An early Nor’Easter is upon us this early October day. It’s been raining for 2 days and 60 MPH winds are expected, flash flood warnings have been posted and there is an autumn chill in the air. I have my door open so I can feel a part of it all. Jim will be home soon and lock the place down, windows closed tight, and wrestle with me about putting the heat on. I will tell him, as I’ve told him before, to see me about it in November. I’m always hot and he’s always cold. What’s a girl to do?
I’m led to my desk that is uncharacteristically messy. I tend to write notes on scraps of paper and put them in a “to do” pile. Files from my work at church fill another corner. My favorite pottery mug with this morning's cold coffee sits on a handmade coaster with an image of what looks like the Mystic River. My Louise Hay, You Can Do It! calendar offers today’s wisdom. “I am a decisive person. I follow through and support myself with love.” So it shall be.
I’ve finally decided on a manuscript for this project.
I go through a mess of papers that range from notes about articles I liked, workshops I’ve been to, notes from my writing group who had first access to my early attempts. The poor things. They were kind, encouraging and gracious. And then I find the notes from my mentor. I’m not sure she’d appreciate that term but it fits right enough. She is a dear friend, and a brilliant writer, a model of strength and wisdom and she has marked up my manuscript mercilessly with both pen and scissors. I trust her judgment. When I met with her recently about my project, a memoir about the writing life, she gave me the best advice ever.
“Choose a scene and just see where it wants to go.”
That took the pressure off. Let my story tell ME, rather than ME trying to tell the story.
I want to go through the notes I have on it, consolidate so many revisions from early on, and be ready by Sunday to start moving forward, having floundered long enough. I look around at my half-empty cold coffee and wondered if a fresh cup might be nice. I look at that scrap pile of notes of things to do that involve everything BUT writing. I hear the clothes tumbling in the dryer and know that the buzzer will sound any minute. Maybe I should get them now. I read my calendar message again, open my manuscript and get to work.
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