Saturday, June 25, 2011

Point form post, which is therefore full of points, but pointless.

- So.  If it's not asthma, it's bronchitis.  My lungs are a pair of misbehaving drama queens, and yet, I am stuck with them. 

- A continues to crack me right up.  Do you want to hear about that, or do you want to hear about all my amazing birthday presents, each one more astonishing than the last?

- My dog is small, cute and disobedient.  I'd ask if you wanted to hear about that, but ...you just did.

- I knit some stuff. 

- I wrote a whole book. There's not enough conflict in my book.  Huh.  Shocking, seeing as how I embrace conflict wholeheartedly.  Oh wait, no I don't.  Who knew?   Also the fact that I sort of cheered K up early on in the book because I was tired of her stomping around being difficult is not believable.  And as the writer you can't just say "I don't care if you don't believe it, that's what happened" because when you make stuff up, you have to follow rules about not breaking the fictive dream blah blah blah.  Having your reader look up and say "As if!" is not really what you're aiming for.  Dang it.

- Parenting is - newsflash! - harrrrrrrrrrrrrd.  (Yes I'm whining.  I have bronchitis.  I don't like bronchitis) Turns out you cannot parent a 15 year old the way you parent a four year old.  Why it is taking me so long to figure this out, I am not sure, but I'm pretty sure it will be a good thing for all of us when I get a handle on it.

- if you are still reading, go have a cookie.  You deserve it.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

So.

The annual pilgrimage is over.  It was all I hoped it would be, and more.

I came home just in time to go to the nursing home and tell my mother that her only remaining sister died that morning.  Once there were 6, now there is one.

It seems to have taken the wind out of my mother's sails, a bit. It would truthfully be a mercy if she could go - she is in physical pain, of varying degrees, most of the time.  Up until Friday evening, the suffering was primarily physical.  Now there is the emotional pain of a goodbye that, frankly, I am a little frustrated that she had to endure.  I wish that God would agree with me about when to say "Enough."

I come from feisty women.  My mother glaring at me from the nursing home bed she rarely allows them to get her up out of.  "I think that woman feels sorry for me!  How dare she?!  I am perfectly happy!"

My Aunt Betty ("Auntie BopBee", we called her), mischievous elf, playing cards with my five year old daughter on the floor of her garage at 4 in the morning.  Donning a hard hat, so many years ago, and following my father down the mine shaft, just to see what it was like.  Getting cheerfully, hopelessly lost, time after time after time.

My Aunt Norine ("Auntie Rene") giggling behind her hand at me as her husband walked by in his pj's.  "Don't you just want to tickle those cute little buns?" she asked.  (I did not)

My mother is the only one left.  "What makes you happiest, looking back on your life?" I asked her today.
"You kids and your dad," was the immediate reply.  And then with a definite TAKE THAT note in her voice, "Living so much longer than those doctors said I would."  (she was born in Rocky Mountain House, AB, in 1937.  Rocky Mountain House is still considered rather remote.  She was born at 26 weeks gestation, and weighed 2 lbs 10 0z.  If her father hadn't been one of the only men in town to own a car, her story could very well have ended differently.  And earlier.)

I laughed.  "It's that kind of feisty that's keeping you here, you know."

She laughed, a slow, tired, laugh.

Oh Mom.  I'll forgive you if you leave.  I will be so sad for me, but so happy for you.  And I promise I will stand up at your funeral and tell everyone there that God was gracious enough to let you live so long that I realized how much I love you.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Not that I have ADD or anything ...

...but this morning I forgot to rinse the creme rinse out of my hair ...

for the SECOND time in a week.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Probably a writing post

So a long time ago, after I had started writing the Perpetual Novel, someone in a class I was taking said "Sure I have three chapters of a novel.  Everybody has three chapters of a novel sitting in a drawer somewhere."
I thought of my novel, and how impossible it was to figure out where these people were going and what they were doing.  "Not me," I thought.  "I am going to write it."

I had no idea how I would write it, but I was determined to finish it.

Probably a week later I was quite sure it was impossible again, but it never went away.  In February of 2007 I went to a writers workshop-week at a castle just outside Colorado Springs.  I went knowing I could never write a novel, I left five days later thinking "well a novel is likely impossible, but I can write a scene.  And then maybe another one ..."

The trip to Glen Eyrie has become a yearly pilgrimage. I think that when you decide, as a writer, that if you can't quit, you may as well get serious, you find the community you need to keep you going.

I have good writing friends here at home, and strong encouragers, and in addition to that, a large part of the community, for me, are the people I have met in Colorado.  One of the biggest reasons for that is "where two or three are gathered in My name, I am there".(Matt 18:20)  The Glen is owned by a Christian group - one of the things they do is start praying for you by name when you sign up for conferences there.

So God is there, waiting, for me to show up and leave every other obligation or duty behind, and concentrate on what I'm trying to do with the gift I've been given.  It's an earthshattering place for me, and I don't use that word lightly.

This year, I am going back, to beloved mentors, and beloved friends, (in fact, beloved mentors who have become beloved friends) to a place where it often feels as if the very ground were soaked in the prayers of God's people, and I am taking with me:

The finished first draft of my first novel.

Nobody is more surprised than I am, and I seriously doubt that anyone is more grateful.