The New Year seems like it should be a time of year when people can slow down and take stock. This year, it seems like there is no slowing. The world continues to erode before our eyes and instead of finding a sense of peace, the need to fight and rage is a bag that must be carried over from that bitch of 2016.
But this is 2017. It’s a new year and I aim to treat it as such. Even if it’s for the space of one breath.
I realize it isn’t fruitful to don a complete Pollyanna vibe; by putting blinders on and cross my fingers and just hope things don’t get too bad. But I can’t live a life filled with worry. It does shitty things for my sleep and taking care of myself and my family. So I continue to try for a fine balance.
There are some awesome people out there offering up great ideas on how to cope. I could list them, but honestly, I’m not in the mood for that today. My favorite bit of advice to date, however, comes from Chuck Wendig over at Terribleminds. He suggested as writers, we “write…despite”. No matter what.
It’s simple, elegant, and helpful for my state of mind lately.
However, one thing was business as usual in my little corner of the world. Sunday, January 1, 2017 seemed like a great day to go jump in a lake!
Last year, I braved the cold weather in a bathing suit and joined a handful of folks as crazy as myself as we immersed ourselves in the cold waters of Lucky Peak Lake.
This year, I signed up to take place in the 14th annual, Great Polar Bear Challenge.
I’ve said it before, and it’s been said my many others in some very wonderful ways, but writing is a lonely pursuit. It isn’t often writers open their doors to others and invite them in to look at a project until it’s been through 3, 4, or 54 revisions.
But sometimes, I have these moments where I tickle myself with a phrase, a page or a simple paragraph.
Thought I would share todays ticklish moment with you.
The gist of the scene is this. Our heroine has just landed in Milan and needs to get to a swanky villa in Lake Como and she decided to take a taxi because it’s the fastest route possible.
I listen to a lot of music while I’m writing. I have mixes I’ve come up with over the years, they range in variety and texture. I’ve named my mixes, because it’s what my sister and I always used to do. Make each other these mixed tapes, cd’s and call them wonderfully ridiculous things. For example: Mountain songs, Songs to Sing, For the Road, Hippie on a Bike with a cockatoo #3. Today, I put on an old cd I haven’t listened to in a long while, something I had hastily, lamely named For the Rain.
Life is made up of small victories. I know a thousand people have said that in a thousand different ways over the years. From philosophers to poets to dietitians.
And it seems to me, just as it must have seemed to all those that have come before, that if all we did was celebrate the big, great, monumental moments in our lives, we would then have a very dim outlook on the world as we waited for life to happen in large boisterous booms. So might it not be more prosperous than, to attempt to celebrate the little moments? To be awed by the building of that monument instead?
I just finished Maria Semple’s book Where’d you go, Bernadette: A Novel. I loved it, because it was funny, quick, and because Maria Semple was a writer on Mad About You and Arrested Development, two of my all-time favorite TV shows, one that had me dreaming of moving to New York and the other that was so smart and funny I laughed during the whole damn show and was one among thousands that binge watched the series when Netflix released the whole season at once. So, needless to say, I had high hopes for this book and it delivered.
This is not a book review, I just wanted to get to this part. At the end of the book is this little added bonus story/quip/bit and after reading it I was agog with feelings of I WISH I HAD WRITTEN THAT. I wish I had read it when it came out four years ago. I am so completely inspired.
I used to participate in writing groups. It wasn’t my thing. I mean, it was my thing, but I never connected with the people I met. I want to be part of a writing group, there is a need to connect with others and spend time ruminating the ins and outs of character and plot and storyline and humanity and life and love and…well…the heart of it is that when it comes to writers and their writing groups; finding the perfect group is an exercise in finding your tribe. The place you belong.
I have not found my tribe of writers.
I married a Star Wars lover and because of that or by process of osmosis or the Force; that love has seeped into my blood.
Ars Gratia Artis.
A few things. I took Latin in High School. I did it because no other language interested me. Spanish so I could actually communicate with another human being that is alive today? No thanks, give me the dead language please. Honestly, I took Latin because it called to me, because they didn’t offer Italian at school and it was as close as I could get. I also took it because there was so much history that went with the class. As a person who has a degree in History (emphasis on Antiquities, Greeks and Romans) I loved Latin class.
The snake hissed angrily. A large striped, unwanted fiend that was attempting to take up residence. Across from the snake, the dog stood growling, a rabid monster ready to pounce.
I slowly backed from the slithering beast to take hold of the dog. He balked as my fingers dug in, twisting a hand full of the matted fur in case I had to hold him back.
The taunting tongue of the tempter of Eve sickeningly hissed; mockingly. The dog’s chest rumbled with anger.