adhdI’m not a very attentive person. Well, I’m attentive, just not when and where I should be. I’ve said before that if I were in school now, I’d probably be diagnosed with some kind of horrifying but hopefully treatable acronym. As it is, I’m unfocused to the extreme. I would blame it on age, but that’s become such a huge umbrella that I’m reluctant to push anything else under it. So I will have to think of something…

Green is muscling its way into the grass in the lawn outside my office window. It is a Yes! moment. Birds are picking their way through. We saw a fat robin in the field yesterday. I wish he’d come into the yard as I watch—it would make the picture perfect.

Oh, yes. I don’t really know what to blame it on, or if I’ve always been this way. I got pretty good grades when I was a kid, but I don’t remember paying that much attention in the process.

You put the lime in the coconut and drink it all up…

I have tried to improve my concentration. It would make writing much easier if I did. I sometimes wonder how I’ve ever completed a book when I rarely type more than a paragraph without…

Que sera, sera, what will be, will be. The future’s…Farmers of America. They had nine patchcool corduroy jackets…why don’t I just stick with a nine-patch instead of trying to go all Mary Fons?

Without what? Oh, without my mind going off into a dozen different directions. To make it all more complicated, I’m a pantser, not a plotter. While my people come pretty much named and fully formed, the story itself…

The ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah…

…just kind of evolves, but I’m really not sure how it happens. Many times a scene will start to map itself out as I’m falling asleep. I used to keep a pen and paper beside the bed, but there were several truths involved with that. (1) I was usually too sleepy to write the ideas down, (2) if I was awake enough, the pen was out of ink, or (3) I’d dropped the pad of paper and it was somewhere under the bed, and (4) if I got under the bed for anything, I had to go get the vacuum cleaner, because there was no possible way I could go back to sleep over that much dust.

Flowers are for the living, Mom always said, so this week I remembered to send flowers to my mother-in-law. Because she’s been ill. Because I love her. Because I wish my mom was here to send them to as well.

Good Lord, what Mom would say if she saw the dust under that bed! And what was that scene all about? I know it would be a good one if I could just remember it.

trolleyOccasionally thoughts will circle around to where they are together and almost harmonious. More often they clang…

…clang, clang went the trolley…

…more like a cacophony in my head.

And I have decided this is all right. In truth, I’d like to have an orderly mind (and an starsorderly under-the-bed, too, but we’re not going there), but I just don’t think it’s going to happen at this point. I remember cleaning out something one time, though I don’t remember what it was—surprise!—and in the mess I was cleaning, someone had spilled a box of those little sticky-back stars teachers and parents used to give as rewards.

Oohhh, shiny.

I didn’t think of it then—or maybe I did—but that’s the way life and the unfocused mind are. There’s a lot of clutter in both, a startling lack of direction, too much discordant noise, handwriting both across and up and down the page the way they wrote letters in days gone by.

And bright stars, and joyous walks, and music, and stories I love. It’s not so bad…

robinStarry, starry night…he cut off his ear, for heaven’s sake…tulips are up…when the red, red robin comes bob, bob, bobbin’ along…

There he is. There’s the robin. He left too fast for me to get the picture, but it was perfect. See? Harmony.



  1. Oh, my…if I didn’t know for a fact that you wrote this, I’d think I had. My mind works exactly the same way–if we’re going to call it working. We shouldn’t apologize–at this point in our lives, we’ve earned a little discordance and chaos, don’t you think? Oh, look! There’s a red-headed woodpecker on my arbor! 😉

  2. Too funny! The songs differ but the the round-about we’re stuck in is the same. I’ll wave when I see you pass my thought train. Or perhaps I mean derailment. Hmm. Guess I should look that up. Right after I go outside to plant something. Maybe taking a walk is a better idea…loved your blog post!

  3. I laughed through much of this, but especially the part about dropping writing aids under the bed and then needing to clean under it. Then I stopped laughing when I thought about how dirty it’s got to be under my own bed. While thinking of neglected dirt collecting places, I remembered my belly button and checked immediately, which is unfortunate, because I think we might be out of Q-tips.
    Great read for me this morning!! Put several smiles on my face.

  4. God, sounds just like me. Lol I know it’s not funny, but you have to laugh. I wonder sometimes how I concentrate long enough to get ANY writing done! So frustrating at times. :)

  5. Oh, Liz, I’m wiping the tears. This is SO me! I usually am a very organized person–I love lists. After reading your post, I think maybe I only make them in defense against my cluttered mind. If I could erect some kind barrier against random thoughts while I’m writing, why, I might be Nora Roberts! LOLOLOL As it is, I progress is painfully slow.

  6. I’m glad I’m not the only one who gets distracted when writing. lol. I chalk it up to juggling so many balls in my mind, that I can’t concentrate on just one thing. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Great post,Liz.

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