Last week’s tidal extremes have leveled out—and that’s a good thing. Each day’s not as emotionally draining, so there’s more energy for the rest of life.
First, I’ll share what literary news I do have. I passed thirty thousand words with FORTITUDE last night. I’m still trying to finish this draft by the end of the month, but I’m not going to stress if I don’t. That whole “don’t let your fortitude get corroded” thing will keep me from being too hard on myself.
I did celebrate a birthday last week. I kept mum about it, but I want to share a gift I received that has ties to this blog.
Yes, a fern terrarium to help me keep my dreams alive. One of my first thoughts was to name the fern on the tree “Corroded” and the terrarium “Fortitude” but my slightly superstitious mind then thought that if one died, there goes that novels chance in the world. And to reinforce that my initial idea wasn’t a good one, I spotted another fern beginning in a bed of moss on a different tree in the yard.
No way I’m ready for a third project!
On a personal note, I’m finishing up the last month of homeschooling with my kids before we break for several weeks in June. A break for us just means no paperwork. We’re forever learning and exploring—together and separately.
For the new readers (hello out there!) you can keep up with what books I’m devouring and other fun tidbits on my Facebook page and Twitter. Also, I’ve updated the look of my website, so if you’re reading this via e-mail, take the time to click over the site and let me know what you think.
Did you catch my post earlier this month about ferns? I didn’t have to wait for the summer heat to test me or the fern.
This past Sunday I had a minor freak-out about my writing goal—finishing the first draft of FORTITUDE—while I’m in my seventh month of waiting to hear back from publishers about CORRODED.
First draft goals can be hair-pulling. Waiting to hear back from the publishing industry, also nerve-racking. The two together equals fighting for sanity on at least a weekly basis.
While venting my concerns to MeLeesea Swann via chat room, she gave me the little “you can do it” and “don’t stress the numbers” and “it will happen” friendly feedback that can be easy to dismiss during epic stress moments. But then she hit me with something that made me laugh so loud I scared my kids.
DON’T LET YOUR FORTITUDE GET CORRODED.
Personalized prospective was all I needed. I shared the quote with family and our other writing friends. I even printed out copies of it on purple paper and hung them up around the house to remind me.
Then Monday morning happened.
I went outside to finish up some weeding. When I passed my little fern on the water oak, it looked like this:
ARGH! My little plant of hope, though surrounded in soft, green moss was withering away. If the fern couldn’t make it, then I might be able to keep my goals. Then I thought of fortitude being corroded and grabbed the hose. I soaked that thing and went on with my other yard work.
An hour later, no change.
Two hours, nothing.
Three hours, it looked slightly better.
About five hours later, it was back to this.
What can you do to keep your dreams alive? Be sure to involve a support system.
The South has awesome oak trees. Amid the branches you can often see moss, ferns, and other creeping plants growing. Government Street in Mobile, AL is lined with fabulous live oaks—their trunks and main branches support leafy green ferns and mosses. (Mental note: take picture next time I’m downtown.)
The past two years, one of the water oaks in our backyard has been home to a struggling fern of its own. We have plenty of moss/other fuzzy stuff on the different trees.
But, for some reason, the fern is magical to me. Maybe because it conjures images of faerie laden forests or a tropical getaway. Or the fact that the odds of a plant growing out of rough, tree bark is inspiring. If the fern can cling to life, then I can stick with my goals, right?
Whatever the meaning, I’ve made a goal of supporting the fern. Hopefully the plant, and my goals, will flourish when the summer heat arrives.
Yawn. It’s close to bedtime but I haven’t written anything more than a few e-mails and a FaceBook status today. The need to put thoughts into words, to feel the letters and spaces flow effortlessly through my finger tips, was too difficult to ignore.
Sometimes I feel the need to write on paper. The mesh of print/cursive—that I was always corrected by the students for using when substituting in elementary school—is therapeutic some days. Especially when using one of my favorite Profile Paper Mate pens. The act of moving the pen over paper is art itself.
But other times, like tonight, I need the soft music of the keyboard—the gentle sound created is just enough to fill the void on a finally quiet night. Seeing the words fill the screen allows me to feel that I’m accomplishing something, even though I cheat and use a size 14 font.
It’s been a long day. From standing in line at the local Wal-Mart Supercenter for 30 minutes because their debit/check/credit card server was down to having to rush to a pediatrician appointment for the princess (no worries, it was her two year check-up) to dealing with the oldest child’s meltdown (and not backing down on the repercussions.) Yes, it’s been a long day!
And why am I blabbing about nothing? I suppose it’s about writing and life, as usual, but there is a deeper meaning behind this blog.
Plain and simple. I’m avoiding my W.I.P. because I’ve spent over a month working on a short story. And this past week I’ve added a non-fiction magazine article to the mix so Corroded has been wilting in the heat of the southern summer. Well, hopefully its smoldering, but I feel so removed from it that I can’t help but think it’s less than it was… that I’m not able to return to the hundred plus pages without the storyline falling into the abyss of flatly written mush.
So, instead I choose to write a squishy blog. At least I’ve filled up a page in my document file. Any writing counts, right?
And to go along with this soggy puddle, here’s the first poem I have record of writing, way back at eleven years old. Trees
Trees grow, very slow. By the sea and by me. They grow in lawns and by ponds. Very slow do they grow.