Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Learning is fun. Still.

Today I was awakened by the sound of the garbage truck rumbling by our new place, and the realization that we didn't put out our can for pickup.

This realization got me all wound up and I could no longer sleep. So I got up - angrily - and showered - angrily - and decided to sit down and write out a better perspective.
My husband, children and I have moved to a new place. At least it's new to us, so it fits the bill that way. We have double the space and about 1/12 the responsibility as before. I won't lie: the new place has problems. But I can't lie: I LOVE IT.

I love the rooms, I love the yard. I enjoy the kitchen, I like my windows. I like the balcony off my bedroom. I love having places to walk, even when my kids have made little messes. I love having my children in separate bedrooms (though it hasn't managed to cut down on the quarrelling). I enjoy the neighborhood. I love having two bathrooms. I love having a washroom. I love all the brushed metal doorknobs. I love having the "Mammoth table" in my own home! I love entertaining people here - and will be doing it more often after this last Sunday's trial run - especially being able to cook upstairs and play games downstairs!! I love being the only one to park in our driveway. I love having tulips. I love the quiet. I can sit in my living room for two hours writing thank you notes and not hear a single noise from outside. Maybe the echo of someone's sprinklers, but that's it!

But I'll tell you the best part: I now only worry about me, my husband, my children and our four bedroom stewardship. When the garbage man came, I wasn't all bent out of shape because some people had left twelve bags of garbage outside the dumpster, and I had to clean up their filth as part of my job; no! I was upset because my very own one garbage can will now attempt to overflow in the coming week. It's an oddly beautiful feeling.

We moved in nearly two weeks ago. And I have had some very good days. Like the day that we moved and we had a miraculous amount of help: and certain people set up living space just as i was about to crack. Or the next day, when my neices came to entertain my children and help me unpack the mountain of boxes in my basement. Or like yesterday when we took a free ride on the FrontRunner train to Salt Lake and back. Or this past sunday when I met my new ward, and my new ward choir! And there was two days ago when we were up at Mountain Road Ranch and my children began with driveway waterfalls, and Rivulet finished the morning knee-deep and up to the elbows in Dreampacker's garden mud. She then took a nap while my son continued to play WELL with his cousin. Then we went to my parents house and I was incredibly helpful in cleaning up the yard and burning the extra wood in a bonfire whose hotness rivals the innards of Mount Doom!

Seriously: I can't think of a single day in the past two weeks that I didn't enjoy.

And now enter the longing spoken of in Captivating. I have a woman's desire for beauty. So I think I'll go take my hair out of it's towel. I'll do the dishes. I'll let natural morning light seep in through my new blinds, vacuum my new carpet and hang my family pictures.

I will accentuate the beauty of my life today with my behavior.
I love it when simply by writing I am able to achieve a brighter perspective. I'm so glad I forgot to put out the garbage can, so that I had a chance to share my overall joy!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

I have creative blockage.

It's not as gross as it sounds, but still. While being Zoned by Wildbound on Sunday, this blockage presented itself in my feet. Or rather, in the right side of my brain, and was echoed in the correlating spot on my feet.

When the little devil was first found (painfully, I might add) and Wildbound announced that it was in my brain, I assumed it was in my less used Left Brain. To hear that the blockage was on the creative side of my brain gave me a moment's pause.

And then the Spirit echoed truth to me. Truth I have been told many times before: "Write."

But . . .

Okay, while not considering myself to be the worlds worst author, I have difficulty deciding what I could possibly write that could be worth the price of a book to anyone. Wow. Just voicing the fear that I have harbored inside: I can see how wrong and self-deprecating it is. Am I not marvelous? Sure, my writing has it's flaws. Consistency of tone, for example, and it's still better than many of the books I find in print nowadays.

I have a feeling that right this very moment is the time that I can recognize the falsity of my thinking. I am spiritually encouraged to lay them all out so that I may identify them, purge them and hopefully move forward instead of chasing my proverbial tale (pun intended). This should be fun.

Q: What do I know well enough to write of it?

A: A better question is to ask what I don't know and stay away from that. Or research it until I have a working knowledge. I suddenly recognize that this particular question is rooted in my old behavior. You know the one: mopey, self-analysing, "there-is-more-to-say-for-being-sad," me. Or - more accurately - the teen that didn't realize she was happy, so didn't feel that she could write happiness or romance. Hm. This question, with age, has also become a weak reason for not writing.

Q: What do I write about? What story should I focus on? Which one will get me published?

A: As Muad'Dib pointed out while we both read through Frank Herbert's first go at "Duneworld," my first book doesn't have to be my best book. Perhaps I should look at this venture more as "Creative Flushing" rather than "my entire life thrives or dives on the success of my first attempt."

I have many stories. Three in particular. Four if you count the one I told Wildbound I wanted to write and then once I had permission became terrified of doing it wrong, so never got past the character introduction. Wow. Not sure I meant to admit to that.

Well: there it is. So. Moving on.

"Talking" this out makes something apparent to me: My Tobie story is my big work. It is the one that is most important to me. It is my literary baby. I can feel the message of her "life" pumping through my body as pure emotion. I'm not even sure yet what that message is, but I instinctively know that it's big. She's the character I could see having more than one book, more than one adventure, teaching myriads of lessons as we watch her go. And it's quite possible that I get caught up in that storm and instead of mastering the waves, allow myself to be tossed about until I'm seasick with the creative intention! That's quite the image, isn't it.

I know that her story isn't going to be perfect for a long time; like I said, it's big. So it seems to me - and I'm seriously discovering this as I go - that I should not be "keeping myself" for this story alone. I should recognize that I have more stories that can also be written. My body is telling me that I need some Creative Flushing. And all in all, it doesn't matter if it's her stuff or not. I can write other things and not feel guilty for "neglecting" that particular story or character. I don't even have to write in chronological order! I can't piece it back together later. Wow.

All this creative freedom is making me light headed.

Given this licence, I also feel that the other characters I have will need their day too. It wouldn't do me good to let them die off. They have become living beings in my very own Mythago Wood, and I will wrestle them onto paper one day.

Until I become this creative Rulon Gardner, the lesson I was taught many times over the past few years, and finally learned today is this:

Even though I cannot yet capture my creative dragons, I can enjoy my creative fireflies: the light may be smaller and less consuming, but it will purify me just the same.

So . . . Wish me luck! There is about to be an outpouring of creative light courtesy of my previously blocked Right Brain! Thanks for the Zoning, Wildbound!