Friday, October 24, 2008
Right now it is in the low 40's, the trees have done their collective upheaval, and the ground is covered in a layer of bone crushing frost that means starting the car, wearing a coat, and no more sandals. Fall comes and goes more quickly than any other season for me. As soon as we pause to look at the fall colors they've turned brown and crinkly and are laying on the cold hard ground of winter. But!!! Yes - there is a but, winter/fall is such a great time to write. It is the time when writing feels like the images in my head of writing appear. Fire places, hot coffee and tea, fuzzy slippers, dim lighting, oh and a laptop or notebook. It may be ridiculous that I cling to these fairy tale ideas of writing bliss, but they affect me in the same way that Christmas lights and snow laden branches do, like I'm a kid embarking on another joy filled holiday season. I specify kid because the adult holiday season is something else all together. Mangled carts thrust through 5 am store buster door ways, the psychotic rush for furbies or elmos, cooking dinner for nineteen people, overloading one side of the Christmas tree with ornaments and having it fall on you, shopping, overeating, more shopping, and then the shriek of horror at the balance on one's bank account come January 1st. This is a hypothetical holiday, I am not one of these shopping fiends. In fact, I avoid the grocery store during the months of November and December. I would rather haul out three year old baked beans and rotini noodles than face the grocery store mob clawing their way to the last jar of cranberry sauce. Really though, writing right now, in this moment, is made better because there is a fire burning behind me and I am wearing my husband's giant wool socks. This year I am thankful for that.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
It is, coffee I mean. I have to have it. Not just because it gives me that much needed energy jolt, but because it improves my entire day. I am instantly at ease knowing that I have a steaming mug of black coffee sitting beside me at the computer. No need to get up, no worry of other distractions, I have my coffee. I am 22,000 words into my current novel and really enjoying where it is headed right now. The first novel is in purgatory, I may have to absolve some of my writing sins before it can be liberated to publisher's heaven, but hey no biggie, it's done right? I'm having one of these days where my preference is to write about personal things, but i try as much as possible to avoid that here. This is not my journal, it is my median for exercising my writing demons. Which means even if I want to wax on about my husband's stressful job I need to, instead, turn my thoughts towards grammatical complications and mouses that dive around the computer like kamikaze pilots. I have published a story at the Providence Foundation. It does not pay, but it still feels like a great way to get your work out there. Something about seeing it posted on any site, but your own is satisfying. This past weekend we removed the docks at the Island (this is what we call our cottage in northern Michigan). This process is like driving home from summer camp. I wave goodbye to yet another season of warmth and water and bliss to return to pavement, smog and suburbia. My husband often talks about how much more productive we'd be if we lived in a warmer climate. Is this really true? Do people in Florida and Arizona accomplish more than us Michiganders? I'd like to vehemently disagree with this claim, but I have to say it has some merit. I mean, during the winter I am always just one blink away from hibernation. I am attracted with a magnetic power towards anything warm, fuzzy and lazy. I would probably curl up with big foot if I thought he'd make a nice pillow. My days shrink from 12 hours to about 8 hours. I avoid showers or any instance where I am wet and stepping into a room that's 30 degrees. But how about these sun bathers then? Do they fling themselves from the covers every day with a smile on their face just because it's light out? Do they skip to their Volvo's, their shiny shoes tapping, and whistle while they drive to work? I sort of doubt it. In fact, I bet they think "if we just had some damn seasons, we might be able to get stuff done around here." How can I do spring cleaning without any spring? The truth is as much as I love the sun and summer and light at 8pm, I love Michigan too. In some sick weird masochistic relationship, Michigan is like my abusive lover. That's probably a really non PC analogy. Okay Michigan is like my deranged narcissistic cat that I try to snuggle with anyway. Does that one work?