Another week gone by before I even stopped to look around me once...until today, Friday, my favorite writing day. It has been far too long since I had a day like this one--missing first to go to NYC (well worth it!) and then last week also because my children were all off from school (also worth it to watch the older two snuggle in together in a giant leather chair at a bookstore to read silly books together while I tried to "write" but wound up only jotting down their overheard phrases). So, two weeks went by...February blues striking here in the very tail end of the month for me. I am craving spring now like sugar on my teeth--gritting, aching, hungry for the green to come back again...wanting to get back to our weekly hikes again...wanting to get outside and work in the garden. I keep re-reading a quote from Van Gogh, "This Summer I saw more colors than ever before," then looking outside where the branches are still architectural and lovely--like pencil sketches, but I want watercolors, acrylics, smeared with a wild stroke of varnish so it all holds just a little longer.
Children busy with homework--so much at times that we are working until bedtime and after to get it done. I am an educator, so I obviously understand the rationale the teacher has about reinforcement...but, I move against the teacher grain because I never would have assigned random busy-work for my own students. Scaffolding, practice for those who needed it, deepening exercises--yes, but not things just to fill up the hours when students could be reading for pleasure, hiding in blanket forts, or counting stars. Yet here we are, night after night, work splayed out over the kitchen table.
A week with a beautiful session of my monthly writer's group where they clamored for the next piece of my novel (and who couldn't use that kind of support, tell me that?), asking me to read twice when I said, "Well, I actually brought something else to workshop," just so they could get their installment until next time. (It was the first section about the strip club--ahem--so, I don't think they were disappointed). Also met up with two of my trio of muses for dinner, good friends who have single-handedly decided they've had enough of my creative waffling (they've been listening to me talk vaguely about writing dreams since the early 1990's) and now email me every Thursday for updates about what kind of "concrete" progress I have made in the past week to get my work out into the world. (Again, who couldn't use this kind of support?) One is having a baby boy in the summer and the other embarking on a whole new round of training with work--a big year of movement and growth for them as well. (The third of the trio is at a distance, living outside Atlanta, and is also expecting a baby early-summer--so I cannot help but to feel like 2007 is a very important time for all of us). A week with a flurry of emails from my New Mexico writing-sisters who are trying to organize a reunion for the summertime and tempting me to stretch my resources and consider getting there--even if I have to load up the car and tie a hastily painted sign on the back bumper, "NEW MEXICO OR BUST".
A week where the writing has gone slowly...incrementally...haltingly. The fresh blush of new creation fading off a touch as I reach the never ending vortex of THE MIDDLE. Mid-winter, mid-novel, mid-editing, mid-school year...any wonder why spring fever has decided to strike me now? A week where lovely, amazing letters are washing ashore in my mailbox from another creative soul--keeping me going in this frozen time. Other things?
*Hearing my boy-o explain casually that we "are all made up of water and stars."
*cup after cup after cup of hot tea to soothe my chilly bones
*reading this book to watch how he struggled through the development of two of his early novels and several winters, journeys, and moments of self doubt
*writing in my journal like one stream-of-consciousness conversation with myself
*checking my comments and getting such comfort from all of you who stop by for my ramblings--thank you
*M.'s joking and open-heartedness
*Petunia's award ceremony coming up tonight where she'll do a public reading of her first place prize winning poem at school
*how Rosie said she had a nightmare about "biting honeybees" and "only Mama" could save her
What has been keeping you going lately?