.


Even in the days we have no control, the days where writing time is all but forgotten, there is life. There is life with the little ones who imagine worlds all their own…

“Mommy, this is where we go up!”

Up where, Bash?

“Up into the trees! We’ll walk into the sky!”

Biff is skeptical.

Yet there it is: a story. We could sit and tell a tale of a boy who walked the trees into the sky, who found his wooly bears and caterpillars, who helped them become the rainbow butterflies of dreams.

We could sit. And talk.

Or we could explore and see what else awaits us round the bend.


It is such a day as this, filled with raspberries, chilled fingers, and leaf-covered suckers, that reminds us the no-writing time is just as important as the writing time.

Never squander it.

42 thoughts on “#Writers, Find the #Adventure in No-#Writing Time.

  1. Yes… I recall the day I turned up with my children to discover we’d arrived a day early back from the summer holidays. All three of us were thrilled and went back home to paint… Though I’m a bit shaken that you have had SO MANY broken weeks – as you say, difficult to get a sense of routine going with so many odd days off…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Precisely! Blondie didn’t have so many days off when she attended there. I spoke to my friend who teaches for the public system in Minnesota, and she was just as floored on the number of days off Wisconsin public school teachers are handing out. Yowza. Plus, we were given a list of Mondays pre-school doesn’t meet. Reason? No reason. Ugh.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh NO!
    You were wise, I think, to get them outside and to give them something different to do, with that kind of a wrench thrown into the day! (AND it made a lovely post about using time well!)
    It’s amazing how many early release days and off days our public system has here too. Even in our school-I was thrilled to have my teaching day switched from Fridays this year. There were so many Fridays off that I was trying to do a decent year’s worth of Art and Music with only 25 class periods!!!

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  3. The shots of your boys are ADORABLE. I also love the beautiful images of the woods too. You’re right (write?!) that no-writing time is just as important as writing time. Speaking of which, Rilla is demanding that I stop writing this instant and do something together. Despite the importance of the aforesaid no-writing time, I’ll admit I sighed with frustration…yes, I’m a bad mommy!


    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! No, I had that frustration CONSTANTLY in October; the boys only had 3 days of school one week, four days the next, then another just three days…WTF? Either you have school 5 *)&#$ days a week or you don’t!!!!! Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  4. First, yes, school doesn’t seem to ever have a full week! Though it always surprises me, like you, I want to take advantage of the break in routine. I think breaking routine is incredibly valuable in writing and in life. Even trying a new route to work, or walking a different way seems to excite a different kind of awareness and openness. Too often, I know I look without seeing. The only way to shake open my eyes sometimes is to break an old pattern. Thanks for the post and the lovely pictures!

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  5. Pingback: #writerproblems: Taking a Break | Jean Lee's World

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  7. Time is in such short supply. You never know when the world will shift and opportunities lost. You need to fill your life with as much soul enriching activities as you can. Whether that’s family or writing or whatever, don’t put it off until tomorrow – Sometimes tomorrow doesn’t arrive…xxxxx

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    • I know. Blondie’s breaking my heart right now with this. She wants to go to the humane society tomorrow to work, but I’m so frickin’ behind on work…but I don’t want to say no. Trying to see if a compromise can be found in there somewhere.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s a tough one. Could you make it up to her later. I had a similar thing having to cancel a trip to a local animal place. Agreed a compromise, taking him to a bird of prey centre (a bit further away) a few weeks later. As we went on a less busy day managed to arrange an hours ‘keeper experience’ for him. It was a better option than the one that was cancelled. Plus organised a pizza for the night when we should have originally gone on a trip.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It is tough. I love your idea, though. I have some things we need to get out Madison (the humane society’s in a different town) so maybe she’d be okay running errands with me…and getting pizza or a happy meal or something, and maybe a night’s movie. Ooooo, Secret of NIMH! Or Neverending Story! Mwa ha ha ha!

        Liked by 1 person

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