Kitsune portrait painting by DJ Geribo

I’ve been taking Masterclass for going on 3 years now and one of the first authors I watched on this valuable program was Joyce Carol Oates. I remember her specifically talking about protecting your time. “Being interrupted”, she said, “is bad for writing…you have to get away from interruptions…. It destroys the imagination.”

I would have to agree with her. Although in my home it is just me and my husband, we also have two dogs and a Cockatoo. Now the Cockatoo is the least troublesome but he does also occasionally want attention. But between the dogs and my husband, sometimes I feel like I have no time to myself at all. If I’m not putting one or both of the dogs out (one is 17 years old and literally can’t hold her water as well as she once did, nor can she see, or hear as well either) my husband just got off the phone with a client and wants to share his news with me. And did I mention sometimes 3 meals a day and then there is clean-up and laundry and regular house cleaning like vacuuming and mopping, particularly if I didn’t get to put the oldest dog out in time (since my husband is the major bread-winner, I made this ‘deal’ with him more than 15 years ago when I left my then job as a technical writer to pursue writing/painting full time- I became a wife who takes care of the house – not to be confused with housewife.)

I do have a studio that is set up for my painting when I have to get away from it all and escape to my private space above the garage, when I take a few minutes to use the bathroom downstairs and make myself a cup of tea, there is the inevitable pee from the oldest dog or some other such surprise.

And then I might lose it. Meaning screaming, slamming doors, you know, the usual temper tantram dramatics. But seriously, can the other person who lives here occasionally put the dog out. But like me, he doesn't want to be interrupted either. He doesn't want his imagination destroyed. Certainly not for a little dog who is downstairs pacing, hoping someone will put her outside. And if she just can't wait and walks to the breezeway where she relieves herself, and yes, I'm damn impressed that she finds her way there and doesn't just pee wherever she is standing, it won't be long before I need to use the bathroom myself or need a cup of tea. And then I can clean up the mess.

So, no, I don't really have a handle on this part of my life and don't really know how to work through this. But it is definitely a source of frustration for me. And I fear, is partly responsible for destroying my imagination, particularly if I'm feeling blocked.