30 Seconds to Zero and 15 More Minutes

Ask me the fastest way to stop the flow of creative juice and my answer is quick.  Create a blog. Nothing creates full-fledged writer’s block comparable to this activity.  For petes’ sake. If the preceding sentences aren’t convincing enough evidence, I don’t know what is.

I started writing when I was small. Young.  Toddler-ish. I am being quite literal.  Perched on a stack of yellow page phone books, I started writing on a Kaypro computer.  The size of wall-mounted microwave,  these computers were the ugly older siblings of the Commodore 64. A very heavy rectangle box of technology goodness. It was on a Kaypro that I first began typing what I wrote.  Even then I didn’t come to the computer empty-handed.  

I would jot down my ideas and then present them to my “editor”, an author and writer who doubled as my father. He was the gatekeeper to the computer studio. “The studio” was set apart from the rest of the household.  It was the largest bedroom, with the biggest windows and a two door reach-in closet. It was the only room in the house that received a fresh coat of paint- covering the avacado color walls that plagued the other bedrooms. Inside it was always cool. The rest of the house could be scorching hot or so cold that exhaling revealed a cloud of frosty breath of air, and The Studio was immune. The blue plastic blades of the different size room fans whirled constantly.

A mixture of music studio and technology hub, the room screamed “Do Not Touch!” at children and adults alike.

Centered neatly on the door was an eight by eleven piece of paper. After it was taped to the door it never once came down. Not a single time for over 12 years. The white paper yellowed over time and the scotch tape on the top and bottom became more and more visible, but the sign stayed put. Using a Sharpie marker and perhaps in a futile act of desperation on behalf of a person searching for creative solace, my father had scrawled in capital letters the words “15 More Minutes!!!” and emphatically taped the sign to the door. The sign became like a sibling – totally consistent and completely obnoxious. It was so confusing. What did it mean? I thought I had an idea growing up but until I ventured into the wilds of full-fledged adulthood I had no idea. Now it’s actually funny. Witty. Clever. 15 more minutes! The catch-all response to everything and excuse for anything. Now that is what I call creative genius.