The Eleventh Hour

POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

The Eleventh Hour

By Nandy Ekle

As I sit looking from my keyboard to the clock and back to the keyboard, I notice the hands on the clock seem to be moving faster. This writing piece is due on the administrator’s desk before midnight. The clock giggles as the small hand is on the twelve and the long hand is on the nine. In my head I’m running around searching for words. Any word will do, big words, little words, even made up words. Just enough words I can string together to call my weekly blog finished.

A movement in one of the corners of my brain catches my eye and I see the final letters of a word as they disappear under a locked door. I glance at the clock on the wall and the second hand clicks off another moment. Desperate, I grab the handle of the door I saw the word run under. Pulling it down, the door slowly opens to the whispers of all the words I have been chasing. I grab about 250 of the and toss them on the open page of my computer screen and begin the task of setting them in order. As I get the final word in place and poke the “period button,” the three hands on the wall clock click into place on the twelve and the alarm rings. I click “send,” and my blog flies through cyberspace to the administrator’s computer.

The pressure of the eleventh hour has worked its magic once again.

What is it about last minute writing that kicks my creativity into hyper gear? As I mentioned last week, I’m an organized person in the rest of my life. I am the queen sorter, the president of filing, the czar of outlining down to a double “zz.” But when it comes to my writing life, I’m a confirmed “seat of the pantser.”

One time I got an idea and decided it would make a good story. I thought it through, knew my main idea, and had a general idea of the events. But I decided to be organized and do it the way I had been taught in school. I wrote a bona fide outline. Then I went on to the characterizations. I had all the names picked out, their appearances, and their personalities, speech patterns, even what they each wanted by the end of the story. I felt complete. I was ready to put it together. What happened was very interesting.

And the alarm has chimed. You’ll have to come back next Friday for the next installment of The Eleventh Hour. Until then,

Congratulations. You have just received a post card from the muse.

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One thought on “The Eleventh Hour

  1. This made me smile. Great blog post! One of the hardest things for me was the realization that orderliness and having all of your ducks in a row does not work with writing. No way does a story come to you in perfect sequence. I’ve finally learned to not question, but to just WRITE: whenever, where ever, and whatever pops into my head.

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