I apologize to readers waiting for a post. I’m behind. Friday was my 51st birthday. I know I’m past the point where it’s acceptable to announce my age, but I don’t feel 51. I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel. I’ve lived most of my life out of sequence.
I married my one true love at age 30. I had a teaching career for 21 years. Instead of settling in for 10 more years of work, I quit cold-turkey to be come a mom. I was 42. The second child came when I was 44. After spending days, nights, and weekends with other people’s children, I decided to hang around the house to raise my own. I haven’t regretted the decision. When people ask, “Do you miss teaching?” I answer with a question. “Do you miss a toothache when it’s gone?”
Now, I’m a writer, too. The funny thing about writing is no matter how many craft books you read or lectures you attend, the only way to be a writer is to write. No one can tell you how to manage your life when you work on your own. I have tremendous days of personal insight and awareness. Then, I have days when I’m a blathering idiot. It keeps me humble. Just when I think, “A-ha! I know the secret to the universe. Follow this roadmap to publication.” The earth quakes, and I shudder. Darkness falls all around. Every good idea I ever had falls out of my head and into the circular file next to my desk.
Last weekend BBC2 (Big Brother Crisp #2) and my wonderful sister-in-law, Cookie Crisp, came to visit. My family gave me a fabulous birthday that included my favorite dessert, Symphony Brownies and ice cream. (Symphony Brownies are like a bacchanal for chocoholics.) We had a great time.
BBC2 and Cookie headed home Sunday morning. I judged a few writing contest entries for my RWA Chapter, and I wrote four pages yesterday. This morning, I woke up to discover I had lost rhythm. It happens. When it does, I have to take a little time to get myself back together. Author, Julia Cameron advocates taking an artist date. For me, it was an excuse to push a basket around Target for an hour.
Now, I’m back. E.L. Doctrow once said, “Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” Here’s to finding my way back to the road in the dark.