CONDITIONS ON THE GROUND are perfect. My husband and son took off on a short road trip this week, so I have the place to myself this morning. Perfect day to get in some uninterrupted writing time on the third book in my Logan McKenna series.

The Logan Light is On!

I got up early, threw open the French doors, welcoming the fresh morning air, brewed my favorite black coffee: Peet’s Major Dickison, sliced up a just ripe cantaloupe, arranged it with some prosciutto, and sat down to work the New York Times Spelling Bee. (I’m not smart enough to do the crossword puzzle. I want to be challenged, not frustrated.) I knew once I was fully-caffeinated and got my brain going with the puzzle, I would be ripe to write. The entire, lovely day stretched out before me. I was itching to get started!

So…in this puzzle, they give you 7 letters arranged in a honeycomb. The goal is to make as many 5-letter words as you can, and the center letter has to be in each word. You get extra points if you can use all 7 letters in one word. Simple.

Got it! For some reason, all the stars were aligned and I got the 7-letter word right away. acquaint. So far, so good!  I got to work on the rest of the list.

And then that damn bird showed up. For those of you who like a mystery (and I’m hoping that’s all of you) this bird’s call is very distinctive:  3 medium-level tweets, one longer, lower one, swooping up to a high trill of repeated notes. Spin. Rinse. Repeat.

I have never been able to identify this bird. I’m sure anyone who has even a passing acquaintance (there’s that word again) with ornithology could identify it in a snap, but even though I’ve googled it, narrowed it down by season and location, and listened to tons of recordings, they’re close, but…no cigar. Can’t see it, either. It hides somewhere in the palm fronds just outside my balcony doors. Intriguing little bastard.

Now…what does this have to do with writing? Nothing much, which is to say, once I get going down a twisted, google path, which leads to many Robert Frost forks in the road, it is easy to lose anywhere from 10 minutes to several hours lost online.

I have mixed feelings about this. Sometimes I do my best thinking when I’m accomplishing what appears to be nothing. On the other hand, at some point I have to pull myself back and get to work. Which I am going to do right now…after I find out the name of that damn bird..!