Paula’s Post #101 –
Almost midnight in the garden of good and evil. AKA the Coachella Valley. More familiarly, Palm Springs, the storied desert playground. And if this is Tuesday, it must mean I have exactly 33 minutes to get my blog post up in cyberspace.
Piece of cake, baby.
No, I have not reformed. I’m still beyond distracted by work, tennis, golf, charitable events, book club, reading, friends, husband and oh – did I mention moving and unpacking? My teething puppy? The 95 degree heat? The BNP Paribas Open, the tennis world’s unofficial fifth major?
Not a laundry list that is particularly conducive to serious writing. Why, today… rushing around like a chicken with missing anatomical parts, I actually through (oops, another case of homonymanitis) I mean ‘threw’ two rather large checks (or for my anglophone friends ‘cheques’) in the big round filing cabinet. Aka the trash can.
But guess what?
I don’t care (and not just because I figured out what a nitwit I’d been and recovered the checks/cheques).
You see, ever since I posted Part I of this rather personal and rambling missive two weeks ago (The Write Stuff (part I) aka “Houston, we’ve got a problem”) I’ve felt a strange sense of liberation.
Two weeks ago, I knew I had a problem. I wasn’t writing and hadn’t been for a long time. Wasn’t even really faking it anymore.
Then last week, in The Write Stuff – Part 2 I followed up with what some may have uncharitably viewed as a bit of a ‘blow off’ post. A celebration of sorts (over finally saying ‘no’ to something, but also a wee pat on the back for the milestone of clocking my 100 blog post). The latter achievement I’m justifiably proud of, even as ‘hare’ in this pack of 5writers.
But last week’s post had a more serious component, too (though, of course, coming from me, you may have wondered if it was all a bit tongue-in-cheek when I started musing about 12 step programs for wayward writers and, in particular, the need to admit you have a problem).
But guess what?
Since last week’s admission of same, I’ve felt energized! And while in a busy week, chock full of commitments and activities, I haven’t made much progress on my actual writing, I have been thinking (yes, thinking) about how to metaphorically dust myself off and start all over again.
If you’re familiar with 12 step programs (personally or referentially), you’ll know that Step 2 is based on looking to a ‘higher power’ as a means to restore one’s sanity.
But what, pray tell, does that mean for lapsed writers?
Darned if I know.
Except for this one small thing. I used to love reading and writing, and lately… not so much. I want to get back to being that person caught up in ‘story’ both reading and writing. I need to find a way to capture that euphoric enthusiasm.
Now, my 5writer colleague Joe is all about identifying a character’s ‘wants and needs’ in order to make fiction more compelling. Fact or fiction, I don’t know if I’m on the right track or not with this, so help me out with your own ideas – but for me, I think I’m looking at a ‘back to basics’ approach.
Discovering what first ‘kindled’ my love of story. Of mystery. My dreams of being a writer. Looking back to when I was say, five or six years old, and my mother read the Hardy Boys to us as the moths swarmed overhead and we slapped away mosquitos under starry summer skies at our summer cabin. Or a year two later, when at seven or eight I started reading Nancy Drew mysteries on my own.
But how can I dial back the clock now? Today, in the midst of the desert, when I’m well… let’s face it, a wee closer to 6-with-a-zero-added-to-it than six?
There’s an app for that! A Kindle App, to be more precise. This evening, please don’t laugh, I actually downloaded the 80th Anniversary edition of Nancy Drew #1 – The Secret of the Old Clock.
Oh, dear dear 5writer colleague Silk. Goddess whom I know shares my love of dear old Nancy. I suspect you are going to just love this. Oh, oh, oh… did I mention you can even cough up a bit more and get the Audible edition and have Laura Linney read it to you.
Dong… Dong… Dong…
Hear that? That’s the sound of the clock hitting midnight in the garden of good and evil. Time to read ‘Chapter 1’ and rediscover that secret of that damned old clock.
Good night Silk. Good night Joe. Good night Karalee. Good night Helga. Good night, dear followers. Oh, and don’t forget to leave a comment and let me know your own ideas for re-kindling the fire?