...because fiction is our greatest escape from reality...

Rinda Moments


This is my favorite work of Maxfield Parrish.  The first time I saw it was on a card my sister Kim gave me– for no particular reason.  She saw it and said it reminded her of me.  I put that card up all over the place and somewhere in the many, many moves over the years, it disappeared.  I still miss carting that card around wherever I went.

Whenever someone checks out in my family, they call it a Rinda Moment.  Thing is, a lot of them do it.  I don’t know why I was the one to get all the credit.  I see my father’s mind wandering off constantly.  Course, he’s a writer, too.

I had quite a few Rinda Moments yesterday. 

It started out frustrating.  I made sure everything around the house was done and then locked myself into my office– determined to finish this chapter.  I wrote two pages.  Two! 

So, I decided to sit back and figure out the problem.   I have serious and I mean serious middle of the book plotting issues.  I know the characters, the beginning and the end– hell, sometimes I even know the love scene if there is one.  It’s just that long, pesky stretch in the middle where you develop the character, the plot– where you reveal all the little clues.  Wait, that part I’m okay with.  It’s more the transitional stuff.  A reader once told me I keep the action going like I’m afraid I’ll bore someone. 

Well, yeah. 

So, I’m not sure what happened yesterday, but I delved into my research on Crete as well as a few different myths and bam!  The idea hits right before I have to take my youngest to his martial arts class.  I’ll admit to a bit of temper when I had to stop working and go when the hubby was home watching TV.  (He later admitted to leg pain– I should have known since he never sits down during the day.)

So, I grab all my research stuff and go.  I drop off my son and run to Office Depot because both kids need posterboard.  I drive back and it’s dark, so I just park outside the dojo, flip on the interior light and write.  I’m scribbling furiously all over the sides of the pages, the backs.  I can’t believe I forgot a notebook!  Since I actually cleaned out my car, the twenty or so notebooks I had stashed were gone! (Note to self– some clutter is good.)

I’m aware that I must have looked like a complete freak hunched over in my car with the light on- while intermittent bursts of triumph rattled the windows.

 So, can you guess what happened?

 I was so caught up in the work, I didn’t realize I’d left on the headlights as well as the interior light.  My son’s class ran ten minutes over– I don’t notice because I’m digging for a napkin, anything to write on.

Car is dead.  I go inside to see if any of the men in the dojo have jumper cables because mine are missing.  None.  (Oh and on a perfectly different side-note,  if you ever get a chance to watch extremely fit men practicing Thai kickboxing, do.  <g>)

I call my husband who now has to drive across town to jump my car only his cables are missing as well.  He has to borrow them from his mother.  It feels like it’s taking forever. 

When you have the words spilling from your center in a flash flood, all you want to do is get them down before they’re washed away.  Everything seems to take forever. 

I’m sitting in the car listening to my little boy and feeling like a terrible mother because I really wanted to keep writing.  Yeah, even over the kickboxing thing. 

My son is a sweetie and he had important things to say, so I listened.

The hubby arrives and he’s sweet about my absentmindedness– unfortunately, he has little choice because I’m like this when I’m writing.  We jump the car then I’m looking up at the stars, thinking about the book and trying to shut the hood on my car.  I actually jump when my husband yells out and runs back around to my car.  I hadn’t taken down the thing that props up the hood and while dreaming away, was slowly bending the thing.  It’s now stuck and he has to bang it back out. 

He looks at me and shakes his head.

At this point, I’m shuffling my feet and well, I don’t really have any excuses.  One of the reasons I couldn’t write when the kids were little was the way I get so caught up in it.  I literally forget everything.   I once burned three grilled cheese sandwiches in a row because I kept putting one on, then sitting down to work.  My daughter, around six at the time, just patiently played with her Polly Pockets and waited.  “It’s okay, Mom.  Smells good.”  I remember the day well because I sat down afterward to play Polly Pocket to make up for the wait.  I write dark stuff so me and Polly Pocket don’t mix.

Problem is, this is when I write the most wonderful stuff.  Sigh.  When my head is in my fictional world and the characters are yacking and kicking butt and generally making their presence known, the work is so REAL. 

The hubby made dinner last night.  It was probably for the best.  


  1. November 29, 2006    

    Hehehe. I shouldn’t laugh, but I can’t help myself. I have “Rinda moments”, too. But my husband calls them “shopping for silverware”.

    When I was trying to choose a place setting, I stared for over an hour or two at all the shiny silver, completely zoning out, with thoughts of things other than Waterford or Oneida running through my head.

    At least you got the words out. That’s a good thing.

    And you are not a bad mother.

  2. November 30, 2006    

    Oh, how funny. And frustrating for you. I know how that feels. I live in that world too, but no one’s named anything after me yet.

    I’m glad you figured out the middle-of-the-book stuff.

  3. Nik Nik
    November 30, 2006    


  4. December 1, 2006    

    I have those transitional problems too! Ugh. I have Rinda Moments as well – usually when I’m somewhere that makes it impossible to write so I look like I’m taking a vacation from reality right in the middle of something that I need to concentrate on. *sigh*

  5. December 1, 2006    

    My family has turned Rinda Moments into a huge joke. Stare at anything for longer than a minute and they’re jumping on the joke train. Ew. Bad metaphor.

    The bad mother thing is meant to be funny– I don’t really think I’m a bad mother. Just absentminded and dreamy occasionally. I used to feel guilty about needing so much time to myself, but I don’t anymore. We may be mothers, but we’re still, vital and individual human beings who need that alone time.

    My free, writing time makes me more fun for their time. They get it. 🙂

  6. December 1, 2006    

    You can always get one of those jumper boxes for about $40. You keep them in the trunk, and you don’t need another car to help you start. When I drove, I carried one for my Rinda moments.

  7. December 1, 2006    

    “My free, writing time makes me more fun for their time.”

    Amen. I need hang this quote up in my writing area. 🙂

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