Monday, 25 July 2016

The goat ate my manuscript...and other things that interfere with my writing!

Like all writers, I deal with constant interruptions in my work. Most of these are normal, everyday interruptions that are part of the package of working from home - kids playing in my office while I write, hubby doing every freaking DIY project he can find that's right outside my office door, cold callers, people at the door and cats. Seriously, cats are a big problem, just look at all the posts on Facebook with photos of cats sitting on a manuscript and you'll know what I'm talking about. ;)

But some things have interfered with my work over the past few years that just don't fit into the usual list. I thought I'd share them with you:

  • The goat ate my manuscript

This has happened three times now. You would think I'd learn from my mistakes. Apparently not. Anyway, my pet goat is adorable. And she eats everything. Twice I've thought it would be lovely to work outside in the sun while hanging out with my goat. And twice the bloody goat ate my work. The third time she got at my proofreading while I was putting out the fire I'd started on my treadmill. (Read about that mess here!) This is my life people. There is no excuse for it.

My goat on the kitchen table. She'd sneaked into the house when the kids left a door open.

  • My husband set fire to my manuscript

Never leave your manuscript lying around. This is a lesson I learned the hard way in our house. You see, we have a wood burning fire and my husband was looking for some paper to light the thing. And what was sitting on the floor beside the sofa, but a pile of paper. Ten minutes later the edits I'd made were up in flames.

The time hubby went through a chainsaw obsessive phase and brought down a tree on top of the chicken coop - 
outside my office window!
  • The horse soaked my manuscript

Thinking I was smart, I tied the goat up and worked outside with my miniature horses for company. Nope. Not a good idea. They stuck their noses into everything and spilled my drink all over my manuscript. (This is the problem when you keep rescuing other people's unwanted animals! Or maybe, the problem is turning them all into pets and letting them hang out with you in the garden...)

One of my pet horses outside the kitchen trying to get in to keep me company
while I was editing inside the house - for a change!

  • The chicken pooped on my keyboard

I have a chicken who likes to come into the house through the cat door and hide. (You can read about her here.) She has scared me more than once by cooing from whatever cupboard she's managed to get into. Plus, I've found eggs under my bed. The worst was when I left a sandwich beside my keyboard while I went to do something else. She went after the sandwich and pooped on the keyboard. I couldn't get the damn thing clean and had to buy a new one.

the criminal chicken at the cat door

  • The kids put beads in my printer

My girls went through a beading phase and, like everything else they do, they thought they'd do it in my office. They wanted to keep me company while I wrote. I was so grateful... (How many times did I accidentally write about beading while they were there? Many, many times...) I didn't realize my six year old had used my printer as a table until I went to print a document and found it was full of beads. Had to take it apart to get them all out.


the culprit - I have no idea why she's wearing that helmet...

  • My laptop fell in the stream - along with pretty much everything else...

On a beautiful sunny day in summer, after a heavy rain, I decided to work beside our stream. There's a steep bank at the edge of the stream where my pet sheep likes to hang out. After I'd dragged a chair over to the spot to keep my sheep company, I went back for my laptop. On return, I slipped in the mud, slid down the bank on my back, lost my laptop in the stream and the sheep chewed my shirt while I lay there with my feet in the water. 

My pet sheep when she sneaked into my daughter's pigsty.

You know, now that I've reread this, I could probably sum up this post with one sentence: don't work near animals or kids! 

My backyard. The animals are supposed to be in the paddock.
This is what happens when you turn rescue animals into pets!

Okay, that's enough public humiliation for one day. If you have any writing mishaps you want to share, I'd love to know I'm not alone!  :) 

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