I'll Get Right on That (Featured Guest Post)
Written by
Toni Piccinini
November 2011
Written by
Toni Piccinini
November 2011

Never put off for tomorrow what you can do today. Oh come on, who thinks like that? No writer I know. Start an assignment days before deadline? Pshaw!


It’s early Sunday morning and I’ve accepted a Monday deadline for a little 600-word post on putting things off, doing everything else except the writing. Piece of cake. This is my specialty. Plus, there’s so much time between now and the deadline, which every writer knows means midnight. I love to write these impromptu pieces. They keep the sparks alive, kindling the fire of my dysfunctional relationship with time. Time, that sorceress vixen who lays herself out like a languorous wedding banquet, only to pull the tablecloth out when the clock chimes four . . .  Four o’clock? How did it get to be four o’clock? And what happened to Sunday?


Well, there was the fatty Sunday paper. There was reading, which is making me a better writer, right? And then church—gotta fill the spiritual well. Lunch. A writer has to eat. Let the blood sugar drop and there goes the grammar. But the afternoon still stretched before me, a ribbon of time and possibility. So much time to sit at my desk and do what I love to do. What a lucky girl am I!


Ding, ding chimes my phone, indicating a text. Do I want to go for a walk? Well, maybe I shouldn’t, but fresh air and exercise do clear the head and fortify the body. Yes! I’ve got the rest of the day and all of the night to finish the piece.


The sun settles behind the acacia and pine and I am reminded that November is upon us. The day fades, but that’s fine because I am more of an evening person. Not that I can ever recall doing any work at the end of the day, but I hold this opinion of myself like a keen memory of an event not witnessed but heard. Candles are lit, wine is poured, and before I know it I am powerless to the pull of dusk. The centrifugal force of habit holds my energy in place like a swirling dervish. There will be no more writing today.


I wake Monday with my loathsome pals, Jetsom and Floatsom. Their sole mission is to point out to me all the things I haven’t done. Thank you, boys. I don’t take that bait of overwhelm. I have all day and I’m going to get right on it—right after a cappuccino and a skim of the skimpy San Francisco Chronicle, The Jumble (keeps the literary side of my brain sharp), and the Sudoku (keeps the math side oiled). All undoubtedly important. Anyone can see that.


I open my laptop and quickly scan my email. Best to get that stuff out of the way before getting down to the business of writing. And it won’t hurt to get my whites into the washer. How much time does that take? Hardly registers. Hours wait for me stacked up like 747s on the runway at O’Hare in February. I take the first step. I name the word doc. Good for me. This is easy. I am a little hungry and no wonder. It is 1 o’clock in the afternoon. The blank page waits for me; it’s all set up. I’ll be right back and get right on it.  


There is less than an hour left in this Monday, this beautiful clear November day that held me tight and kept me on course, even as the path wound around cramming for book club, the compulsion to clean under the kitchen sink, the email, texts, and phone calls, to-do lists for Thanksgiving dinner, self-reminders to get the smog test for my ancient SUV, life.


Toni Piccinini is the author of The Good-Bye Year: Wisdom and Culinary Therapy to Survive Your Child's Senior Year and Reclaim the You of You, a book project that's currently out with editors. She just launched her blog, The Good-Bye Year, and has committed to herself and the world to update her static pages by the end of November, and to blog at least once a month---starting now!


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