Screw my best intentions.

The clock read 2:00 a.m.   Two hours past yesterday.  Four hours before today would start.

Yesterday I had such big plans for my today.  Monumental plans, plans to write a piece that would rival the best of my work.  People would message me in every possible medium.

Blog comment: “Pamelot, you amaze me.”

Tweet: “Keep it up, Pamela, you’re the best.”

Facebook: “I want to be like you when I grow up, Mrs. Hutchins.”  [Because, to the horror of my teenagers, their friends have taken to “following me” and reading about my kids’ exploits on Road to Joy bwah ha ha ha…keeps them scared straight]

Email: “Will you be my new best friend?” or better yet, “Can I be your agent?”

Possibilities literally had screamed through my mind all that evening, just a few short hours before.  I got caught up in the maelström, words tornadoeing through my head:  should I be funny?  thought-provoking?  emotional?  inspiring?  educational?

I know — I’ll finish the post about fibromyalgia!  NO.  I’ll blog about our family betting pool; that would be hilarious.  Scratch that — the topic of today is Becoming {step} Momela, the redux.

So I sat down at the keyboard.  And y’all aren’t going to believe what happened next.


Not one damn thing.

ShiFt.  (I’m not allowed to use actual curse words in my writing, because my grandmothers both read it; use your imagination)

I stared at the keyboard with my death ray glare.  I stared so hard the screen sizzled, and I could smell the smoke as it rose in tiny curls and disappeared into the downdraft from the ceiling fan.

Appear, oh ye words of wisdom.  Blog, write thyself.

Yeah, that didn’t work either.

It’s publication day tomorrow, Pamela.  You’re supposed to be the psycho who thrives on deadlines, who gobbles up time management for a mid-morning snack.

I slugged cold coffee, which sucked.  I had just given up my hazelnut creamy yummy sweetener thingy because my thighs are “swole” as my friend the former NFL linebacker/personal trainer likes to say.  Wait, though: that’s what he says about muscles after a workout.   OK, whatever — my azz is getting big. Again. As it is wont to do, after I carbo-load for 45 straight days.

Ah, could I be PMSing?

The ugly possibility scared me.  I hadn’t padded my room yet for the monthly invasion of the body-and-mind snatcher.  I needed to warn the kids!  I counted the days on the calendar and sighed in relief.  Nope.  Not PMS.

My writer’s block tormented me through the night.  What could it be?  What rat bastard stole my mo-frickin-jo?

Note: bastard is a noun of common usage, not a curse word; for the record, damn falls in the same category, unless either of these words comes out of the mouth of one of my kids

Ding.  My iPhone interrupted the death spiral of my thoughts.  Thank God.  I was getting a headache, and I didn’t want to get out of the island of my bed and cross the vast ocean between my bedroom and the kitchen for a glass of water and Excedrin.

An email.  From my husband, in India.  Where he would be for two weeks, this time.

“Smile, beautiful.  I love you.”

A grapefruit-sized lump formed in my throat.  I jumped up from my nest of pillows and scrambled across the wood floors, searching in the dark.  My hands found the laundry hamper.

You’re a nut job.  Yes, I know.

I plunged my hand into the hamper and grabbed air.  What a night to catch up on the laundry.  What had I been thinking?  Eric would be gone for two weeks, and the first thing I did when I got home from the airport was wash every article of clothing, each towel, all the sheets and every last pillowcase in the house?

I knelt beside the hamper with my hands on the floor, each hand splayed outside a knee.  My right hand landed on something comfortingly soft.  Cotton.  A t-shirt.  I pulled it to my face.


The t-shirt Eric had worn early that morning, before we left for the airport-formerly-known-as-Intercontinental.  The black t-shirt with the gold letters, the St. Croix Private School Pirates Offensive Coach t-shirt, the one I always made fun of: “So, does that mean you were offensive, or that you were the coach of the offense?  Because it’s not quite clear to me…”

I made a frantic wardrobe change.  The scent memory of my husband hugged me.  I wished I’d showered after my earlier and uncharacteristically solo run and bike, because I suddenly knew that I would be wearing this shirt a lot in the next two weeks, no matter how it smelled come morning.  Sometimes when I’m sad, though, the shower is the last place I can force myself to face.

I want my mojo back. And my husband.

I crawled back into the bed made up with the brown sheets that Eric hated because they left flannel pill balls all over him.  The iPhone dinged again.

“All is well here.  Safe and sound.”

I pulled out my laptop and typed my answer in the dark.

Click.  Click.  Click.  Send.

It would have to do, for now.


p.s. Somebody bring me a Cinnabon and coffee filled with really rich creamy sugary hazelnutty butt-enlarging stuff, please.

p.p.s. With much love to my Marine brother and lovely sister-in-law, who endure separations longer than Eric and I do, all the time.

Join the Conversation


  1. I hate writers block. You want to write but nothing comes to mind.

    Hubby will be home before you know it! I know it sucks when the one you love is so far away! I know the feeling well…………………..

  2. Great job Pamela. All the bloggers and writers you know have been there but you expressed it better than the I have ever read. BTW I want to be your best friend, you are amazing…and all of those other things you were hoping to hear.

  3. Email sent to me by a subscriber:

    Sent: Tuesday, October 05, 2010 9:16 PM
    To: Pamela Hutchins
    Subject: FW: [New post] Screw my best intentions.

    [Fiance] and I are getting married on 3/12/2011 – our one year anniversay – so save the date.

    He is in GA now for 6 days, back for another 6 days, then gone to India for 2 weeks…. We have the same issues, feelings, etc….. I wear his shirts while he is gone. Can’t believe your timing of this blog – not what you were planning to write, but wow!!! It home for us.

