Unintended interruptions: footsteps and wet dog noses

Sitting at the dining table typing into my laptop I feel approaching footsteps. I dismiss the awareness and tell myself to focus.

The footsteps get louder. I see someone in my peripherals to the right and realize they’re in the kitchen.

No matter, I encourage myself again. I can write out this scene and stay on topic.

The person in the kitchen is staring at the contents in the fridge. Does he expect them to begin performing a dance routine? If he keeps the doors open much longer, all the warm air will enter the fridge…

I turn back to my screen and re-read the last paragraph. My character is about to kiss my protagonist at the base of her neck… I’m pondering. What is he doing with his hands?

I go back to typing. But the words don’t flow. The footsteps in the kitchen are disruptive.

My eyes search the contents of the table in front of me until I see my noise-cancelling headphones. I put them on my head and turn my attention back to my laptop.

I re-read my paragraph and try to visualize the man’s hands.

Step… step… step…

The footsteps are on the move again. Even if I keep my head completely still and forward facing, I see him in my line of vision now. He’s at the kettle at the far end of the counter and just turned it on.

He must be on break from teaching online, I think to myself. He’s just grabbing a snack and drink.

I can’t hear the noise from the kettle thanks to the headphones covering my ears. The rushing sound of the kettle is not a noise that bothers me, but the movements in my peripherals feel like an intrusion regardless.

So are the footsteps. They may not make a sound, but there is an ever-so-slight vibration in the floor.

I take a deep breath and re-read the damn paragraph again. I type a few words but they don’t flow. To get back into the vibe of my story, I scroll up to the beginning of the chapter and begin to re-read the entire thing.

Now I can smell coffee.

I sigh and minimize the window with my story. Clearly, now is not the time to write a sexy scene between Adam and Samantha…Maybe I’ll check out some blogs, leave some comments, do something that doesn’t require absolute focus until he leaves the kitchen…

Or maybe I should get up and make myself a coffee.


Silence and solitude returns. I’m back at my laptop with a coffee keeping me company and fueled. I open my document, re-read the chapter again, and try to get back into the vibe of the story.

Sometimes this works. Often it doesn’t.

But this time, it works. I concentrate on the hands of the man who is performing a romantic ritual on the woman’s curvy body when suddenly, there’s a little tap on my calf.

I look down. Tucker the Beagle is staring up at me. His eyes tell me he either needs to go out or he wants some attention.

I minimize my document again, ask him if he wants out and in response he wanders toward the back door. I let him out and watch him for a bit. I may as well wait until he’s done, otherwise I’ll have to get up and let him in again.

While he’s outside I take a pee break. I might as well since I’m already near the bathroom.

Tucker comes back in but brings a ball. He wants to play. I say not now, tuck him back into his spot, pet him a few times and return to my work station. I open my document, re-read the fucking chapter again, and force myself to focus.

It’s not working. Will I have to re-read again?

I feel my phone buzz. Did I not remember to turn it on do not disturb? I try to ignore it by something makes me pick it up and check the screen.

It’s a kid who needs a confirmation email from me to drop a course. He did ask me to send something before, now he wants to know if I did it already because the guidance counselor doesn’t have it.

I open my email, see there was a typo in the address I was sent, re-do the thing, yada yada, by the time I’m done texting back and forth with my son I’m completely disconnected from my story and give up.



9 thoughts on “Unintended interruptions: footsteps and wet dog noses

Share your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.