Thursday, 2 May 2019

How to keep your sh*t together

Reading: Magic Terror by Peter Straub
Listening to: "Doe-Eyed Dancer" by Wild Moccasins
Outside: Rain, glorious rain

Dear loyal, neglected readers,

So it's been almost a year since I've graced you all with my presence.

I'm sorry about that.

Really, I am.

I don't have much to show for it except tons of train tickets to and from Sheffield which have accumulated in my daughter's room, wild across dresser and window sill and floor, splaying out like poker hands. In between trips to big S-town and back, where I work untangling misspellings and garbled syntax in death notices for newspapers across the country, I've joined my family on whirlwind visits to caves and cafes, swimming pools and ice skating rinks. Grinned up at the gallows while docents at the preserved, ancient Nottingham Gaol explained the hangings there more than a hundred years ago, telling stories, histories, in a funny way, because history can sometimes be a comedy. Even when it's really not. I tromped down the narrow staircases of the Robin Hood Experience, taking in the Pound Shop Halloween decorations sprouting up everywhere, giving the young (and the young at heart) an idea of the Sheriff of Nottingham's wickedness - spray-painted foam tombstones, skulls and crossbones, glow-in-the-dark skeletons strung across doorways. I have observed, relented, to a fallow writing period, and allowed the stuff in my mind to catch, take seed and grow.

I have done everything I can to distract myself from Purgatory, the Waiting Room, the Inertia of Uncertainty, as the Powers that Be decide the fate of my manuscript.

Blogs of the people who have been there, who are still there, give advice on how to keep your sh*t together. They say just live. Just keep on truckin.' So I'm doing that.

I've eagerly lapped up Life, all of it - chilly sheep-spotted hillsides, dripping stalactites, quirky pubs. I have walked through my village, breathing in the hearth fumes, vapors of Victoriana still lingering well into the 21st century. I helped find a way out of Nottingham, missing my daughter after our delicious weekend away, celebrating the 20th Anniversary of my husband's friendship, following the Google Maps version of our exit back onto familiar roads, my pink-polished fingernail catching the diffused light through the windshield.

I've written another book or two.

And read several books, some for the third or fourth or fifth time. Maybe I craved something familiar, like a room I used to live in, where all the furniture is exactly where you remember it to be.

I've eaten a lot of chocolate. Ice cream. Wine also continues to be my friend.

My daughter, in my home office, requesting a snapshot
in her new summer outfit, "Writing just like Mommy."

I am still following a map, that Virtual Map in my head. I'm sure you have one, too. The one that's splatted with those saccharine platitudes in curly cursive you find in card shops, on fridge magnets and stencil-burned into driftwood picture frames: The one that reminds you to enjoy the journey. To learn to dance in the rain. The map unrolls an inch at a time, like weak headlights bathing a midnight country road. Giving you just enough to roll ahead and trust what's out there in the dark

You know what, f*ck it, I'll just pour the wine into the ice cream.

Have a great Thursday, folks!

1 comment:

  1. Great to see you back. Enjoyed reading again. I am with you with the wine but not mixed with icebreaker lol.xx