I’m writing this on a Tuesday morning before getting ready for work. I have a new coffee mug that states “Mornings are for Coffee and contemplation”. It is actually from the Netflix show Stranger Things, but I have wanted one ever since I saw a character drinking from it. Not because of the show but because I liked the mug. I like the show too of course, though I haven’t seen the second season yet. I am waiting to watch it with my eldest child and teenagers rarely have time for moms.
Anyway, I am rambling about the wrong thing. What I wanted to ramble about is the tree in my neighbor’s yard. The reason I like my new mug is that it reminds me to set aside time just to be, to sip a cup of coffee or tea and look around the world instead of just rushing through it. I am trying to be better at doing that.
So, I was sitting in my favorite chair with a hot cup of coffee and my front door wide open. The only light was from the door and the windows because I wasn’t quite ready for artificial light yet. I heard the cicadas singing and there was a light breeze rustling the flag still attached to my porch from the 4th of July. I had the passing thought that these five minutes of my morning sound like the beginning of some sort of patriotic commercial or political ad campaign. Then I notice the gentle trembling of green leaves.
My across the street neighbor has a huge tree in her front yard that squirrels delight in. The wind this morning just teased its boughs while it was bathed in early sunlight. I waxed poetically inside my head about how pleasant the morning was and how nice it was to watch the oak tree across the street, and then promptly tripped over my own thoughts. Was the tree across the street an oak? Maybe it’s a maple?
I got up from my chair and moved to the door with my coffee so I could squint at the foliage, trying to make out a single leaf. The wind picked up just enough to toss a couple of yellowing small ones from a top branch. They twisted and danced as they fell to the ground, making it impossible for me to tell what they looked like. My morning contemplation has been filled with: “Is it a maple or an oak?”
I am pretty sure the tree is a oak. Maples around here aren’t usually so big. If it is a maple tree it is very old. I could just walk across the street and look but that feels too much like giving in.
This morning I let the dog out into our fenced in backyard and turned my attention to feeding my demanding felines when I heard him bark. It was different from the bark he uses when the neighbors are out and about. It was just a single bark with a couple of seconds pause before he did it again. Curious, I stepped out on to the back porch to see what he was barking at.
By this time he was back to sniffing clover and his normal routine. However, as I stepped out onto the back porch a big gust of wind ripped through the yard, disturbing the fluff from some dandelions. The fluff took flight into the air as a big cloud that slowly dissipated into individual seeds dancing on the wind. It was amazing. It was like dozens of tiny white fairies swirling around the sky.
So while I still don’t know exactly what caught the dog’s attention, I am glad he barked so that nature could attract mine. The cats, on the other hand, were unimpressed about the delay in serving breakfast.
Hello everyone. Long time, no chat. I know, I really should post more often but I did post a warning about my time being eaten by school, work, and kids.
So remember when I said I was going back to school in hopes that it would help me improve my writing? Well, I have managed to learn a few things.
I prefer writing for myself instead of my class and my teachers.
I have to unlearn how to simplify.
Teachers seem to want long exploratory paragraphs and information dumps rather than just sticking to the point.
Number 3 somewhat baffles me. I mean, part of me understands. They want to know that you really know what you are talking about. Maybe I have learned to simplify too much? I used to read books that warned against information dumps in stories. I am beginning to fear I fixed something that wasn’t broken and now I have to unfix it.
I have to go to work in a few minutes and I have an exam tonight so that’s all for now. I just wanted to let people know I am still alive and my hiatus from my blog is only temporary. My posts may be irregular but they will still happen from time to time.
I met this Monday morning slowly and with heavy eyes. I was awake before the sun but refused to get out of bed, hoping for a few last minutes of sleep that never came. I don’t really dread Mondays. It is just that there is so much to do on them. It seems like all of the things I was unable to accomplish from Friday just swell until the wave of errands breaks over me on Monday.
I’ve accomplished three tasks already, four if you count taking a shower. (I am not above padding the number of my accomplishments where I can. Especially if it helps me get motivated.) I fetched paperwork I need to fax off, found and acquired coffee, then took the trash down to the curb because it is collection day. All mundane tasks that have nothing to do with writing.
As far as writing goes, I’ve not done much. I checked my email and discovered another rejection slip. After that I showed up here to write a blog post. I really didn’t feel like writing this morning, but it is Monday so here I am.
I showed up. It isn’t much but they say 75% of writing is showing up to the computer even when you don’t want to. (I made that number up. There is a percent that is routinely quoted but I don’t remember what it is right now. 75% sounds about right to me.)
I have a long list of tasks that need to be accomplished today. I will be very surprised if I
get to them all. Many of them are boring things that take me out of the house and out among people I don’t want to talk to. However, if I am good and get at least half of my list done then I will reward myself by reading a book.
My daughter and I went to the Georgia Renaissance festival yesterday and I am longing to read a good fantasy novel. I am still tired, a little sore, and a little sunburned but it was worth it. We had a great time. Maybe I will write a fantasy story too.
This is the third time I have sat down to write this morning’s post. For some reason it is more difficult that usual. Words are hard. They don’t want to pour from my fingertips right now. Instead I have to siphon each and every one and my fingers on the keyboard feel large and awkward.
I am still writing. It has taken me three tries, but I am covering the glaring white page. The progress is slow but each word is another small step forward.
Sometimes writing is like that. Sometimes it flows and sometimes it only trickles. It is still important to show up at the keyboard and pound those words out, even when it is almost painful to do so. If I give up just because it is hard, then I don’t deserve the days when it comes easy.
The muse is lazy. She doesn’t always show up. Sometimes you just have to write without her.
I didn’t think I would have time for a blog post this morning. I rolled out of bed less than ten minutes ago and already there is a long list of things to be accomplished today. I thought my blog just might be one of those things toward the bottom that I didn’t get to cross off.
Then I let the dog out to do his business. As his tiny paws padded down the front steps, I tossed the stray cats a scoop of dry food.(Yes, I know. That is why they keep coming around, but I have a hard time letting anything go hungry.) I stood back up from my furry soup kitchen and was caught in the face by a breeze. It teased me with the coming of rain.
Instead of calling the dog and going back inside to start my busy day, I sat down on the steps and took a moment. I felt the cool air and breathed in damp promises. I listened to the sighing of the trees and just enjoyed the quiet dark. I was only a moment. Just one tiny stolen fraction of my day. But it filled me up with peace.
Taking time out for those stolen moments is something I don’t do enough of. It is necessary though. That time increment of time listening to the stories of the wind will carry me through the rest of the day.
It feels as if sleep is a luxury, one I decadently wallow in when I can get it. However, too often it is beyond my reach. There is always something else that needs to be done so sleep gets pushed to the back burner. Thanks to my wonderful, loving mother, I was able to sleep hours and hours yesterday. She stayed over an extra day to take care of the kids so I could sleep.
It is morning now and that means lunches to pack, kids to wake, and cats to feed. Once the kids are at school, I have a porch to paint and a garden to plant. There is laundry to do, there is always laundry to do, and kids to pick up from school.
Then there will be homework to help with and dinner to start. Life never stops and rarely slows down. If I am not kept busy at home there is always work waiting at my night job. And lets not forget writing. That gets squeezed in too, usually in the mornings over a cup of coffee or tea.
Writing is the thing I want to do. The rest all has to be done. It is a hard juggling act.
When I get time to write I need to take greater advantage of that time and make the most of it. With my recent book of short stories available for sale and a new short story in the final editing, I feel like I am making progress on this crazy dream. I just need to get a few more of those works in progress into the completed file.