I’m taking a break from My True Love Story until after December. I want to be able to pour my whole heart into it, not rush through it and mark it off of a long, sometimes miserable list! I AM, however, going to try something different on my blog. I really miss the spontaneity of a blog being more like a journal. Instead of working tirelessly to recreate a story, I want to just sit and write whatever comes to mind. So, I hope you’ll visit! I plan to do this every day this week, as it will take a lot less time than the stories I write. I hope it entertains!
I want to first respond to questions I get about my book, which I am embarrassed to answer. The answer is this: my manuscript has been sitting in a drawer of my nightstand for almost… no, it couldn’t be! But I think it is… almost a YEAR. How terrible! When my Dad passed away, one of my first thoughts was I’m going to chase my dream and make Dad proud! I’m going to start right now, right after the unthinkable (losing my Dad) has happened, because I won’t be afraid. Something truly scary has happened to me and chasing my dream seems comforting by comparison! So I started my blog, with every intention of editing my book, finding a writer’s group to help me, and pursuing publication. I’m still going to do it, but the time frame is---wow--- really affected by my emotional circumstances.
I’m funny about my time. I save the thing I like doing most for last. I make myself do all of the stuff I hate first. I clean the blasted bathrooms, I do the dishes, and then I sit down with baskets full of laundry and fold it while sipping Crystal Light and watching one of my favorite TV series. It’s heavenly. It’s the same thing with my book. I keep saving the joy of it until I’m past adjusting. Adjusting to Mom moving here in a time of grief, adjusting to Mom dating, adjusting to the holidays without Dad and with a family that’s changing so much and so fast you wonder at times if you’ll recognize it! :)
I’m learning so much though! Every new experience, or “adjustment” as I’ve been calling them, makes me a better writer.
I’ll tell you a story. The summer before last, our most wonderful in the world next door neighbors hired our oldest daughter to water their yard for them while they went out of town. There were soaker hoses that she had to turn on for about twenty minutes at a time. Life is insane with four kids all talking a mile a minute, all on different schedules, all making messes at the speed of sound. We didn’t check up on the job she was doing for the neighbors. We wanted to teach her responsibility, and I figured the worst that could happen, which would be just awful considering that our neighbors are the most wonderful in the world, would be that their plants might die under her watchful care. Wrong.
Sunday morning, our daughter went over there to tweak something or other, and noticed that the window well was full of water. She had forgotten to turn off one of the soaker hoses. Under the circumstances she trusted her Dad not to freak out more than she trusted me, so she ran to him. By the time I noticed tension emanating into our house from the yard next door, I came upon Ryan standing in their window well in shorts and his white church shirt, scooping buckets full of water out as fast and furious as he could. It was to no avail. We got the key to the house and went inside. Our legs moved us, though I don’t know how, to the basement of our dear friends’ and as we stepped off of the bottom stair, their carpet just squished and splatted under our feet. We had flooded our neighbor’s basement. The whole entire basement.
We’d have to move of course. We’d be shunned by all. We’d lose our friends, we’d lose our dignity. The world, for us, would pretty much have to end. Ryan is a glass half full kind of guy, but that day he just sat there on our couch, staring at the wall for like an hour. We just couldn’t believe we had let such a thing happen. We couldn’t believe there was nothing we could do to take it back, to make it go away! It took days to even function properly. Angels took over our neighbors’ bodies and they responded with perfection. If you are ever going to flood anyone’s basement, I highly recommend them. I never blogged about it, or posted about it on facebook. It was too painful. I did sit down weeks later, though, to work on my book and wrote one of the saddest scenes I’ve ever written. The bad guy was brutally mean, and the good guy was heart-wrenchingly tortured (Amie style that is, which is the really bearable kind of bad-guy torture). I could write that way because I knew emotion that I hadn’t known until dumdumdum- THE FLOOD.
Moral of the post is this: The writer in me is getting better. The time-manager in me is scouring the figurative bathrooms so that she can get to the fun stuff, aka editing her manuscript for crying out loud and magically transforming into a published author. And no- I don’t believe that’s really the way that happens. I know that there is still plenty of figurative toilet scrubbing to be done along the way to book signing status. Talk me through it people, ‘cuz I’m scared.