Friday, February 25, 2011
I was all set to blog about my favorite writing books. Or websites I refer to again and again. Or building the iceberg of a story, what’s underneath the text that the reader never sees. But I had some trouble in the writing department this month.
My mother in law, on the lam from the chaos of a home under construction, came for an extended stay. Followed by my god-child, bless his heart, who’s struggling right now.
Oh, and my husband had a party at our house for friends. Fifty friends.
Whoot! My Speech Team kids, (I’m a speech coach at the local high school,) made it to the state level meet. State competition happens in Peoria, a place renowned for being in the middle of nowhere. (“But will it play in Peoria?”)
Then my sister lost her job. And my best friend’s husband had to have a biopsy.
Life and death. Family and friends. Urgent. Necessary. The real stuff of life.
This morning, I went digging in the refrigerator. I found the box of raspberries bought while party shopping. (“Who put the berries in the cheese drawer?”) The poor berries were beginning to mold, one or two, right in the middle of the pile.
I started to cry.
Those berries reminded me of my manuscript. The one I’d hoped to finish editing a month ago. Juicy, ripe. Ready to devour. To be devoured.
Hidden behind my MIL’s milk, and party leftovers, and the meals I packed for my sister and my friend, and the pizza my daughter and godson shared last night, the berries couldn’t wait any longer.
I haven’t worked in weeks. Maybe I squeezed in a few edits. I dragged my manuscript pages to Peoria. At the end of the day, half asleep, most of what I wrote read like this: “Thes aer the tmes that fry wo-mens douls.”
As a wife and a mother and a person whose gender creates the hormonal tendency to connect and care take, sometimes, I go a little mad.
Writing requires a certain amount of isolation. It requires quiet.
Life isn’t that way. Not my life, anyway.
I washed the berries and ate the good ones, all at once.
They were juicy and ripe. I devoured them.