Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A Loss of Heart, a third of Life, and 75000 other things

It has been a very long time since I have crossed the paths with this blog. I don't expect many to be waiting for me any longer.  I expect everyone has moved on.  Still, I will dust off the entry mat,  brush the cobwebs off the windows, and put on some hot apple cider while I wait for inspiration to visit.

I was fully prepared to keep the door hinges well oiled back in March.  The springtime holidays began to rev up, I was finally settling into my job, and the call of my novel was in my ears at every quiet moment. Then, on March 29, 2015, I received the call no child ever wants to receive: my mother had moved on from this world; this life.

Even now, this many months later, there are no words to be said to comprehend just how difficult it is to lose a mother, indeed to lose anyone who has taken up so much room in your heart. It broke my heart in so many ways and writing for a time, was lost to me.

You see, my mother taught me my love for books, for stories; for these small yet infinite rectangular worlds.  It has never been lost to me that my love of the written word was gifted by her.  She could read multiple books in one day.  When we visited the library, which was once every two weeks,  she would bring home a stack of books.  We didn't have a lot of money, but we had the world with our library cards.

Obviously, when I was little, she read me many books.  One in particular that I remember was Matilda by Roald Dahl.  She used to say I reminded her of Matilda, without the crazy mean family and the telekinetic powers.  As I got older, we would recommend books to each other and then discuss them.  And when I was in high school, we revisited reading some of my childhood memories and read more books out loud, together.  Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte now always reminds me of my mother.  We had quite a grand time discussing the symbolism and the themes.

After she started losing her vision, she listened to books on tape or CD.  I even recorded myself reading a few books to her, the last of which was The Little Prince by Antoine de Sainte-Exupery which now has so much meaning to me, it's difficult for me to get through any of the more tender and deep-rooted themes without ugly crying, or bawling, as it used to be noted.

So much of this comes to you as you reflect on your memories, your thoughts, and on what you truly believe about life and death.  And it never comes all at once. And sometimes when you aren't expecting it at all.

A short two months after my mother died, I found out I was pregnant with our third child.  It was a lot of worrying ultrasounds, modified bedrest, and constant added stress, but the pregnancy itself was actually fairly calm compared to my second child.

Our third child and first boy was born in January and chaos descended onto the world of work after I returned from maternity leave.  However, when the world is at its most chaotic, it seems that is when the creativity kicks in, and the motivation to do something completely outside of normal life comes to the forefront and begs to be noticed.

This is what I have accomplished in the last month or so.  August 21st at 12:40 am, I completed the first draft of my first novel.  It has been a terrifying and exciting ride, but I have achieved something that I promised my mother I would achieve, that I promised myself I would achieve.  But this is simply the beginning.  I have editing to do, cutting up my novel to pieces and reassembling it into something that someone might actually want to read.

It's still amazing, and still quite terrifying, but it exists in reality now, not merely in my mind.  That is something.  And it is a good something.

It's a journey besides an accomplishment.  But understand that as amazing as first draft completion is, it is just the first step into completing something wonderful.  Don't sell yourself short and refuse to do edits.  Edits can be your best friend.

I am taking a short break between my first and second draft.  I've had it suggested many times to do so to get a fresh perspective.  Instead of a timeline, I have given myself a small range of "things to do" as a reward for completing the draft, and as a way of keeping my creativity peaked in between times.

My rewards for this in-between are as follows:
-I finally get to read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (I just hit Act II last night)
-Do a craft with the girls
-Do a more adulty craft for me
-Bake something with the girls (Did you know my 3 year old can crack eggs without getting shell in the bowl?)

Once I finish these tasks, it is back to writing.  Well, physically writing.  We all know that actual writing never stops, even though the pen might be silent.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Running, Always Running

Step after step
running in the darkness
music in my ears
the breeze pulling back my hair.

I am actually longing to go running now. Even in the darkness, which I've never been overly fond of. I long to make my way down the trail I have frequented and just go until my legs can no longer move forward. I just want to run, let this world around me dissolve, and the world inside me open its doors and allow me entrance.  To the stars, I say. To the stars.

When I close my eyes, I can see the nebulae birthing solar systems, planets teeming with life: lush plants, rushing green waters, small fish and animals rushing to and fro.  The world is tangible. I can touch it, smell it, feel it beneath my running feet.  I want to see it all.

Monday, February 16, 2015

A little water and a lot of work

Normal life is always ongoing. That is definitely a fact. I now have a 2 year old and a 3 year old to wrangle daily. This fact is definitely eye-opening and sometimes makes me wonder why I don't just write children's books for now. They're so much shorter.

We are working to improve our home in small ways that seem so big to us. And we finally have a dining room table on order which, for my writing, will change everything. At the moment, I have no desk or surface to write on.  If I'm writing in a notebook, it is on my lap with a book as a stabilizer. If it's on our laptop, then I have to hold the laptop on my lap, using anything I can find to rest it on so it doesn't burn my knees.

I am excited to have a little station to set up shop. When we first moved to our current abode, I never thought that not having a desk would bother me, but it's become a nuisance when you have little ones attempting to crawl all over you when you are trying to do anything, forget being creative.

At least now, I know my writing notes won't immediately go flying when said children are attempting to climb into my lap and onto my back.

In writing world, much has happened, but much has not. I had such a wonderful breakthrough occur a few weeks ago, and wrote and wrote and wrote. Then I put down my pen, succumbed to sleep, and life picked up in fast pace, and I was eyeing my writing with anxiety.

I feel I need a good bonfire, music on my iPhone, and solitude to collect my feelings.  I've been sorting through my brain and finally putting to paper, but the paper is frightening.  Seeing it in print scares me.  What if no one likes it? What if, within my brain, it all makes sense, and once it is on paper, it doesn't translate?

How does one find that magic door that translates it flawlessly from brain to paper? I swore I found the door and walked right through at points in my life, but I always seem to be starting from square one every time. It is intimidating.

Music calms me, at least.

I think I need to follow my mentor, Mr. Bradbury, and just pick up, begin, and never let myself stop. It is time to make it an important piece in my life. It was always that "important" thing that got put off so readily. I need to bring if forth and allow it to grow.

All the love and dreams are wonderful, but without sunshine and a little water, a seed can never touch the sky.