A Writer Needs a Towel, by Erin Cupp

Editor’s note: Please welcome CWG member and guest blogger, Mrs. Erin Cupp, O.P. — thanks for writing, Erin!

I write with my towel. Okay, that’s an overstatement. I write with my towel except for naptime and Playdoh time. Otherwise, I write with my towel. This is because I have a toddler. I have finished entire chapters, completed blog entries, made marketing contacts, even attended an online writers conference, all thanks to my towel.

I can be at one end of the kitchen table with my laptop while my toddler is at the other end with some spoons, a few funnels, and her deep tray of “fun rice.” They all play together nicely on top of my towel. By the time we’re shaking stray rice grains from the towel back into their tray, I’ve already sent off a query.

After a morning of muddy gardening, my toddler can perch atop a chair and spend a good forty-five minutes splashing in the sink while I finish that next chapter. I apply my towel to said toddler (and the surrounding counters, chair and floor), and all is well.

I can even put the towel, a large plastic bowl of sudsy water, all the dirty sippy cups, and our toddler on the floor. Not only do the cups get washed, so does the floor. So does most of the toddler. Meanwhile, I’ve both posted that latest blog entry and sent out another press release.

My towel is a mop, a funnel, a flag, a chair fort, a portal to another world. Oh, and it’s a great way to dry off a toddler when she’s been playing in the backyard sprinkler. This toddler shares a birthday with the late Douglas Adams, celebrated proponent of both interstellar adventure and towels. I can pray for his soul, and I can write with my towel.

Erin Cupp is a lay Dominican who lives with her family of vertebrates somewhere out in the middle of Nowhere, Pennsylvania. Her short writing has appeared in Canticle Magazine, Parents, The Catholic Standard and Times, The Philadelphia City Paper, Outer Darkness Magazine, and the newsletter of her children’s playgroup. She blogs about year-round meatless Fridays at http://mrsmackerelsnapperop.wordpress.com. Her novel, Jane_E, Friendless Orphan: A Memoir is available on Amazon. She is hard at work writing a NFP-murder mystery while her toddler plays on a towel.


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4 Responses to A Writer Needs a Towel, by Erin Cupp

  1. Ann Seeton says:

    Hurray for Towels! I really need to take this post to heart, loosen up and apply my towel. Thank you for an uplifting and timely message.

  2. Leslie Lynch says:

    I remember being able to accomplish great things when my kids were little – and your towel strategy is an apt one! But I fear I have gotten out of practice. Either that, or my house is not as toddler-proof as it was all those years ago. 😉 When my granddaughter comes over, it works best if I put my computer to the side until she’s gone home.

    Seriously, using found moments to do snippets of work is an important point. You made it very well. Thank you! Off to experience the gem of a towel moment…

  3. If I’m ever tempted to say, “I’m too busy,” I’ll remember your towel.

  4. PS. I love the security question before posting. Im so tempted when asked what is 4+3 to say, “It was seven when I went to school; but that may have changed since.” :)