I’ve been backing up my computer lately.

And that means cleaning up the files.

Oh it’s amazing how much junk you can accumulate.

I have files that are so old my Word program doesn’t recognize what program created them!

But I have stubbornly kept them. Perhaps one day they’ll come in useful.

I’d hate to be in the position where the story I just discarded would be perfect for the purpose!

Hmm, doesn’t that sound like a hoarder’s excuses?

I think everyone’s been in the position where you finally got rid of that odd pair of pants and then a week later there was an outfit they would have gone so perfectly with!

Anyway, I was going through my files, cleaning them in order to be transferred to a storage device and I saw just the title of a piece I’ve been working on.

Despite the recent accolades, I confess that my confidence in my picture book writing skills is pretty much zilch. But just seeing this title gave me an instant and quite visceral reaction!

I really really loved that piece!

Don’t know if it’ll ever get published, probably not. But heck, I LOVE it!

So I started to work on it, and oh the joy!

I was so engrossed that not even the sound of the Fast and Furious Tokyo whatever installment that my hubby was watching just a few feet away on his computer, was able to dislodge my concentration.

Takes me way back to the time I was just a kid. I went to high school across from where my dad worked as a tool and die maker. One day I stayed late after school, missed the bus, so I went over to his work place and decided to hang around till 5 pm to hitch a ride home with him.

He let me do my homework at his workbench.

It was a raw wood bench scarred with gouges and stains from machine oil and what not, and in the background I heard all kinds of machinery whirring and punching and stuff. I thought to myself, “How can I ever concentrate with so much noise in the background?” But actually it was the most focused bit of homework I ever did, and have ever done since.

Then later I heard that having that kind of non-regular, machinery noise actually improves a person’s concentration. Maybe it drowns out your inner voice with its randomness. I don’t know. But I do know I’ve striven for that level of concentration ever since.

Every once in a while I do achieve it, but not usually for very long stretches of time.

But last night, when I was working on that piece, yup, it was there.

I was totally immersed! And I loved it!

The more ‘successful’ I get, it seems the less time I have to write and the more elusive those moments of intense creativity really are!

But when they do come…joy!

Of course the doubts set in almost immediately, but for that moment, they didn’t matter.

It was lovely!