2. Grab a medium Mint Chocolate Javakula, make yourself comfortable, rev up your computer, and settle into place.
3. Try not to think about the fact that this is the first time you've attempted to write without taking a cigarette break every
4. Open documents. Whoops! Where's the Current Project? It's true you haven't worked on it in, oh, three months or so. But it has to be there, right?
5. Wrong Current project is not there. You never downloaded it from your old computer. Well, at least it's on the flash drive...
6. Except you didn't bring your flash drive.
7. Don't you wish you had a cigarette right now?
8. Open another file, the Dreaded Synopsis which needs serious work. At least it's something.
9. Work, work, work....then it's time for a cigarette--WAIT! NO! You quit over a month ago.
10. Whiny voice: "But--but I don't know how to write without smoking. I do my very best work under the influence of nicotine, tar, and a variety of proven carcinogens."
11. Mean voice: "ARE YOU STOOOOPID? This is nothing but an excuse for you not to write."
12. "Yes, but--"
13. "No buts! You're no better than a junkie. Just WRITE, for God's sake,"
14. Okay. I do. Write, write, write, write...now I just need a break.
15. Walk around store. Look at books. You were smoking those e-cigs up until yesterday. You chomped on a couple of "borrowed" pieces of nicorette gum. Methadone for smokers. It doesn't kick you out of the habit. It just keeps you from killing anyone.
16. Like now: yes, you really want to kill someone now. That twit yammering loudly on the cell phone at the next table. That screaming kid who wants the chocolate-covered espresso beans her mom won't buy for her. Look, lady--BUY HER THE DAMN BEANS AND GET HER THE HELL OUT OF HER BEFORE SOMEONE GETS HURT!
17. Pant, pant. You're okay. Really.
18. Write, write, write. Another break, and you play on Writers Net--such fun! Seriously. Your new best friends.
19. Write, write, write...
20. Write.....wriiite.........wriiiiiite... Oh, you seriously, desperately NEED THAT CIGARETTE. Your hands are shaking. Can't be the coffee you ordered as soon as you gulped down the Javakula, right?
21. Get up and walk. Pee. Circle the bookstore again. Sarah Dessen has an entire table devoted to her books. You have no such table. You probably never will. Does this piss you off? Not if you had a cigarette right now...
22. Back to table. Write, write, write. You are getting nowhere. Every word is stupid. You start to hallucinate, believing that pen in your purse is a stray, stale, long-forgotten cigarette. You refrain from lighting it up. You take deep breaths and count to 10. You visualize yourself as a tobacco-free person who will live to be a hundred, write ten bestsellers...ohmm...ohm, ohm, ohhhmmmmm....
23. Then you stare at your computer screen. You've done absolutely nothing of any significance.
24. Screw it. YOU CAN'T TAKE IT ANY MORE!
25. Abandoning your stuff (not the lap top, of course) you race out to your car, gun the engine, zoom across the street to Big Bird, grab what you need, pay for it ($50), zoom back to Borders, and fall back down at your table.
26. You rip open the package and pop the gum into your mouth. Minty fresh. It tingles! You gradually relax. You actually smile. People wonder why that glassy-eyed woman in the corner is smiling around a mouthful of gum, gazing into space.
27: Mean Voice: "You just had to do it, didn't you? No self-control what-so-ever."
28. "Oh, just...bite me."
29. You spend the rest of the time in creative bliss, hammering away at the keys, lost in The Zone, not thinking about the ditz with the cell phone, or even Sarah Dessen, because you are now calm and self-confident and loaded with minty nicotine,
It turns out to be a pretty productive day after all.