Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Living With The Bubble

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 Of course, I’ve rescinded this blanket permission.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.

Jake: Sure.

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."


  1. My mother wasn't a writer, but we did have a family rule that we weren't allowed to ask her anything important before 10 AM, and anything she agreed to before then did not count. My sister and I tried to sneak around this a few times, but she and Dad always knew if we claimed "But Mom said!" about anything they wouldn't normally agree to, it was because we'd asked her around 9:30. Nice try, kids.

  2. to the questions..."no" on the first, "definitely yes" on the second.

  3. mY kids know I can't hear them even when I'm in the room and I'm writing. It's hard to focus in two worlds at once.

  4. Yay for "beta-testing!" The best way to make 15 minutes of computer games last all day!

  5. My kids totally abuse the bubble thing too! So funny.

  6. The "writing bubble" ... I like that, because it absolutely describes the condition. And when I'm in writing mode, I've got it BAD!

  7. Very funny. I don't think I was ever that creative with my excuses. However, in high school, I did relish telling my parents I was "doing research" by watching Star Wars because it was kind of true. Star Wars was the topic I chose for an English assignment. :)

  8. Hahaha, that's awesome. And the writing bubble is a perfect way of describing it.