Sunday, April 19, 2015

too much fun

Oh, this is going to be so much fun! No, I'm not taking a cruise, or running off to Vegas, or redecorating my house. I'm not going away with my friends, or splurging on a new wardrobe. This will be so much better than that. And it will last for years and years.

The thing is that my grandson just turned 22 days old. Soon, I'll be reading to him. Oh, what fun!

You see, instead of a card, friends and family welcomed Caleb into the world with a book, and with it, they included a little message to him. So, he already owns a library full of bright, colorful books...and I get to read them to him. After all,

This is very important because...

and because...

(and grandparents...)


Image result for read to a child quotes

What could be better? Maybe writing a book for children!
"You have to write the book
that wants to be written.
And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups,
then you have to write it for children."
~Madeleine L'Engle~

Sunday, April 12, 2015

trust the process

If you write long enough and hard enough your own personal writing process eventually emerges. You learn what works for you.

I'm an early bird; you may be a night owl. I'm a "pantser"; you may be a planner. I guzzle coffee; you may prefer to sip an herbal tea when you write.

I tend to coddle my "babies," those precious little bundles of lyrical prose that make my muse swoon with envy; you may be the type who runs them off the page without an afterthought. If that's the case, I may need your help...your brutal, never-look-back-because-you-can-do-better perspective on how to revise.

This week I need to create new content to replace a nicely written piece that (I hate to admit...) has nothing to do with the premise of the chapter I'm working on. I have to go from something about faith in the workings of the universe to a discourse on humility.

For me, this process involves:
  • An epiphany: the first stirrings of unease, the earliest inkling that something doesn't fit, like a tiny pebble in your shoe that isn't painful enough to slow you down, but gets to be as annoying as hell after a while.
  • Procrastinating: tweaking a word here and there so it feels a little like revising even though it doesn't change a thing, or moving on with the intention of coming back to it when you're in a better frame of mind, or excusing yourself for a couple of years because something important has come up. Let's say you've run out of clean underwear, or the leaves want to be raked, or you're afraid those shoes you love so much will sell out before you can get to the store.
  • Surrendering: conceding that what you've written ain't gonna work, and solemnly promising to set things right.
  • Deleting: not simply highlighting text and hitting the delete button, but in the gentlest way possible convincing the wayward child it is time to go. You have better things in mind for it, lots of fun and a brighter future. You promise to save it someplace where it will be safe and happy until you can get back to it. There is nothing cruel or brutal about it.

  • Waiting: also known as pacing, fretting, and cursing until the next great thought pops into your head. This can sometimes involve long walks, sleepless nights, and solitary meals. It can lead to over-indulgence...too much coffee or good red wine. To insecurity. To suicide, or pretty darn close.
Image result for coffee and red wine
  • Beginning again: at the first spark of inspiration, the faintest blush of optimism, the earliest glimmer of hope.  

This is my process and I'm sticking with it. What works for you?
"Hold the vision.
Trust the process."
~author unknown~

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

there are no words for this

Over the past couple of weeks, I watched as anticipation, expectation and preparation dissolved into exhaustion, fear and heartache for the people around me...people I love. I couldn't wish it away, reason it away, or pray it away. I couldn't breathe again until I felt the surge of relief, gratitude and joy that followed.

Even then, I couldn't latch on to a meaningful thought. I couldn't line up enough letters in a row to make any sense of it. I gazed at my journal but I couldn't open it, so I didn't write a word about it.

What is a mother to do while she waits? What can she say that is wise and true and fruitful? What is a writer to do when there are no words for the suffering and sorrow, the sweetness and solace that grapple for dominance every day of our lives? When the emotional roller coaster we have been riding goes flat on the page?

What difference does it make in the end as long as all is well?

Caleb Alexander Gashinski... al.
Oh yeah!
"To the world you may be one person,
but to one person, you may be the world."
~Dr. Seuss (among others)~