I’ve been missing in action for the last month. I purposely excused myself from the virtual world to immerse myself in the written word: mine. I’m selfish like that. I’ve had to accept my limitations as both a human and as a writer. There are only so many hours in the day, eight of which are devoted to a paying job, which allows me to live in a house and not under a bridge inside of a box. The remaining hours are allowed to nonsensical things, like body shaping, mothering type duties, torturing my husband with honey-do’s, and of course, sleep. In between all this white noise, I write.
When I am writing, there is harmony. Life makes sense. Any discord I might be living through resolves itself as my fingers tap-tap-tap on the keyboard. As the pages accumulate, the pace of my harried life ceases to be of concern for me. The anguish or woe I might be dragging along behind me at the start of the week is lost as the word count of a story in motion rises.
My sweet spot in life is when I am watching the blank page filling with the words that come together to create characters, which inhabit the stories. To me it is utterly amazing how I can lose hours in a single evening and not resent it, not at all. Is this madness or some kind of love? I suspect it’s a bit of both, but then love—all the different kinds—is, as is the creative process.
Lately, I’ve given way to a creative wave and have allowed myself to ride the tide. It’s intoxicating to give into your follies. I don’t care about rules. I’ve no tolerance for the demands others make upon me. There are no walls, no ceilings, and no floors, to contain me. Other than my limitations of time, I am free to surf. I am answerable only to myself and uninhibited in this uncharted territory of self-expression. It’s a hell of a ride. I’ve never been more strapped for time, under more pressure from outside constraints (new job), and yet, as productive.
I suspect the productivity has to do with me granting myself permission to do what I want; releasing my expectations of myself, and the works I produce. A little voice in my head whispered, Have fun with it. It’s going to be a long while before your life is right side up again, so you might as well accept this zone as standard. It’s a curious phenomenon when life becomes too cluttered for movement how the pressure instantly disappears the instant you release the expectations set for yourself. In the words, of Joel Goodsen (Risky Business), “What the fuck.” Let go of your own rules and brace yourself for a new kind of thrill. Every now and again, something has to give. We have to say what the fuck, and let out the old, and give way to the magic of possibility.
When was the last time you let go of your expectations of yourself, and said, “What the…?”
I don’t always share the fruits of my labor, but since it’s been a particularly active summer and a few of the short stories I’ve toiled over are available for viewing pleasure, I’ve included links below. Of course, I’m tickled pink to have received the acceptance letters, survived the edits—no story submitted goes unchanged in the submission process—and my writing CV has grown as the result of all my effort.
Most of these short stories were written over a year ago. What surprised me in rereading the stories 1) I had written them (always surprises me when I reread my work), and 2) how I’ve changed as a writer. Maybe the stories I’m writing these days are different, or maybe I am more trusting of the writer within. Maybe in the letting go, I found a new sweet spot. Whatever it is, I’m exploring another side of the writer within.
Doorways to Extra Time, Anthology
Between the Pages Layla Comes of Age
Passion Beyond Words, Anthology
24 Hours in Denver
He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not, Anthology
The Headless Ladies