Wrestling the genie has become my code for writing. I have to grab him, pin him, and hold him down until the school bus comes roaring up the street. That gives me a few hours to get the better of my mystical muse and lock him in a head-hold long enough to bang out some chapters.
Of course, I can’t hold that position for long. Maybe two, three hours at a stretch.
I work from home. There are countless times when he springs away from me or simply dissolves beneath my fingers. There are a couple of reasons for me losing a round. Editing projects from paying clients need to get done. Milk, eggs and various other foodstuffs need to repopulate the refrigerator. Or, even if I have a nice stretch of writing time, the genie throws me on my back. That comes from a break in concentration, which usually occurs with the sound of the buzzer on the washing machine or dryer, an annoyingly persistent pre-recorded phone call, or when my two terriers go berserk at the UPS truck lumbering up the street. (For some reason, they don’t have that reaction to the FedEx truck. I honestly believe they think the UPS big brown van is a gargantuan growling dog.)
If you’re a working/writing mother, you’re probably wrestling the genie, too. I didn’t recognize my daily wrestling match as such until one of my little sprites sprinted in the door from the school bus and called out for me. I was still pounding away on the genie. (I typically try to meet the kids at the door when they get in from school. But if that genie has me in a headlock, what am I supposed to do?)
“Mom, where are you?”
“I’m in here,” I called back.
“Are you with that genie again?” came the exasperated response. (Of course, mom is supposed to do nothing all day but sit by the window waiting for the return of the bus.)
Yes, I was with the genie. (And you don’t have to tell my husband; he already knows.)
I write fiction about the world of the jinn and have particular affection for my main character Zubis. But we don’t always get along. Sometimes I have to throttle him and sometimes we just circle each other on the mat for a while. But I realized that there was a figurative bell that would go off every day at the same time. And that time is when the school bus arrives. I hear the roar of that big diesel engine and my heart rate accelerates. I close in for the clasp and try to get in my final words before the kids plow through the door and the match is over.
Sure, once I have a hold on that genie, I’d like to keep him in my grasp. But there’s something more important than the bout. And that’s those three little referees.
Conveniently (or inconveniently, depending on how the bout is going), my office window looks out on the street at the exact spot where the yellow bus will disgorge the kids. I hear it now. The genie is closing in. Somebody’s going down…
A former journalist, Kellyann’s interest in Middle Eastern myth and legend stems from her stint as a Managing Editor of Publications for the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington, D.C. She is a published author of several genie romance novellas. One book, Angels & Genies, was included in a collection for which Charlaine Harris wrote the foreword. Kellyann lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, three children, and a jaunty terrier named Djin-Djin. Her latest book is The Genie Ignites. Visit her website at www.kfzuzulo.com.
About The Genie Ignites
Bethany O’Brien is a 21st-century woman with a career, ambition and bills. She has no recollection of how she once felt about a nearly 4,000-year-old genie named Zubis who suddenly invades her world, but he certainly remembers her. In a previous incarnation, Bethany was an important temple priestess who apprenticed to the djinn. Zubis, powerful and alluring, is infuriatingly bemused by Bethany’s skepticism. Once upon a time, he vowed to love her forever and has no plans of breaking his vow. And although the priestess she once was had been taught that a romance with a djinni must never be, Bethany gradually realizes that her love for Zubiscannot be forgotten.Along with the returning glimmers of her past life, Bethany is forced to confront a mandate from an ancient society to kill the genie of her dreams.