Driven to Distraction

I’ve been so focused on writing this past week that it has been getting in the way of other thought processes.  I’m distracted by thoughts of plotting, conversations with characters, ideas for elements that will add to the depth of the story. It’s like swimming in an endless pool without becoming tired.

Unfortunately, there are some negative side effects to this.  I get so lost in my thoughts of this story that I don’t pay proper attention to details that are important.  For example, I went to the grocery store because I needed milk and I could pick up a black ink cartridge for my printer.  I came home with close to $200 in groceries, all of which I did need, but completely forgot the two things I had gone for in the first place.

Then last night, lost in ideas of plot threads, I cracked open a fresh coconut and began removing the meat from the shell with  dull knife.  Instead of focusing on the task at hand, I got distracted. The knife slipped.  This is the result:

  Good thing it wasn’t a sharp knife.

Later in the evening, having learned nothing from my earlier incident, I reached into the microwave and pulled the plastic back from a bowl of carrots I’d been heating. The result of this lapse in awareness looks like this:

It’s a lovely blister on the middle section of the middle finger of my left hand. It hurts to bend my finger. I keep bumping it and reminding myself of my distraction.  I’m doing a little better today with keeping my mind on the tasks I need to focus on.  The constant reminder on my hands of the cost of distraction may be helping with that.

On the other hand, feeling the strength of this connection with my writing again is worth the discomfort of a blister.


2 thoughts on “Driven to Distraction

  1. Txell (Meritxell Martin Pardo) says:

    Dear Kim,

    I’m not sure you’ll remember me; I was one of your students at Institute for Children’s Lit.

    As I was about submit assignment 6, I was told that you’d stopped mentoring. I was sad to learn the news. Not so much because, you’d moved on, but because I hadn’t been able to bid you farewell and thank you properly. Form is important to me. So I asked Judy whether I could get your information so that I could say “good-bye” and “thank you” but she said that it wouldn’t be possible. So I looked you up, I hope you don’t mind.

    I’m excited to say that I’ve been able to get back to writing. I had had to stop because Egan, my third, was sick. Everytime I introduced a new food-group to him, he got a fever, vomiting, diahrrea… After many frustrating ped-visits, we learnt that he had severe allergies. Liam and Farners had them to, but Egan couldn’t eat more than chard, potatoes (and not all kinds) and chicken. I couldn’t accept it. I had already taken gluten, lactose, rice out of our diets, but now were we all to eat the same meal we could only eat potatoes and chard (don’t get me wrong, I love them, but I don’t think it is enough). I talked to people and looked on-line and found an alternative treatment that made me have hope that Egan might be able to eat more that those three items and started the treatment. He is not completely healed, but he is now eating regular bread (that is, with gluten), rice, corn and many vegetables!!! We’re still continuing with his treatment and starting it with the other two, so that hopefully they too will be able to eat bread with gluten. That’s where my time and energy went.

    Well, I guess now that I’ve explained what happened to my writing, it is time for me to say thank you and good-bye. I’m glad that our paths crossed and that you were the one reading my first stories. I thank you for reading my pieces as carefully as you did, but mostly I thank you for giving me ways to move forward in my writing. So, thank you and best luck in your new ventures. And, please, watch the blisters and cuts! You need your hands to write!

    Warm regards,

  2. Kim Justesen says:

    Dear Txell –

    I am SO glad you found me. I asked for the same opportunity – to say good-bye to my students – and was told it was not allowed. While I miss that part of my life, it was time for me to return the focus to my own writing.

    I’m so glad that Egan is doing better, and I send many warm thoughts your way. I hope you will continue to pursue your writing dream, as you have such a lovely, lyrical style. Please do keep in touch as I would enjoy knowing how things are progressing for your personally and professinoally.

    My best,


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