    See below –

    > Date: Tue, 5 Oct 2010 20:58:30 -0500
    > Subject: Re: FW: [New post] Screw my best intentions.
    > From: Subscriber’s fiance
    > To: Subscriber
    > Totally awesome! Spot on is no coincidence….:-)
    > I so love you Susan! The world, and our life together, is truly
    > endless….wow! Yum!
    > Smile kisses…:-)
    > On Tuesday, October 5, 2010, Subscriber wrote:
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > > Wow! Eric in India, Pamela missing him and wearing his shirt that smells like him…..
    > >
    > > Sound familiar?
    > >
    > > Love,
    > > Me
    > >
    > > Date: Tue, 5 Oct 2010 22:04:17 +0000
    > > To:Subscriber
    > > From:
    > > Subject: [New post] Screw my best intentions.
    > >
    > >

  4. I love this blog, I can just hear you talking in my mind as I read this. It reminds me that I think one of my first gifts to you was my favorite old shirt. Hah. Did not have two pennies to rub together.
    I really like the descriptive writing in this.

    1. Mud huts on the beach, baby. And right now it is nearly 8 pm in Jamnagar and I haven’t heard from you. If they still have y’all working after 36 hours of travel and going straight to the plant, I will cry for you. Be safe.

  5. I was writing yesterday and so my blog-reading came to a halt. Reading this today – I needed that! The switch to flavored coffee in our house, combined with Josh’s impending 1-month trip to Europe and the inevitable writers’ block (yesterday’s writing was assignment, not blog, always easier). We’re on a spooky wavelength Pamela.

  6. Pamela, will you be my new BFF?!

    I get writers’ block sometimes just trying to send out an email. Methinks your good luck charm is MIA. Hope he gets home safe soon!

    1. Jenny, I thought you’d never ask!

      I think it’s really inconsiderate of my good luck charm to leave when I’m attempting a rewrite on novel 2. He’s shirking his husband-of-wannabe-writer responsibilities. And he left me with THREE TEENAGERS — during homecoming week, no less — and they’re all schizo right now dressing up for “80’s day” at school tomorrow. Oh my.

  7. Wowwy, lady. You make me a little bit sad reading this. I want an “Eric,” too. Somebody to miss when they’re gone… How lucky you are.

    I really admire you for opening yourself up like you do and bearing your soul to the world. Not just in words, but in pictures, too. Your picture shows how vulnerable and beautiful you are in your emotions and I give you many kuddos for that alone.

    Hang in there, and hold on tight with a big hug when that man of yours returns to you.

    Keep speaking from your heart like you do and you will never lack for anything to write about.

    1. One has only to go to your blog and see your wonderful pictures to realize your ability to see beauty in the everyday simple truths of life. I want to frame your photos. I AM GOING TO GET A CAMERA and quit posting fuzzy iPhone pics. 🙂 I wish I could give everyone an Eric. I got mine when I was 39, when I didn’t believe that Erics existed. I am blessed beyond words. I managed to crank out one measly chapter of my novel rewrite last night, pretty pitiful for a speed writer like me. Counting the days (10) until he returns.

      Thank you very much.

  8. Pamelot, you amaze me!

    LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS! I can totally relate because my husband is gone more than he’s home, and now that the kids are in school instead of home schooling, it’s not so easy to jump in the car and go where he is for a while. And all the writer’s block stuff really made me laugh because it’s like a permanent state of mind for this writer wannabe. The desire to write is almost bursting out of me but can’t think of a darn thing to write about (but you already knew that! )
    Thanks for the laugh(s). I enjoyed this so much I think I’ll read it again!

  9. Awww…I’m sad for you! I hate it when my hubby and I are apart…and there’s NOTHING better than wearinng one of his shirts…I also don’t wash the sheets if he’s gone so that his pillow still smells like him as I cuddle with it at night!

    I’m following along now…can’t wait to read more! Great blog!

    1. Welcome, Su-sieee! Mac. Love the name. My mom shares it with you. She also shares your EXCELLENT TASTE in writing 🙂 Seriously, thank you. Can’t wait to pop over to “This and That. Here and There. Now, Sometimes Then. I get the feeling I am going to love your sense of humor. I’m scrambling on a rewrite now, so it will go on my “before the end of the weekend thou shalt” list. See you soon.

      Glad to have you on the Road to Joy!

  10. Hope you kick the writer’s block in the rear soon! My main writing is for grad school and I find myself with writer’s block all too often. *Sigh*

    I’m visiting from Dory tribe =]

  11. Pamela,

    I hear you. Sorry Eric had to “do” India, because I was hoping to see you 2 in Baltimore this weekend (NPRA). Well, there’s always San Antonio in March… Keep up the great writing. It’s very entertaining!

  12. I love how your love shines through for each other on your blog. When Alpha Hubby was in Vermont (a month before I could join him), our phone bill was outrageous (this was before little cell phones and texting). He talked me to sleep every night. Sometimes he called at lunch or visa versa. I somethings think we have a sick co-dependent relationship – OH, we DO! It’s not sick, tho!! I really really like reading your posts.

    1. We are very co-dependent. It’s awful and wonderful all wrapped in one. I don’t sleep without him here. I feel like nothing exists unless he experiences it with me. With him gone right now, even though I had a VERY good day yesterday, it feel like it happened to someone else.

      I love you and Alpha Hubby. I can’t wait to go back and read more of the stories on your blog!

  13. Pam, I wish you were my mom!

    (no, you do not wish I was your child!)

    I know exactly how you feel with hubby being away! Oh yeah, I know exactly………….*sigh*.

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