Hey, guess what gets even harder to find when your five-year-old boy child is no longer in school? If you guessed: “Time for writing,” you are correct. There is no prize for your correct guess beyond a knowing nod from the trenches of parenthood, so I now nod in your general direction. Knowingly.
I am scurrying to write this like a little animal racing to store nuts for the winter. Or maybe some other animal-themed analogy that doesn’t involve nuts, because that word always makes my inner fourteen-year-old boy giggle. But you know what I mean, right?
My son is playing in his sandbox as I type, and I am staring out the window into the backyard at him. I don’t have one of those easy kids that you can send out into the backyard to play and not worry about, I have the kind that must be watched like a hawk, lest they create a bomb from found items, blow up the fence, and escape. We chose a house with big windows in the living room that look out into the backyard on purpose.
I just re-read my last post to sum up any progress I’ve made and see where I left off on the journey to become a better version of myself. One of the things I’d hoped to accomplish was a new “picture of the day” sort of project, since I didn’t quite manage the seven days of self-portraits mission. I thought about it, and decided that I don’t want my personal blog to take over my life in a daily way, because I want to focus most of my energy on the book I’m writing. So I did something a bit different: a series of photos from my yard and local (natural) world.
Nature Seen is what I’m calling it, because get it? It will involve pictures, or scenes, from nature. That I’ve seen. Get it? Huh? Do you? Ahem. Okay, so it’s a pretty cheesy name, but too bad, because that’s what I’m going with.
I put up the first one yesterday, featuring my purple irises. If you’d like, you can see the first post from my Nature Seen series here:
So… speaking of having a hard time writing, I had to stop in the middle of typing this because my son came to the back door covered with sand and water, yelling, “Mom! I’m done in the backyard!” which is code for: “I’m filthy and I know you will freak out if I step one foot in your clean house, so come get my clothes, please.” Or something like that. So I had to go strip my child naked, and then march him straight to the bath. And then he was hungry. And then the tornado watches appeared on every channel of my television. And then my husband got home from work and started clearing out the hall closet because the meteorologists said we had chances for violent tornadoes headed our way. So I spent the next hour documenting everything we have of value with the camera for the insurance adjusters, because I’m practical as well as paranoid. (And because I’ve lost everything I owned to a house fire before. The stuff-documenting paperwork was the worst part, after the loss of my cats.) And then we sat in the hallway listening to weather reports and tornado sirens for hours before collapsing in bed completely adrenaline crashed and exhausted. Such is the life of an Oklahoma mother, I guess. Whew.
Annnnnd… that’s why I am posting this a day later than I was supposed to post it. The end.
Except not the end. Just kidding.
Let’s see. In my last post I vowed to write an hour a day, and I’m definitely doing that. I also came to the realization that I’m a binge writer who needs to work on being more disciplined, but I can’t honestly say I’ve worked on reaching that goal. So I’m going to continue trying to be more disciplined about it, rather than just writing when the urge hits. I don’t know how people summon the muse when she’s sleeping, but I am determined to get my inner creative chick to start performing on my schedule rather than her own.
Another thing I wanted to achieve was less time devoted to social networking/internet tomfoolery, and I really haven’t cut down on that very much either. I noticed when I had an abdominal surgery that kept me from being on the computer for nearly two weeks, I didn’t die. It was amazing. I didn’t finger-babble away hours of every day on the internet, and somehow, some way, the world kept turning. So I would really like to see if I can make that happen again.
To help further this goal, I am going to Costa Rica for the first week of June, and will not be checking Facebook or getting on the internet even once while I’m there, despite the fact that I’m taking my laptop, and the resort offers free Wi-Fi. Nope. Not gonna check the Facebook. Not gonna do it. I will be terrifically out-of-touch. For a whole week. And I will write. And eat fruit. And walk on the beach with the sun on my shoulders. And drink at the swim-up bar so I can finally realize my lifelong dream of chugging booze and peeing at the same time. It's going to be magnificent.
What I am also going to do in Costa Rica is work on my novel during the four days my husband will be golfing. Yes, you heard me right. Four days alone in a hotel room in Costa Rica. I am a wee bit excited about that, as you can probably imagine. (The boy child will be staying behind in Oklahoma for a fabulous week of grandparent spoiling and all-day swim camps, so he’s excited about his own little vacation.) I’m planning to write my guts out during my four glorious days of Me Time. I might raid the mini-fridge too. We’ll see. Last summer, on vacation on an Alaskan cruise, I discovered my alcoholic Holy Grail, the watermelon-mint martini, so if I can find someone at this Costa Rica resort to make those for me, my book may well be fueled by vodka. It could happen.
En route to Costa Rica, I will need to distract myself from the unnerving feeling that the airplane might drop out of the sky at any moment, so I bought a book called The Happiness Project that sounds exactly like what we're trying to do here. I freaked out a little when I found it because it reminded me so much of this project. I will review it here in my next post and let you know.
I’m also going to post my monthly piece up at The Nervous Breakdown this week, so be on the lookout for that here:
I hope you’re having a beautiful month, my friends
Update: I edited and added to an older piece I wrote about a former bandmate, and put it up on The Nervous Breakdown, if you'd like to read it. It's under 750 words, so I would describe it as flash nonfiction. It's short, but not very sweet.