“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”
-L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
My dream is to write for kids and my mom is patiently waiting for this to happen. For my birthday, she gave me the most thoughtful, inspirational gift: An adorable bird jar (pictured above) filled with quotes from children’s books. Each quote is cut out, rolled, and wrapped with a colourful ribbon. Brilliant, right?
Today, I unrolled the L.M Montgomery quote, above. Yesterday, words from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland: “Sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
Best. Present. Ever.
I didn’t get to enjoy June’s entrance thanks to a flu that knocked me down for a week. Able to (somewhat) function today, I made it outside to see that most of my lilac is on the ground and I missed the bloom of the alliums.
So, I did what any rational flu-recovering individual would do: I grabbed my camera to stand in the drizzling rain in order to capture the last bit of spring.
I’m having a terrible time writing today.
Write. Delete. Write. Delete.
I write four posts that I’m not happy with. The concepts are okay but the execution is lacking, none of them feel finished. I try to edit but that doesn’t go well — my inner Mean Editor Lady screams for me to trash it.
For a change of pace, I flip to my homework. I read through some narrative voice examples and begin to feel a sense of excitement for a character I’ve been trying to develop for months. There’s a distance from her that I haven’t been able to close but I think I might finally have it figured out.
I grab my character notes but scribble only a few lines before I’m distracted by a rough draft of my character’s first scene. Mean Editor Lady slaps her bifocals back on and begins to rip apart every sentence, “What are you playing at, silly girl. Your idea is good, perhaps you could tell it to someone who can write.”
A successful day of writing for me is a little like congratulating myself for putting a load of laundry in the washer. “Way to get things done, Kath! You’re amazing. Awesome job knocking down that To-Do list.” Riding a euphoric wave of accomplishment back upstairs, seven other things distract me and I forget about the washer until the dank stink of neglect settles into the fibres of every shirt and unmentionable contained within.
My words have been permeated with stink. I’ve let myself get distracted, leaving projects too long. Here’s hoping that, like that extra splash of detergent added to the family’s clothes as they swish through a rinse cycle, a little editing will flush the stench.
I am a forty-year-old woman sitting in the library, writing. I alternate between daydreaming and racing to scribble down ideas before they’re lost like wisps of smoke to the wind. I feel the heft of recent life changes — specifically, my focus on writing — so intensely some days that I can’t summon any words.
But, today I think:
I am a forty-year-old woman sitting in the library, writing. How amazing is that? I’m starting from scratch, and I’m fortunate enough to be in the library nestled amongst books. I’m in the one place where anything, and everything, is possible. I am so fortunate.
I will never put on one of those flying squirrel suits and jump off a cliff. Should you ever see me with any such suit, please intervene – something is terribly wrong.
My idea of adventure is much more subdued.
My adventures include long walks, getting lost in thought as I watch clouds pass overhead, exploring, and venturing a smidge outside my comfort zone in some way.
Finding a beautiful stone or perfectly preserved fallen leaf just before snowfall – those are are the gifts of my adventures.
When I made a fairly significant life change a few months back, I used the word adventure when people asked what I was doing. The word became my undoing as I tried to figure out how I could live up to the grand adventures of must-watch TV. But I’ve started to remove the heft of the word and live in my own definition.
My idea of adventure may not be the stuff of good television or, frankly, good writing but they’re my grand adventures and that’s the stuff happiness is made of.