A New Story and Some Thoughts

Happy Spring! Today I wore my light jacket and I DIDN’T EVEN BRING MITTENS TO WORK. Spring! (Still a little ice on the river but spring!)

But in case you are nostalgic for the pink sugar shock of Valentine’s Day, I offer Speculative Valentine Drabbles 2015, available via Amazon for only $0.99. What the heck is a drabble, you ask? A drabble is a (roughly) 100-word story; these are of the speculative variety (so anything including horror, sci fi, fantasy, etc.). AND the collection includes my story, “The Imp and the Fairy.”

I have been in a weird spot in the past month or so with my writing. I’ve lost my drive. The first few weeks of the year were excellent. I had to do lists and weekly intentions and was knocking writing stuff off left and right. Then I hit a wall.

A few things happened.

  • Spring semester started. Suddenly my full time job was once again my full time job. I have time here and there to write, but nothing sustained.
  • We passed a school bond referendum in my town. I’m thrilled. My kids – and all the kids in the district – will have excellent (and much needed) facilities. The final few weeks of the campaign were, um, intense.  I spent a lot of time refuting erroneous information & mobilizing voters. It was an amazing experience – and one that I’m still digesting (to spit out in a future blog post, no doubt) – but one that also took a lot of energy.
  • I received my editorial assessment on Some Flew North from the amazing Rebecca Heymann of Rebecca Faith EditorialIt was terrifying to open the letter but I’m glad I did. I also can’t describe how cool it is to Skype with a stranger-turned-collaborator about the intricacies of a world that exists inside my head, nailing down vital details and shaping a newer, better story. But….making it better will require more time than anticipated.

Remember my unresolutions from the start of the year? I wrote about the practices and mindsets I need to support my writing life. I’ve slipped a bit, but I’m not sure why.

Of course I was hoping that the reasons would become apparent as I wrote this post. I can see some themes: I’ve been distracted (or I’ve let myself become distracted – this is probably more correct) and I’m feeling time stress. Usually time time stress pushes me to write, but this time it isn’t.

Eh, could be the weather, could be spring semester, could be the phases of the moon or the fact that my kids wear me out. I’m struggling with impatience – spring fever, maybe – wanting the world to be other than it is. (This, of course, is the cause of suffering, according to the Buddhists.)

For the moment, I am relieved to have identified the fact that I’ve lost some motivation. Now if I can only find the motivation to explore my lack of motivation…

I'll try anything on the equinox

photo (11)Remember the episode of the West Wing where CJ Cregg insists that you can balance an egg on its end, but only at the EXACT moment of the vernal equinox?  Every year I intend to try this.  Today the equinox was at 11:57 AM.  I had good intentions, but ended up going out for lunch with my special guy and forgot to bring an egg.

The interwebz informs me you actually can balance an egg on end – and not just today but any day – as long as you are patient.  Aha!  That’s the problem.  I am not a patient person.  So enjoy a picture I took of eggs laying on their sides.

I am a huge fan of spring and the equinox in particular, despite my lack of egg balancing patience.  Darkness and light are in balance, there is new growth and a return of energy.  I’ve been in a bit of a funk for the past few months (see Monday’s post), not particularly unhappy but not particularly happy, either.  I did a lot of pondering and waiting over the winter, and while these are normal – and often useful – periods, I am also impatient enough (see above) that the stillness of winter didn’t sit well with me.

But now I’ve taken steps to make writing a much larger part of my life, I’ve figured out some goals and am incredibly optimistic and excited about where these paths might lead.  The second draft of my novel is finally (finally!) chugging along.

I’m also learning some patience, too.  For awhile, I was blah that writing wasn’t panning out as quickly as I desired.  I created a blog, for goodness sake!  I decided that writing was my vocation! Shouldn’t all my wildest dreams immediately come true?

That’s not how life works, of course.  And sometimes our best-laid plans can be cruelly undermined.  Life is precious, and I’m happy that today I realize it.  I’m also thankful that I have so much time to sit and look out my window, to scribble in a journal and send loooooong emails to friends who are kind enough to reply (especially when they are having exciting overseas adventures).  This reflection has helped me find my own sense of balance as I move forward, which is perhaps the greatest  gift of sabbatical.

Happy Spring!