My baby is sleeping and I’m sitting at the computer exhausted and perplexed. Exhausted because Aidan was up coughing from about 4 in the morning when I nursed him until about 6:30 when we both managed to go back to sleep until about 8. His cough has gotten really bad and stressful for Harlan and me. I’m perplexed because I’m not sure what to do with myself. He’s napping so theoretically I’ve got a little time to myself. My dad babysat this morning when I went to visit a preschool and he would have stayed so I could go write for a while, but because of the cough and the screwy sleep schedule I didn’t take him up on it. I swung home to check in and found boo awake and tired and needy, so I stayed, tried to feed him, nursed him almost to sleep, then put him down and listened to him babble in his crib for a good hour and a half before he finally slept.

So why the confusion? I should be writing, writing what I would have been writing at some cafe while my dad was babysitting, right? Well, yeah. I’ve done all the little things I had to do. I called the pediatrician about his cough (expecting a call back). Called my mom to deliver the unfortunate news that I won’t be joining her at Tastes of LA tonight because the two friends I asked to sit with boo can’t do it. Downloaded all these digital recordings I have of boo onto my computer (I’ve been taping him ’cause someone once told me it would be cool to have his cooing and babbling on tape – so to speak – which it is, and also ’cause I wanted to be able to play his cough for the doctor in case he wouldn’t cough on cue. He’s not one to do much of anything on cue, this kid). Ooh, just remembered on more little thing I had to do: call my agent’s assistant and find out the status of the check they’re supposedly sending me any minute now. Okay, done. Check’s in the mail! YAAAAAY! Can you hear me screaming? Can you feel the floorboards bouncing as I jump up and down for joy? I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited (relieved?) to receive a check.

And now I’m supposed to go back to perplexed? I’m supposed to go back to explaining why I can’t seem to get moving on Audrey Rose? Which, by the way, they’re actually paying me for even though they haven’t received my draft (obviously, since I haven’t written it). That’s the check I’m jumping up and down about.

A little tough to go back to perplexed after all this excitement but I’ll do an abbreviated version. We all know about the proverbial blank page glaring at us accusingly, so intimidating in its blankness and whiteness that we are left in a state of paralysis, unable to lay the letters down for word one. Well, how about a page that is so cluttered with words you just don’t know what to do with them all?  That’s where I am with Audrey Rose. I have the last draft, I have an approved treatment for the current draft and then I have months and months, years and months, days and weeks and years and months worth of notes. Enough notes to make my head spin like Linda Blair in The Exorcist! Enough notes to make me vomit reincarnation and ghost stories and mother-daughter relationships and stalkers and pedophiles and secrets and lies and infidelities and photographs and dead birds and flirtations and yoga and nightmares and bloody wrists and suicides and broken glass and car accidents and dead mommies and contrite daddies and cockfights and psychobabble and scrabble games and suspenseful moments and misunderstandings and hypnosis and tension and strained sex and writers block and writing jags and mood enhancing drugs and therapy sessions and photojournalism and absentee dads and over-protective moms and mean-spirited prep school girls and sweet clueless Upper Westside angels whose bodies have been taken over by vengeful spirits! Oh my goodness! Audrey Rose is all that and more and I can’t seem to get my motherf&*#@ing mind around it and just write the damn thing!

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