Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Busy Days by Bonnie Le Hamilton

Konnie and I have talked about how our lives are different a lot, and I know I’ve told a lot of people I’m glad I’m not Konnie with all she has to do, because it always sounds like way more than I can handle. Then Monday came along. And I mean this past Monday.

I had a doctor’s appointment that morning and left my apartment around ten A.M. After my appointment with the doctor, I went to the lab, and from there I went to pick up my sister-in-law for her doctor’s appointment.

By the time she was done, it was lunchtime so I invited my sister-in-law out to lunch, afterwards, I took her home and hurried over to the store where I got my walker, because they finally had the part to fix the seat.

Next was my appointment with the physical therapist.

I returned home around five P.M.

Not as bad as the days when my sister-in-law and I spent the day running errands together, but I was still beat. And Konnie has days like this just about every day of the week. It’s a wonder she ever gets some writing done at all. I haven’t managed much of anything since I started going to physical therapy, well actually before that.

As I said last time, it’s been an awful last couple of months, and things are not getting any better.

But it got me wondering about stories that have characters doing a bunch of things in what the writer says is a single day and making me wonder if they have the timing right. Sometimes it seems like there is too much happening for it to be in a single day. Or am I the only one who feels that way?

We have to remember there are only finite hours in a day, even if we are writing fiction. And there’s only so much a person can accomplish in a day, no matter how hard they try. It takes time to drive to a different location, it takes to get something to eat, and eat it, and it takes time to do little incidentals like heed the call nature, all of which detracts from getting things done.

It also takes time for a washer or a dryer or a dishwasher to do their job. You need to consider how long it will take, which I know isn’t easy.

I myself have a scene where the heroine is cleaning the house, and planning for lunch and dinner. But in my case, I considered how long the washer, dryer, and dishwasher would take, as well as a slow cooker, and how much else a body can do while those appliances are working. And at the end of that morning, I have her husband comment on how amazed he is over how much she got done in just a few short hours.

But, not everybody is all that organized, and I could have easily thrown in a kid or two to make it interesting, or harder for her do what she did.

Anyway, do you ever feel a writer has the characters accomplishing too much in a single day? Or do you sometimes have to pare back what you have your character accomplishing?

Happy writing everyone! :)


  1. Bonnie, my sincere sympathies!
    I was up at 09:00 this morning, after switching the alarm (07:00) over to local radio and deciding to have a lazy start ...
    Day's Order. (1) Check out a newly started Writer Group @ 10:00. Sadly, a disappointment: all complete beginners. I felt out of place but they were keen and there were over a dozen present, so I guess they'll support each other but I felt I couldn't really contribute.
    On to my regular writing group @ 13:30. Good attendance (by which I mean our weekly 'subs' came to < more than he cost of hiring the room for 2 hours).
    I'd promised my daughter I'd pick up a spare part (connection pipe) for her new gas cooker, so I cried off the 'Coffee session' after the meeting and headed for the local DIY store, which has a 10% discount offer for Seniors every Wednesday. Had to ring son-in-law to check make & model, result: part not bought, he decided he'd have to come shopping with me next week so he can SEE the part himself...

    BUT yes, there's often a "BUT" in these matters!
    I have to use Public Transport, since our Dept of Health decided I'm "not sick enough" to have the use of a Motability vehicle. They sent a REPO firm to take mine off me ON MY 65th BIRTHDAY!!! I've appealed the decision, naturally, but it's now 12 months ago and I'm STILL waiting for a Court Date for the Appeal to be heard.
    Each of the tasks I set myself tday enailed bus journeys, including changing from one route to another. And of COURSE, the bus timetables do NOT meet up. My final journey home from my local Walmart[ASDA] involved 4 buses and three x 30-minute WAITS beween one bus and the next. Distance covered: perhaps 3 miles... so I wasn't a Happy Camper by the tie I got home and had to persuade myself to spend a further 30 minutes cooking the only hot food I'll eat today!
    That done, I can now allow myself to sit and WRITE something while I wait for the clock to tick around to 01:00 and I can log in to tonight's Chatroom!
    At least I've got a root beer to keep me sane .......

  2. Yeah, transportation time must always be considered in what we are writing.

  3. By the way, I'm sure glad I can drive! Or my days would be so much harder too.