"Good evening, folks! We are in for an exciting time tonight as M.J. Piazza is opening her Microsoft Word document for the first time in weeks."
"You know, Tim, in almost a decade of writing, it's been really rare for her to take so much time off. COVID-19 has really negatively affected her creative flow."
"And she's not the only one, Charley. Have you been on Instagram recently? It's been a regular mess over in the comic section. Alright, here she goes. The Word document is loaded, and she's off to Chapter Three."
"And now for the first word...oh, don't tell me, Tim. What's the hold-up?"
"It looks like she's picking up her phone, right at the get-go here, this could be a deadly mistake...but oh, it looks like we're in luck. She's opened the YouTube Music app. She's picking out a playlist as we speak."
"What's your take on the music?"
"Well, Charley, it's actually a pretty common anti-distraction tactic. M.J. here has taken it to another level, though, by typically only listening to music that's not in English! How many languages are represented in this playlist that she's opening right now?"
"Hard to say, Tim. You've got your instrumentals, of course, and quite a few of the songs are in Gaelic, actually. Then we've got some in Latin, one in Hebrew--alright, she's picked a song manually to start off with, and it's in French."
"Sounds like she's starting off with a classic. 'La Chanson de Mardi Gras,' sung by none other than Hozier before his solo days. And she is turning her attention back to the Word document, and she is writing...no, wait, she's deleting."
"Bold tactic here."
"You know, Charley, sometimes the creative juices just can't pick up where they left off."
"I know that's right, Tim. Looks like she's only deleting about half a paragraph. Mostly dialogue."
"Alright, and she's starting the dialogue fresh. Who's talking?"
"Caitriona, I think. M.J. hasn't used a dialogue tag in a while, though, so it's a little hard to tell. And we've got the first word of the day--oh wow, looks like a full sentence. 'I didn't mean it like htat.'"
"Type-o time. She's fixed it."
"So much for the hot pen method, Tim."
"You know, Charley, she's never liked that method much. Sometimes her fingers go in the wrong order on the keyboard. You remember that classic blunder back in '17, she typed 'vafroite' instead of 'favorite.'"
"She was sleep-deprived at that point, I thought--and she's off again--look at those fingers flying, Tim. Nothing like it. She's got a whole 'nother sentence out already."
"'Alynn made herself smile as she clutched Elsie tighter to her chest.' What emotion is being conveyed here! What depth of--"
"Oh no, what's this?"
"Bad news, Charlie. M.J.'s getting called downstairs to feed the dog. This has happened before, and it normally destroys her train of thought. Will she or won't she leave the keyboard--"
"Oh, she's left! Two sentences, eighteen words, not even one song finished on her playlist. What a disappointing turn of events, Tim!"
"Oh, don't worry, Charley. She'll come back. She always does. Tune in next time to see if Chapter Three ever gets finished."
M. J. Piazza is a Jesus-loving, dog-walking country girl who just so happens to write books.