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Archive for the ‘not-writing’ Category

It’s been kind of a difficult year for me, for no particular reason. Just sometimes life is harder to handle, y’know? Kind of like a common cold of the psyche, I suppose. There are family stresses that I could blame it on, but that’s not really the cause. I just haven’t been coping as well. Maybe more on that later.

I’ve managed to keep going. Art class, lots of music events, golf league, training for and then going on a week-long wilderness canoe trip in Canada, cruise vacation through Alaska, Japan, Korea, and China, Christmas with family here and in Germany, and lots of other fun stuff. My weight continues down, I’m fitter than I’ve been for a long time, and my blood sugar remains stable. The kids are all doing fine. Problems with my big toes, but compared to the stuff many of my friends are going through with hips and knees and backs, it’s nothing.

But when I sit down to write, it’s just–well, truthfully, I don’t usually sit down, or if I do, I read or crochet or play video games. There are words and ideas waiting. I just don’t want to write them down. I’ve had constipation of the creative process before, and this isn’t it. I thought maybe the family stress had drained me more than I thought, and gave myself the summer off, but I’m no closer to writing now than I was in May. The peer pressure and support of National Novel Writing Month let me push through most of a new draft, but since then, not much.

Truthfully, I’m scared, and that’s not something that has happened to me very often. I’ve had specific projects I’ve been afraid to tackle due to the emotional difficulty of the story itself (Michael’s unfinished story comes to mind), but most of the time, words have been my refuge and comfort. But now they’re a threat.

I don’t know what the threat is. I don’t know what I’m afraid of.

I know, I know. Sit down and write anyway. No other way around. Draft will be finished!

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One of the January goals I’m doing the worst on is keeping up with my blog posts :p But I haven’t been great with many of the others. Not terrible, either, for the most part.

I’ve kept up with the physical stuff and will be going on a week-long canoe trip in Canada soon, so that’s good. But I haven’t been very good about keeping to a healthy eating plan and my weight is only down slightly. And as for getting to bed at a regular time and getting enough sleep–well, we knew that wasn’t going to happen, right?

Family stuff is good. New grandbaby and all that good stuff. He’s coming to visit in August and bringing his family with him. Looks like everybody will be here for one weekend so that will be great fun. I seriously underestimated the amount of time and emotional energy I’d be giving to that.

I’ve had spurts of productivity despite that. Eleven new short stories in May for Story A Day, another 50K words on Darien’s story in April for the first session of Camp NaNoWriMo. But no luck on secondary goals. It appears that at this point in my life, though I’m as distractable as ever, I can only focus on one thing at a time.

With that in mind, and with my schedule showing large chunks of time dedicated to family and other activities over the next few months (long cruise! kids!) I decided not to try to work at times when I’m not going to get any work done anyway. I just make myself feel bad.

So the rest of the year looks like this:

July: Camp NaNoWriMo to work on the second draft of the first Sal and Troy novel.

August: family and fun

September: writing and/or editing binge. Ideally I’d like to get Sal and Troy out to market.

October: cruise!

November: NaNoWriMo, project TBD

December: family, mostly

Today’s post was inspired by the prompt in the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour, an ongoing tour where you, the reader, travel around the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. We have all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

If you want to get to know nearly twenty other writers and find out what’s on their nightstand, check out the rest of the tour!.

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I’m a grandma

Middlest and his wife gave birth to a baby boy last night at 6:28p California time. 8 lbs 9 oz, named Jonah Dashiel (Dashiell? Didn’t think to ask about spelling.). Mother, baby, and dad are all doing fine.

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Why yes, I dream of having a writing retreat some day. Somewhere. Somehow. I’ve been dreaming about it for years.

I used to think it was difficult to impossible to get away when the kids were in school. There were always gymnastics/dance performance/big tests/band performance/etc. that required both parents. I did manage to get away for a couple of writing seminars or a long weekend alone. For those, I just booked a room at the Sheraton in nearby Portsmouth NH where I could go down for a meal if I needed a break or order room service for minimal interruption. Or go out and wander around the downtown if I was temporarily stuck.

I always thought it would be easier after the kids left home and we retired. No obligations, no kids to take priority, no…

No money.

Well, not exactly no money. But not a lot, either. And would I rather spend it on a week away somewhere to write, or on going to visit the kids and the pending grandbaby? If I have to choose between a week-long canoe trip in the Canadian wilderness with spouse, or a week in a cabin alone with my thoughts and my notebook? What about two weeks in China? Writing is important, but it’s chugging along. Do I really need a retreat? Do I even want it?

Even though the answer has been no so far, I still dream of spending weeks or months in Italy soaking up the sun and alternating painting, writing, and hiking or biking. Maybe a villa in Umbria, maybe an apartment in Rome. But I know myself well enough to know that I’d most likely spend all the time doing things, seeing art galleries, finding new trattorias and gelato stands, going to concerts, and generally being more of a tourist than a writer.

Which makes me think that the way things are working out is just fine 🙂

Today’s post was inspired by the prompt in the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour, an ongoing tour where you, the reader, travel around the world from author’s blog to author’s blog. We have all sorts of writers at all stages in their writing career, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

If you want to get to know nearly twenty other writers and find out what’s on their nightstand, check out the rest of the tour!.

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gravity is your friend

X-rays show the bone shaft has dropped into alignment with the head. It’s not perfect — will still be some impairment in my overhead reach — but is at the point where the complications from surgery, including scarring, are likely to outweigh the benefits of a perfectly straight bone.

So I’m starting physical therapy soon to restore as much range of motion as possible. Some paperwork hoops to jump through with referrals and finding a therapist, but that should keep me busy for a few weeks.

I was able to get in a couple of hours of work on Troy and Sal’s novel this week. The pain is way down and hopefully as I need less medication, I’ll be able to focus more.

Thanks to everybody for all their warm thoughts and support!

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One of the problems with keeping this blog up to date is that when I’m doing interesting things that I’d like to write about, I don’t have time to post. I took my smartphone on the Tuesday-Wednesday hiking trip, but after the hike Tuesday I was too tired to do anything but crash after dinner. I didn’t even stay up for fireplace and goodies with our friends.

Wednesday morning I woke up pretty early — it’s hard to sleep in with the sun shining in your tent — and when I came out of the bathroom, I found this lovely lady waiting for her turn:

luna moth

We saw this luna moth just sitting outside the women’s bathroom in the morning


I didn’t go on the Wednesday hike with Neil; it was longer and more strenuous than I was up for. Instead, I spent the day with my watercolors at Silver Cascade. I really like the way it turned out:

Silver Cascade 20 June 2012

watercolor of Silver Cascade in Crawford Notch, New Hampshire

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I love the rain. It’s peaceful and soothing. I love the smell of wet grass and the different songs the birds sing while they’re enjoying a worm banquet. But I also get depressed when I don’t get a lot of sunshine. We’re into the third day of grayness now, with maybe a little sun late in the day if we’re lucky, and I’m starting to feel tired, pressed down, gloomy, and chilly. I feel like it’s just not worth moving — like my body is telling me it’s time to hibernate again.

When I get like this, it’s an effort to even sit in the chair and work. It’s hard to even read. I sit and stare at the green and gray beauty and think I’d like to paint, but it’s too much effort to pick up a pencil, let alone get out the watercolors. And then I’ll realize it’s almost 5pm and I still haven’t thought about what to cook for supper.

It’s not the same as when I get a bout of ordinary depression, when I feel like nothing is worth doing and I’m worth nothing anyway. This feeling is not unpleasant. It’s not productive or useful, but it’s not bad.

But I am starting to think that moving to the southwest might be a good idea.

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