Adventures in Writing (Part 2)

Shot of my room on Saturday night.
.. so when we left off last time, Saturday had been super productive and I was confident of hitting my goal of 25k words for the weekend.  I was just under 12k words total for the first day and had a full day and a half to match that to essentially be right on the cusp, so I went to bed with dreams of nearly half my story written.

Then I woke up Sunday.

I was just out of the shower and had eaten my breakfast and was getting into writing mode when I got a call on my cell phone from a number I know all too well.. home.

I answered, and after a few cursory, "How is everybody" type questions.. the purpose of the call was revealed.

"Your son has locked himself in the downstairs bedroom and can't get out."  Funny how he's always 'my son' when he does things like this.

To set the stage a little.. the house we're renting here in Harrisonburg is a nice older home.. we have good space, (around 2800sq feet), and we're very close to campus.. really when we were looking for places to live there was nothing even close to this in terms of distance from campus, size.. and even the rental price wasn't too bad.  We were looking at moving to a really sort of questionable home for about $100 more that was about 10 miles away from town. So we were really blessed to get a chance at this place.

HOWEVER.. it's not a perfect home.  There are several doors that have real locks on them, not the 'hole in the middle that you can unlock by poking it' type inside door.. but the 'needs a key' heavy door, for bedrooms.

The problem this brings is, when a door is locked, we sorta have no way to open it.  We've had to crawl through a window and take a door off it's hinges a couple times in the past.

Yeah, he's sort of a mischevious
2 years old.
Well, on Sunday.. my youngest (That's him over ---->) had locked himself in the boys room downstairs. The bad news, that is one of the keyed doors that we don't have a key for, and since it's ground level, we've got the window locked and blocked.. so you can't get into it from the outside.  Plus, the hinges are on the inside of the bedroom, so I couldn't even try to get in that way.

So, that created a very interesting situation where he was in the bedroom crying, I was 10 minutes away in a Hotel, and my wife and kids were trying to tell him to unlock the door, (one of those small middle knob locks), but to no avail.

So, my wife drove over to get me quickly, leaving the older kids in charge (12 yo and 10 yo) for a moment with instructions to not leave the door and to try to distract their brother so he didn't get too scared.

Once I got home, we tried calling a locksmith, but Harrisonburg is dominated by a couple of reglions, one is Amish Mennonite, the other is Church of the Bretheren. Both Churches are very conservative.. so finding a locksmith on Sunday was impossible.

I tried to use a credit card, but the door was closed so tight all it did was tear the card apart.

After numerous attempts to show him, through the window, how to open the door and having him smile initially but then give a big frown.. which of course breaks your heart.

So.. after some time trying to do pretty much everything, I noticed that the door knob screws were on my side of the door, so I grabbed a screwdriver and took the screws out.  That allowed me to take half of the door knob off, then from that I wasn't able to unlock the door, but I was able to bend the piece of metal that acted as the shaft that engaged the lock.

So.. I spent the next hour or so bending that piece, slowly at first, and then as it weakened, more and more until it finally broke. Once it broke I took a hammer and used a screwdriver and a wood block, and used it to push the lock out and finally open the door.

Koa, (my youngest's name), came out and just clung to my wife for a while before switching to me.  I spent the rest of the afternoon just snuggling with him while he watched cartoons and slept.

Breaking the door knob ended up not being a big deal, we'd bought a door knob to replace on that door anyway because of the lock, so we just threw the door knob away and put the new door knob on the door so we won't have that problem in the future.

Needless to say, Sunday's writing never actually happened. I ended up staying at home on Sunday and going back to my hotel on Monday morning and getting my stuff and checking out.

So.. I got a day and a half of production, essentially 50% of my time.. and since I got to almost 50% of my goal, I was satisfied with my progress.

Writing is my goal, my passion, but my kids are my life. If there is ever a choice between the two, my family will always come before any writing.

So.. that was my weekend. Great day of writing.. followed up by a Great day of being Daddy, (once he was freed from his prison).

Overall.. still a great writing experience. Now.. my next adventure is LDStorymakers in May.  I can't wait.


  1. Family always come first and you won't get those 'moments' back.

  2. I love the idea of getting away to a retreat of sorts to write. Good call, though. Family always comes first!

  3. Oy. Well, at least you got some good material for writing. LOL


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