…AND OTHER ROADBLOCKS IN WRITING!

Tag Archives: patience

I have this should-be achievable monthly blog about writing, how I do it or don’t—as in the recent nonexistent May post! So, here’s my excuse. I was on sabbatical. Brain recharge leave.

The last week in March, we started out on a road trip to Vermont and stayed through most of April. During that time we had a handful of peeks at the sun, including two entirely clear days. The rest were as seen here.

Version 2

My sister’s driveway during Spring in Vermont – which the natives call Mud Season. But Mud season seemed to also have taken a mini-sabbatical.

Version 2

To paraphrase Shel Silverstein, this is “Where the Sidewalk DOESN’T End.” It continues…as did the snow.

Screen Shot 2018-06-12 at 5.21.46 PM

 

 

 

 

 

But it’s prettier from the inside looking out–

IMG_0330

–As she soon discovered, having brought a windbreaker and a see-through sweater as outer wear because, “It’s SPRING in Vermont. I don’t need anything heavy.” Some days with single digits proved otherwise.

Version 2

The car suffered, but not nearly as much as the day we left, when it had to be chipped out of a block of ice. Okay, a very slight exaggeration. But we did learn to appreciate the heated seats we laughed at in Florida. Still, fair is fair. Auto makers need to install a seat cooling option as well.

So what did I learn from all this?

Patience: A little bit more than I started with. Playing cards and drinking wine could be fun. Having no cell phone service wasn’t the end of the world. Sharing memories and reliving the events was better than junk on TV.

Gratitude: A family as warm as Florida. Meeting new friends. A wedding to celebrate. A roof over our heads in a cozy house with every comfort provided as if we were visiting royalty. No writing deadlines. Being able to walk the aisles in the food Co-op, in the or in Walmart across the line in New Hampshire was healthy exercise–for me, if not the budget.

On our return to Florida, we dumped out the dirty laundry and repacked for a trip to Pensacola for Walt’s Navy Reunion into May. This was payback to my husband for all the times he lost me in Beall’s (are they still called department stores?) in Florida. (During which HE learned patience.) Actually, I dodged him up and down the aisles to be sure he got his exercise, too.

And here we are in Pensacola:

I expressed the opinion that perhaps “Anytime, Anywhere” might be misconstrued when applied to a group of Navy men. Then again, it may only be my view, having married one.

We watched a practice for the Blue Angels, and toured the Pensacola Naval Air Museum, where we observed a retirement assembly. And my honey posed in full dress uniform aboard the USS Alabama in–of all places–Alabama!

And that’s where I’ve been. Now, it’s back to work. My deadlines loom in the distance. I’m beginning to miss that Little House in the Big Wood! (Apologies to Laura Ingalls Wilder.)

 

 

 

Advertisements

What? Am I on the wrong blog? I thought this was a writer’s site.

 Wait! Wait, no, it’s really me. Hang in there. Let me explain. I happened across an article on www.dumblittleman.com that lit up the cartoon light bulb over my head. I’d recommend them for great articles and tips for all areas of your life. I’ve been following them for years, back when it was called Life Hack.

The article I read was called “8 Bad Food Habits That are Sabotaging Your Weight Loss Goals.” Not that I needed that particular information, mind you, I was just browsing the site (and if you believe that, there’s a cliché in Brooklyn that I could sell you really cheap.)

What this article did was remind me that there are little bad habits that sabotage writers, too. For example, being personally aware of one bad habit, I was moved to write a poem ala the kids’ book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. Here’s part of it:

IF YOU CLEAN A WRITER’S COFFEEPOT     by Virginia Nygard

If you clean a writer’s coffeepot…

he’ll want you to make a pot of coffee.

If you make a pot of coffee and hand him a cupful…

he’ll want a cookie, too.

If you mix up cookie batter quick…

he’ll fill up his cup, and wait for warm cookies.

While there, he’ll see the coffee jar’s low…

and grind fragrant beans to fill it up.

He’ll put the coffee jar away…

and notice the cupboard door is loose.

He’ll find his tools, fix the door, and then…

eye the shabby, faded walls.

You know where this is going, right? Straight to serious procrastination bordering on avoidance, yes? And that’s what eats away at your writing time.

Then, there’s the food-inspired question, “How do you eat an elephant?” Answer? Yup, one bite at a time. Or, as a writer, one step at a time. Don’t start picking out the publishing house for which you want to be the next star if you haven’t started with Step One. Examine what makes you want to write. What makes you think writing is a good fit for you? Have you kept a journal? Had a pen pal? Have you read a variety of genres? Do you have a burning desire to share your story? Are you willing to learn? Do you want fame and fortune?

If the last is your driving goal, let me share what my high school guidance counselor said to me, “If you’re looking to make a bundle of money by going into teaching for a career, you’ll be going into the wrong profession.” She was right, but it was what I was called to do. And that warning can apply to writing, too. In my view, what society exalts is not always honorable, moral, or of lasting value. Consider what society exalts if you want big bucks. Just don’t sell your soul to get it.

Follow your desire to write with Step Two. What’s your support system? Have you looked into classes online or at your local community college? Joined a local writers’ group? Found a non-profit writers’ association in your state? There are groups online that offer writing contests or critique. Be aware of membership fees and check their credentials before jumping in.

When I was about three years old, I was eager to learn and do as much as I could, as fast as I could. And that applied to climbing stairs, too. Holding my mother’s hand on the way up to bed, I remember trying to take two-or maybe it was three-steps at a time. From below I heard my father’s voice, “One at a time. One at a time.” So we moved slowly up the stairs with me chanting for each step, “‘One at a time,’ Da-da says…‘One at a time,’ Da-da says…”

So how do we go about making The New York Times Best Sellers list?

Right. Da-da would be proud of you!