Earlier today, I got in a good solid block of writing time on my book. Since I am on a roll, I thought that I could work on it some more tonight. Well, evidently, my muse had other plans, because I’ve been working instead on my personal essay collection. The idea behind this is that I write one personal essay a month for an undetermined span of time and that eventually I’ll be able to either (a) collect them in a book, (b) send them out with query letters as proof that I need my own regular column at Salon or some such place or (c) failing all else, paper my walls with them.
Well, tonight as I was putting Lovey to bed, I had a bunch of ideas for essays and that’s what pulled me away from working on my novel. I should mention that when I put Lovey to bed, I stay in the room until I am sure that she is asleep. After the bedtime stories, the rocking, the singing, the rubbing of her tiny hot little back, I pray. And when I pray, I always get ideas. I don’t ask for them, per se. When I pray, I basically have a little talk with God, during which I thank Him/Her for all the good things in my life, and ask Him/Her to help me in areas where I’m having trouble. Since I am not very direct, this generally comes out as the all-purpose “help me to be a better person” prayer. I feel God already knows the specifics anyway. He/She is All-Knowing, right? I also pray for God to keep my baby safe and healthy and to give strength to various people who I know are having a rough time.
I find that prayer calms my mind. And as soon as my mind is free of all the busyness and craziness that is usually zinging around in there (what Zen calls monkey mind), all these great ideas come floating through.
Tonight, I sat down to write about my grandfather. I started at 7:45 PM. I have written a page and a half. It is 9:42 PM. It has taken me nearly two hours to write a page and a half because every couple or sentences or so, I start crying and I can’t stop. I miss him so much. I keep trying to make sense of a world without him in it and it’s just not make-sensible. And if you try and tell me that make-sensible is not a word, I may just hit you (I am already emotionally fragile). Language is a living thing; it is constantly evolving. Are we not adding new words to our everyday lexicon, well, everyday? Ten years ago, would you have any idea what “blog” meant?
And see! Again I am not facing what I really meant to write about. I decided to blog to give myself a break from the emotional juggernaut that awaits if I go back to my essay. You see, how I am blogging as a break from my essay, which I am writing because I didn’t have the energy to get back into my book tonight? So many evasive tactics! I might convince myself that it is too soon to write about this. But that would be wrong. I think it is high time to write about it, and cry, and work through it.
One more thing: that stupid Microsoft Office help icon, Clippit, is questioning my use of the word "awaits" in the third sentence of the last paragraph. Clippit seems to think that "awaits" must have a direct object to complete its action. I think any idiot will realize that [me] is implied and may be inferred following "awaits." I hate that damn Clippit. By the way, a synonym for juggernaut is steamroller; compare "That smug Clippit doesn't realize the juggernaut of my wrath awaits to crush him into an even more useless piece of metal!"