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Nicotine DT's

1. Drive to Borders with lap top, excited that you finally have a chance to work on Current Project.

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 30 15 minutes.

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.


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.

30. It turns out to be a pretty productive day after all.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Patrick Dilloway
Jun. 14th, 2011 02:45 pm (UTC)
That's why I never took up smoking in the first place. And according to Superman, smoking is for losers.

But don't you just hate when you go to Borders or Starbucks and there's some annoying twit (or twits) jabbering loudly or someone's kid bawling his/her head off? It's so freaking annoying that I think, "Wait, why don't I just go home and write?" But then if I do go home mostly I just lie around watching 70s-80s cartoons on the Netflix.
Jun. 14th, 2011 03:15 pm (UTC)
The phones are worse. AT least I know the kids will eventually leave. But these dolts on there phone set up camp and blather all day! Most of it is business. Don't they have, yanno, a real office somewhere?
Jun. 14th, 2011 02:52 pm (UTC)
Better the gum than the cigarettes. I was at a friend's house the morning she died from lung cancer at the age of 48. I would not wish that death on anyone. Ever.

So stay strong!
Jun. 14th, 2011 03:16 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry about your friend. xox
Jun. 14th, 2011 10:07 pm (UTC)
It was a while ago, thank goodness. I think I wrote that scene into two or three books in one version or another.
Jun. 14th, 2011 03:38 pm (UTC)
Is it wrong that I enjoyed this post so much? :)
Jun. 14th, 2011 05:36 pm (UTC)
Absolutely not! :)
Jun. 15th, 2011 02:59 am (UTC)
OMG, this brings it all back too clearly! Just think, only 3 or 4 short years from now you won't automatically think "[what you're avoiding thinking about]" In fact, you'll pity the poor souls . . .
I have to say, the lozenges worked wonders for me. I didn't find it all that hard to cut down on them, though it did take quite a while. USE THEM! :-)
Jun. 15th, 2011 03:35 pm (UTC)
Last time I used the gum, it ripped my stomach to shreds. I've been on Protonix ever since.

But now I figure, hey, since I'm already ON the Protonix...! *snicker*
Jun. 15th, 2011 05:53 pm (UTC)
I remember quite well how hard it was to write after I quit smoking. You did good! You didn't give in to the cigarette and that's all that matters!!
Jun. 15th, 2011 07:10 pm (UTC)
Now I understand a bit better why Hemingway couldn't kick the booze. :o
Jul. 3rd, 2011 11:53 pm (UTC)
I sent this to my mom... not because she could relate to the writing aspect of it, but because she has been trying to quit smoking and started around the same time you did. She could so relate. Luckily, she's still resisting the urge since she decided to finally quit. She's 50 and been smoking since she was 11. The struggle is hard, but worth it if she hopes to live a lot longer. I hope you continue to have success fighting the urge yourself - at whatever cost it takes! Good Luck!
Jul. 4th, 2011 08:22 pm (UTC)
And good luck to your mom!!! She smoked a LOT longer than I did!
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )


Jeannine Garsee

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