At this point, I’m not sure which is more difficult: a flat-out sprint on a narrow wire suspended many feet above the ground
or successfully and seamlessly including all desired character and plot elements in this draft I’m committed to finishing by June 30.
The pressure comes from knowing I’m going to print and bind this draft and that it’ll be much easier to work on it if all elements are already included. The thing is, I’m probably being too ambitious because there’s SO MUCH going on with this subject matter that I’m trying to include. But at this point, I’m inserting stuff as placeholders with the knowledge that some (most?) will get cut farther along in the process.
Anyway, that power line challenge looks pretty appealing right now.
In honor of those who struggle to address life’s demands in an orderly fashion without getting distracted along the way . . .
Every creature is better alive than dead,
men and moose and pine trees,
and he who understands it aright will rather preserve its life than destroy it.
~ Henry David Thoreau
Over the past weekend, we were in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. My two sons, Wildebeest and Zebu, got into a lively debate over running ability and were finally coerced by those sick of listening to that debate into running a short race. While their uncle got ready at the finish line with his camera to capture their final steps, their father (Zippy) lined them up at the starting line. But just before Zippy shot the proverbial starter’s pistol, he saw a tiny creature on the race course:
Horned Lizard aka Horny Toad
After moving the Horned Lizard to safety, the race commenced.
(NOTE: Wildebeest won by a slim margin, pulling a quad muscle in the process. The two agreed to switch “lanes” and run it again, and that time Zebu won by a whole bunch. I’m guessing the Horned Lizard is as happy as the rest of us that the two of them have, at least temporarily, moved beyond that whole running debate.)
Yes, it’s pretty darn close to Prevail.
Practically a suburb.
But Resilience also conjures up flexibility and a certain bounce-back-ability.
It’s a good word.
The question is, do I have room for yet another talisman on my wrist?
Lately I’ve been reminded how fortunate I am to have the sanctuary of a fictionalizing brain. When life gets tough and it feels as if the sun’s never coming back, it’s such a gift to be able to escape into my head. I can think about my characters, their challenges and triumphs, and the endless possibilties for telling their stories. I get to picture them in their homes and schools. I’m privy to their emotions and conversations, and experience awe each time a character reveals her true self to me. That magic never gets old.
I am thankful for the secret lives and stories I carry in my head throughout the mundane and most challenging moments of my life. My fictionalizing brain is my secret weapon.
Good thing no one can see inside my head, though. That stuff probably looks a little scary.
A perfect representation of me and my process. Including the axe.
I tend to withdraw when things get rough, which explains why this has probably been the year I’ve blogged least frequently. 2014 has been a non-stop year of challenges for me and the people closest to me (and a whole lot of people I only know via the news). More than once I’ve threatened to stab 2014 between the eyes. And way more than that, I’ve screamed at 2014 to go fuck itself.
Did 2014 care? Not in the least. Were my threats of violence and profanity healthy responses to a year that closed out by kicking my family squarely in the ‘nads? I’d say that’s an affirmative, but your mileage may vary.
Looking back on the past year, I’m struck by how I kept expecting things to improve. Starting in January with my glute/hip/lower back issues that kept me from running and lifting weights and yoga and hooping and all the other stuff that helps keep me sane, I was positive that in the next week or so I’d regain my physical self and, therefore, also my emotional equilibrium. But it never happened, at least, not 100 percent. However, the shit kept coming and I had to make-do with what my body could handle. And when that wasn’t enough to raise my endorphin levels, my thoughts turned stabby. So maybe that’s why I’m feeling especially worn down right now: in hindsight, that optimism feels so naive and pathetic. I didn’t get all better and it never got easier.
Which is why I’m torn about welcoming a new year. This last one sucked sucked sucked and the next might, too. On the other hand, 2015 is still shiny and full of hope and no one’s had a chance yet to stab it between the eyes. I’d call dibs, but maybe me and mine will catch a break this time around and there won’t be any need.
Happy New Year.
It’s felt like one challenge after another this year, and I’m starting to think I should’ve busted out the protective gear months ago. Something like this or this:
I like the idea of being able to lunge and parry with something sharp and stabby, but that heavier sword looks pretty good right now, too. Whack.
On the other hand, it’s probably a major hassle to go pee when wearing all that stuff. Maybe I should settle for this in 2015: