Yeah--it's been a few days--sorry about that!
Not only were things pretty busy around here with the B-day madness (and it was even small madness, mostly) but I was busy with The WIP That Kicked My Ass, and once I was done with THAT, well, I just sort of declared yesterday The Day Without The Computer, and that makes it pretty damned hard to blog.
Lessee--first things first. Chicken's B-day--
Part of that was we'd already given her a weekend at Sacanime with her friend at the beginning of the month. She insisted that's what she wanted, and although she did experience a moment of iPod-yearner's remorse, the fact is, she had more time to run around and be happy on THAT weekend than she did on this one. This weekend, we squeezed in a birthday song over pie after her sister's soccer game and before her friend had to go home early because Chicken had an a.m. soccer game. The fun thing--and this was a total surprise to her--was that we'd bought a bunch of mini-pies for her soccer team. Most kids get cupcakes or cookies, and the mini-pies made it special.
Another fun thing was that Mate won five tickets to Sunsplash at a work raffle, and this time, there was enough of the day for the kids to wear their swimsuits and everyone to (except Mom) to go play until they passed out.
Yeah. Uhm. That little part in the parenthesis sucked rocks.
Yanno, I am a big woman for whom appearing in public in a swimsuit is not a lot of fun, so you'd think I'd jump at the fact that we only had five tickets. I mean, a day alone? Whoopee? Uhm... no. Watching everyone drive away sucked. I wanted to be in on that party, and I wasn't, and what I had planned to do that day was...
Hard. Really really hard.
Now I know that writing is supposed to be an extremely selfish occupation-- write what you want, right? And very often, it is. (Hence, the reason Quickening got put off for a year.) But sometimes, there are some things that we feel a really strong pull to write--sort of a moral obligation, as it were. "Truth" was almost like that. I was in the middle of Bella, and suddenly I get a MUCH better idea for Beauty and the Beast, and Naef's voice in my head was so strong, not listening to him seemed immoral, somehow. Very very wrong. So "Truth" was my fairy tale, and "Bella" was my summer fun story, and that worked, right?
This was very different from that. A fellow writer and e-buddy of mine is struggling with the big C--and very possibly not winning that particular battle. Anyway, we had an e-versation one late night, and he told me the dreams weren't even good, especially for all the drugs he was doing.
I wished him better dreams.
And then this idea for a story bloomed up in my head, pretty much complete.
I managed to put it off for a while. It was one of those things that A. I knew would hurt to write, and B. I wasn't sure I had the chops for. (For the record, I go through this last phase to varying degrees with almost every story with high emotional content or a large cast: Do I have the ability to pull of the vision in my head? Bitter Moon II made me feel like this from the beginning to the last word, and I'm still not sure I pulled it off.)
Anyway, I'd been working on this piece--a short story, ALL WEEK. Now usually I'm quicker than that--especially with something I have mostly written in my head before I sit down to the keyboard, but this piece, well... I had to do it in fits and starts. Every word was an emotional investment, and it takes time and focus to make those, and this was no different.
So the family left, and I sat down to my keyboard to literally sob my way through the last half of the story. I finished, and was still gasping for breath, when the neighbor knocked on my door, and I answered with my shirt still covered in tears and snot. (Kleenex? We don't need no stinkin' kleenex! Kathleen Turner made due with a post-it note in Romancing the Stone--a shirt is a luxury, I'm telling you, a luxury!) Anyway, the neighbor looked at me (in the post b-day/apocalyptic house) and probably assumed I was insane (cause I am) and told me uncomfortable personal information about her fertility and sex life that I wish I didn't know, then asked if Big T could mow her lawn on Sunday. Then she left. (I mention this because it is both surreal and bizarre. I can go for weeks without actually talking to this person--she's a nice person, and a knitting convert, but, really? That moment? Really?)
I changed (still sniffling) and went to my comfort place: The Yarn Store.
You'd think I'd be all better there, but no. Apparently, I was such a basket case as I walked into the yarn store (there to buy some lovely hat yarn for students, and some new Shaeffer Worsted weight sock yarn called Chris for more fingerless mittens for myself) that a sweet older woman bought me a cookie.
"You were crying when you came in, dear. Here. Have a cookie on me."
And then we sat down and talked about writing. I told her about an older story I wrote (the Cosmic Joke--it's on the website) and she said as she left, "You know, dear, your face lights up when you talk about your writing. I know it hurts, but please don't stop."
Well, I don't plan to stop anytime soon, but the next time Mate gets free tickets from work for Sunsplash, he'd better get me one, that's all I'm frickin' sayin'.