Writing

It’s Time to Play Hooky

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What’s this? you say.  Only two weeks after talking about battling that big old writing mountain, and you’re already talking about playing hooky

Why, yes friends, I am.

Because, this Tuesday, I’m planning on taking the day off from writing in the name of research, mental health, monumentally bad hair, and whatever other fluff-filled justifications come to mind.  Though, there will be a few errands and parenting thrown into the mix, I’ll be banished from the keyboard and all works-in-progress for the day.  Instead, I’ll be doing a couple of things I haven’t done in a loooong time ( if ever).

Here’s the schedule:

  • Emergency haircut — It’s been five months since this head has seen a pair of scissors, and things are getting ugly.  Literally.  (And, Aubrey, if you’re reading this, I’ll pay you double if you add an extra ten minutes to the head massage part.)
  • Traditional Book Store Meandering — I went this week for birthday shopping, but I had a time-limit, a list and a mission.  This trip will be for leisurely browsing and discovery only.  And, maybe a muffin.
  • Comic Book Store Visit — I’ve driven past this speck of a store approximately 5,007 times, and have never stopped in to look around.  Tuesday’s the day.  I plan to say, “Tell me, my friend, have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?” upon entry.  Or, will that get me kicked out?
  • The Mall (if time permits) — Now, I hate shopping, so I generally avoid the mall like housework, cooking, and Dumb and Dumber, but this trip should be fun.  There’s a character in my book — an eccentric, WTH(!) type of character — who I need to flesh out a bit.  I’m hoping to come across such a person at the mall (yes, actually hoping to run into a weirdo) to give me some direction with the details.  Some might call this stalking, invasion of privacy, or just plain creepy, but writers like to call it “research.”

When Tuesday is over, I’ll be back to work with (hopefully) a refreshed mind, new great reads, a completed character sketch and some rockin’ locks!

So, will you join me?  I would never condone skipping school skip it, work skip it, or family obligations sell them, especially under false pretenses, but if you have the ability to take a day off call in sick, I encourage you to do so.  Will I pay you myself for your missed wages, vouch for you to your boss, or babysit your young children.  Um, NO.  But, I will pat you on the back, and call you my comrade in crime.

Even if you don’t have the luxury of taking a day away from your work (or workplace), maybe you can steal ten minutes of day-dreaming during a conference call, ten minutes of people-watching on your lunch break, or ten minutes of just sitting while the baby naps.  A  little refresher, if you please — a mini bout of hooky to give you a boost that can easily be added into your daily routine. [picapp align=”right” wrap=”true” link=”term=shush&iid=294962″ src=”http://view1.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/294962/blond-young-woman/blond-young-woman.jpg?size=500&imageId=294962″ width=”234″ height=”353″ /]

What would you do if you could play hooky for a day?  Remember, if you do participate, have fun, and most importantly…Don’t. Get. Caught.  I won’t tell.

50 thoughts on “It’s Time to Play Hooky”

    1. Ah yup! Massage massage massage. And maybe a chocolate milkshake! Oh and reading a book in the sun in the park. Then maybe a stroll around a musty old book store. GRRRR it has to be done!

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  1. Ha ha, fun post! Hope you had loads of fun being away from the rigors of life. I pass by a (plant) nursery, which looks beautiful and green, every day and keep wishing that I could stop by and just browse, but obviously I never find the time to do that. I will make time and do that soon and then come back to tell you… 🙂

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  2. I can relate to this Amanda. Yesterday, I had my hair cut and styled and boy, did I need it. After spending 6 weeks in my room, writing nonstop dressed in jogging bottoms and a scuzzy t-shirt, my greasy hair piled on top of my head….well. you get the picture. I look human again 🙂
    Sometimes, you must go do something else to clear your head. Hope you find that weirdo to give you inspiration for your character lol

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  3. I’m retired but I’m a 24/7 caregiver to my husband. What a cushy job. Don’t even need a day off. I am thankful that this stage of his Alzheimer’s is manageable. We enjoy life. In the days when I worked, which were many, when possible, I would have gone to the beach, sat in the sun, and read a book.

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  4. Playing hooky sounds like fun, especially with the “watching my small children” part thrown in the mix. Too bad I can’t actually do it ;). Have fun though, and I will be thinking of you on Tuesday!

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  5. everytime i decide im going to grow my locks i end with a haircut within 15 days!!!its always a great way to set in a new mode…ihave too been wanting to go comic bookshopping…and this weekend seems like a perfect time!!
    great post..got me thinking all this!

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  6. One more week and then I’m delivering the final draft of the novel to my editor, Amanda–then I can hit $3.99 box of hair color that’s been in my closet for four months HARD. Does that count?

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  7. “wagging” we call it here in Australia, and I’m all for it [don’t tell my son I wrote that]
    It does wonders to just get away from writing occasionally.
    Enjoy the break.

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  8. At a certain point, good haircuts are not optional! I was raised to think it was OK to play hooky once in a while, and man, do I appreciate that more and more as I go through life and meet people who don’t get that. Enjoy it, and good luck finding the character!

