Well, National Novel Writing Month is over, and I didn't make the target word count. I got up to 7,140 though, which is I think the only fiction writing I've done in about 10 years. So to me that's a degree of success. I've been thinking about writing as a vocation. I do feel "called" to it in some way, but maybe novels aren't the place to start. It's no problem at all for me to write a blog, not much problem to keep a paper journal, and I love writing letters. Even some emails are a joy to me to write - when I'm expressing an opinion or explaining an idea. So how do I build on the writing I already do easily, and from there stretch myself into the more challenging things? And eventually get something published? And get paid for it?? If any of you blog readers have ideas, please pass them along. And if anyone knows a literary agent, please give me their name.
The novel I was working on never achieved a title, and I don't want to give away any more of the idea than I have to a few of you, in case I do actually go on to write it properly. It has elements of the "friendship" theme I mentioned, but perhaps more of it started to fall into the theme of "facing fears and flaws" and "growing a backbone". I'm using some of my own experiences (of course, as one should!), including divorce and pregnancy. The main character is tall, smart, successful in her career, about my age, but prettier and not as nice as I am!
I was asked to say the blessing at one of my Thanksgiving meals, and I think what I came up with on the spot was rather lame. I've been thinking about blessings since then, and of course there are all the big ones that I can't begin to express sufficient gratitude for (like health, families that get along, having a healthy child, working part time, still being married!). But the little blessings don't often get much air time, and I started a list of them. Even small things like this can make a huge difference in quality of life, and I'm aware that lots of people don't have them.
Many fell mostly into the "material goods" category, including:
-- a space heater in my bathroom
-- flannel pajamas
-- tea with milk, in a big mug
-- my own washer and dryer
-- photos capturing most of my life so far
-- pens that write smoothly and don't smear
-- windows that open on 3 sides of the house
-- a comfortable couch
-- sidewalks in my neighborhood
-- the Internet
Others are kind of "material things or situations with an emotional effect":
-- cats who like for me pet them
-- a hairdresser who understands my hair and whom I like
-- mementos from my trip to Nepal
-- the baby monitor that I'm listening to right now, to hear Emma talking to herself as she settles down for a nap
-- coming home from work to see that David has mowed the grass or cleaned the kitchen
-- having all my journals that I've kept in my life, I think all in one place
-- having dishes that belonged to my grandmothers and that I remember seeing or using at their houses
-- a comfortable rocking chair in Emma's room
Still other little blessings are purely experiential:
-- being able to recognize people's voices easily
-- the way my fingers remember a telephone number even when my mind doesn't
-- days when I don't have to go anywhere
-- those first moments when people are happy to see me
-- the feel of Emma's little hands clutching my pants legs
-- (and this one's actually not so little) nights when I sleep through with no interruption at all
If you have little blessings you'd like to tell people about, please post a comment or send me an email and I'll post them for you.