Monday, January 25, 2010

Life Gets Ahead of Me

OMG! Has it really been that long since I wrote here? Blogspot doesn't lie. Sorry, kids, no good excuse, but that stack of Sue Grafton mysteries a friend loaned me is partly to blame. Because each book links to the previous one, it's like reading one long novel I cannot put down. And, unlike the Harry Potters, the next volume has already come out. They just sit there, lined up on my desk, whispering, "Oh, just one or two chapters more, then you can go out and play." Ha! But I cannot blame Grafton for all my procrastinations. We've had a family member, elderly, ill. She died last evening, and while we will miss her, she's no longer confused and in pain, and the air feels lighter without her suffering. It has taken all the adults in our extended family to support her and each other. That's a legitimate commitment to life outside the book.

Then there were writing assignments: a friend and I have worked on a script for a coffeehouse performance coming up this spring; another friend and I have been inventing a workshop on creativity; poems have piled up and now require compilation into a new collection. I'm plugging away at that, and my first readers have signed on, but I must get a generous selection to them so we can weed out the weaker pieces. Then the actual manuscript must coalesce. (Hmm, that's a big word for come together.) This whole mess, then, is the writing life. Stephen King says in his admirable book On Writing, to put the desk in the corner and remember that's where it belongs, not center stage. My desk sits in a specially built writing nook, in front of a big window, and from the living room it's invisible. But I always know that it's there, waiting for me to pay some attention. Just not all my attention. My desk is patient; it knows I'll be back. Now, I have a meeting to prepare for. Talk soon.

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