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    1. Thank you! I NEVER played hooky growing up (and would often sigh to myself about it in my half-empty high school classroom when all of my friends we’re at the baseball home-opener, special parade, etc.) I think everyone deserves a break out of the ordinary sometimes — without feeling guilty about it.

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  9. Sounds like fun Amanda! About a week ago I got bored at home and cut my hair myself- not too much, just the front but I like it 🙂
    Next stop- coloring! You got to take risks, right?

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    1. Be careful — the only time I ever colored my hair (in college) it ended up being purple instead of the gorgeous auburn I was hoping for. I’m impressed about the haircutting, though, so you can probably handle it.

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  10. Well, my life is essentially one long game of hooky…but glad you’re taking some time to enjoy yourself! It’s fun, isn’t it?

    I do love that writers can justify almost anything as “research.” It’s definitely one of the major perks of the job.

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  11. Ha, and here I thought I was the only one who loved running into “weirdos.” It’s so awesome when you run into one of your characters, isn’t it!

    Anyway, have fun. I’ll be at my keyboard, but only because I took one too many days off over summer.

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    1. I took a a few too many days off during the summer as well, but since it’s been months since I’ve had any “alone-time,” I’m justifying it. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

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  12. Enjoy your day out Amanda. Do remember though, Malls tend to have quite comprehensive security, and whilst it is there to monitor the type of person you are hoping to meet, it would be an unfortunate end to your day of bliss to be mistaken for a stalker.

    Being used to taking mini mind-breaks whilst sitting in front of the computer, (I believe this is called thinking, or research), I often lapse into mind-wandering reveries at work. It’s terribly refreshing. I intend to do even more on Tuesday in honour of your special day. Not, however, recommended for airline pilots, surgeons or users of precision tools.

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    1. Yes, I’ll have to steer clear of security, as my binoculars, dark clothes and notepad may render me a character of suspicion. On the other hand, maybe they would take me to the “holding pen” that I assume must be in the depths of the mall, and investigate their captives to my heart’s content.

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  13. I’m actually flying to Berlin on Tuesday, so I may be playing hooky from my story/novel/whatever for a whole ten days!!! But I’ll be writing a travel journal and hopefully blogging and maybe writing a little bit in my story too…. Hard to let go sometimes ^_^”.

    Though yesterday I took a hooky day from proper writing – I critiqued a marvelous story by one of my amazing bloggy friends. Does that count?

    I hope your day goes fantastic and that you find the character you need prowling around in the mall!

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  14. Hi Amanda, I think my next day off will be spent cleaning my house! And getting shorn. Good post, though, on the reminder to take time for me. 😉

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  15. I have a huge list of things that need doing when the kids go back to school next week, but the first thing I will be doing is a nice, leisurely day to myself.
    I’m thinking a train ride to the big city (ahem! Cardiff doesn’t quite have London or New York status, but it’s the closest thing I’ve got.) Perhaps take in the Impressionist Exhibition at the museum, a nice cup of tea & a piece of cake. Mmmmm. (Not shared!)
    It’s been a while!

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  16. I’m in! I’m especially up for the bookstore part. I’ll meet you in the Fiction section. I’ll be the short one laughing my fool head off at Kurt Vonnegut.

    If only you were in Columbus, I’d point you to the strangest guy I know. He works behind the ice cream counter at the local United Dairy Farmers–he has for years–and the only thing I can tell you about his name is that nobody knows it. Instead, he has nicknames like “Big Slingblade.” When you walk through the door, he says things like “Greetings, salutations, and HI!” And if you ask for whipped cream on your hot fudge sundae, he’ll give you the whole can plus three cherries.

    I kind of love the guy.

    Enjoy your day. Well deserved!

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  17. did you get into the comic book? Want suggestions for good (adult) comics? 😉
    I’m single, so I can play hooky whenever I want… but I know what you mean! I’ve been on vacation for 2 weeks (and my hairdresser was closed anyway), and now I badly need new color… why do we get gray hair when we still feel young? sigh! 😦

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    1. The store was closed when I got there with no explanation as to why! I will have to try again, but this time I will call first.

      And, I like to pretend my new gray hairs are really blonde highlights. 😉

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  18. I’m with you on the hair thing. But a day off is always good. I haven’t looked at writing for a week or so because I’ve been betaing and stuff. It’s good to step back for a while. Sometimes it allows you to see things you never saw before. Not to mention that breaks are good for renewal.

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  19. Maybe a massage and a facial…maybe just a penny dreadful book and a beautiful cup of coffee–at a local coffee shop they make a picture in the foam on top of the coffee. Maybe a walk leaving the destination and the guilt of I should be walking more at home. Maybe….
    I loved skipping school…playing hooky…my parents looked the other way….odd how I never consider it as an adult–Thanks for the possibility.

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  20. I always feel so guilty to play hooky, but when I do it on purpose to further the cause of creativity it’s wonderful! Like a nap in a hammock, or a casual library trip or photography shoot…Well, maybe just the nap. 🙂

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