One of the perks of being a writer in the digital age is that I get to spend a good deal of time on the internet promoting myself. The problem is that there is a very fine line between "Promoting Myself" and "Goofing off on facebook". It becomes a much bigger problem when my wife comes into the room and asks "Whatcha' doing?"
I ususally look up from whatever I'm typing furiously at and stammer a bit, while my mind goes from "Internet troll hunter" mode to "Devoted husband" mode. This never helps my case any, but it's unavoidable. One of the things that makes me a good writer is that I have this very focused, "tune out reality" thing that I do when I get on the computer that allows me to immerse myself in worlds of my own imagining, or sometimes in a particularly well written MMO of someone else's imagining. Coming out of this tunnel vision takes a few seconds.
So it happens that I look up from the keyboard, look deeply into my wife's incredibly sexy and curious deep brown eyes and say "Huh?"
"Whatcha Doing?" she'll repeat as the eyes go from "curious" to "annoyed".
"Oh..." I'll say, grasping for a handhold on the reality train, "I'm just updating my convention schedule*."
Silverfox always frowns at this point, although I doubt anyone but me would notice the subtle downward curl of her lip. My brain, now determined to fall into the car on the reality train that carries the manure, insists that I apologize. For what? No clue.
"Really, I'm sorry. Not just goofing off, I swear." I spit out. Hmm... Manure smells a little like that sewage line that comes out onto the beach a few blocks from my Dad's house...
Silverfox looks at me with daggers. I realize at this point that she may be having a rough day, and I sound exactly like Short Stuff explaining that cookies for dinner are recommended by the USDA, (as long as one of the cookies is raisin-oatmeal).
My brain backfires. I stand up in the manure car and smile, wiping the hay from my hair and drop the instant forgive-me bomb. "I love you." I say.
She snorts. I'm still ankle deep in the manure at this point.. but I my friend, am standing... not lying... in the pig poop! My brain yells at me to simply show her what I am typing, and prove to her that I am actually working. "HAH!" the left side of my brain yells at the right, "The truth is for sissies! I will triumph in this through sheer force of charisma!"
The right side of my brain tries to mount a defense about how well that worked for Hitler, but the left side charges forward, trying to climb out of the manure car by saying, "You know, I'm spending all this time on facebook for us!"
Silverfox turns and glares at me, and I know I'm screwed. The boxcar full of manure is sealed from the outside. I don't know yet about the hard time Pint Sized gave her at the doctor, the problems with her car, or the fact that one of the kids left the fridge open last night. All I really know is that I have just said something really, really bad.
The right side of my brain pushes the left side aside while calling him a moron. I turn the screen and show Silverfox that I've sold a few more copies of my books. I'm in the clear, for now.
Thank god she didn't notice the minimized "Star Trek Online" window**. That would have been really tricky to explain.
*only an example... I am often multi tasking, making funny status updates, writing my blog, planning appearances, making memes about how much I hate memes to promote "No Memes day", all at the same time. None of which is really goofing off.
** This is goofing off. Only on breaks, between serious attempts at promotion. I swear.