Writing live from a Panera Bread in Aurora on the 31st day of March, it’s Lisa Marlin. This is my last chance to get a fourth post in before the stroke of midnight — a March challenge from two other creative sorts. That’s seven hours away, but I’ve got a few things more to do between now and my usual 9pm bedtime. So this is it, less than one hour before I must pack up my Lenovo laptop and head back to the volley ball club where my daughter is practicing until 6pm. I told her I’d be there to see the last 15 minutes, so the clock is really ticking away.

The voices of the other patrons placing their orders for a plethora of bread and beverages are suddenly very loud and interrupt my train of thought — it is, in fact, off the tracks. The symphonic music blasts through the speakers over my head. The swing of the trash door clanks as people stomp over to discard the clattering rubbish from their trays. How did everything get so noisy, so disruptive to my carefree, creative flow?

I have written to deadlines before in busy newsrooms where the phone rings incessantly and the editor reminds me press time is near as he clears the crud of the day from his throat. But those stories don’t matter now. They have disappeared into my past. They’re yesterday’s news.

This post in this moment matters most. And living up to what I set out to do. To write. “Don’t be a writer. Be writing.” I read that earlier today — or something very close to that idea — and it jolted me from the place of complacency where I claim to be a writer, with published proof to back me up. But I have not been writing. Regularly.

Blame it on the cold that my daughter passed to me that she picked up at school that other unkempt  kids freely transferred with unclean hands and uncovered coughs. I’ve been sick, too ill to concentrate on giving life to words. So the words lay, ly, lie?…dormant, dead.

Today, under the pressure of getting that fourth post done, I am writing. I am a writer writing. Not well — both me and these words. But, well, oh well, I’m making my way back to the bright side of life where I’m starting to feel good, or is it well? Yes, well. And write good and lively words all in row. Posted. And accomplished well before midnight.

And there’s still time to watch Grace practice volley ball. Kill!