When I work on a novel, I enter what my kids call “the writing bubble.” Once I’m in it, I’m physically present, but mentally gone. My kids have been known to abuse this*. For example, I’ve given permission for Matt and Jake to play computer games for the rest of their natural lives. Of course, I’ve rescinded this blanket permission. The current rule is that for every two minutes of piano you practice, you get one minute of computer time. You’d think that they practice a lot. They don’t, not more than the minimum requirement.
Yesterday when I came out of the writing bubble, I found them on the computer playing games.
Me: Hey, you don’t have permission to play computer games.
Jake: We’re not.
Me: How is that little humanoid-ish thing bouncing around the screen not “playing computer games?”
Jake: I’m doing a level editor, programming a game.
Me: I don’t see coding. I see the humanoid-ish thing bouncing around the screen.
Jake: I’m testing the changes that I’ve made.
Me (having no idea what to do about this loophole): Ah. Well. Set that timer. You’re done “programming” in 15 minutes.
Hmm. I think I lost that round of parental authority/supervision. Oh, well, back to the bubble.
* Matthew and Jake think "bubble brain" is hilarious and test it out all the time. I've been asked if they can tattoo 666 on their forehead or change their name to "semi-colon."