Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Pity Party

While I typically keep a pretty steady pace as I climb towards my goals, I do take a break for the occasional pity party.  On a day when nothing seems to be going right, I easily slip into despairing that I will never realize my dream of success as an author.  Most likely this vision of authorhood is very much like the idealized image of perfection that I imposed on all my high school crushes.  Only now, instead of mewling over the cute boy who never notices me, my inner teenager has found something new to whine about.  If only a few Newbery Awards would come my way, followed by a movie deal, my life would be perfect.  If only I really could focus the bulk of my energies on my writing I would never have another bad day.

As I wallow in the awful unfairness of it all a tiny voice feeds me platitudes:  life is a journey, not a destination; it's always darkest before the dawn; plenty of famous authors were long dead before their work was embraced  by the world.  This brings on another wave of pity, which is usually when my inner drill sergeant takes charge.  What are you sniveling about, you big baby?  Are you a sissy or a writer? I CAN'T HEAR YOU! You want to waste your time complaining and feeling sorry for yourself, or do you want to get on with your life?  WRITE, DAMMIT, WRITE!

And I start to write.  I remember how good it feels to glide my pen over paper, and to surprise myself with the flow of ideas I didn't know were buried there in my own mind.  I scribble my problems away, transforming them into raw material that will become plots and characters.  In my mind I start back up the mountain, which still seems impossibly high, and as I walk I close my eyes and savor the wind on my face.

Sunday, February 3, 2013


My favorite Christmas gift this year was a set of micro-fleece sheets.  In the coldest weeks of winter, I can see my breath in my house, a small price to pay for living in a house that has so much 'character'; but my bedroom is a place I refuse to be cold.

The micro-fleece sheets are soft, but the best part about them is that when I stretch a leg out my foot doesn't get cold.  There are no cold spots, only slightly less warm spots.

My new sheets help me get up in the morning.  My strategy is to bury myself, head and all, beneath the covers until I start to overheat.  Then I can burst out quickly and change into my clothes without feeling hypothermic.

The only downside to my new micro-fleece sheets is that they hold heat so well, when I make my bed I can still feel their warmth, inviting me in.  Soon, I tell my sheets as I smooth them into place.  Soon it will be bedtime again.  I look forward to it every day.