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Archive for May, 2011

I’m on a punishing writing schedule this month. I’ll tell you about that sometime, but not today. Today, and yesterday too, to tell you the truth, the well is dry. The upside of writing hard is getting lots of words on paper. The downside is that if I’m not filling the well while I do it, the words start to make me cringe because they read the way they were written: slow, stilted, eked out to fulfil the goal for the day. Nothing sings. Nothing makes me cry. (I know I’m on the right track if I can make myself laugh or cry re-reading something I’ve written.)

I have time to write today. I’ve wasted almost all of it because of that dry well. In an effort not to waste it all, instinct sent me searching for beauty. Beauty comes in lots of different forms, don’t you think? And it has a way of directing a fresh stream towards the well.

At first, today, avoiding all things writing, I went looking for beauty in things that are currently on my wish list: a dress I loved but found in the wrong size, plates to match the single Limoges dessert plate I got for $7 at a church sale that makes me happy whenever I use it. No luck with either. It was turning into that sort of a day. But, the sun in shining for a third day in a row here on the west coast, an event so rare this spring it can’t help but inspire a bit of hope. So I kept looking, this time not even sure what it was I was looking for, except that I had this bone-deep craving for it.

And as often happens when start looking around and absorbing what’s around us, the things I needed today found me, in the form of words. Thing is, they turned up in places I wouldn’t normally look, because of random circumstances, but in both cases, they expressed something of what I needed to read today to get the words flowing again.

First, a friend posted on Facebook, randomly and apropos of nothing, that she didn’t know who’d led her to Seth Godin’s blog, but that she loves it. I followed her link, and scrolled down the page, stopping for no apparent reason on this little post (Thanks, Ei.)

And then, again out of the blue, someone I didn’t know followed me on Twitter, so I clicked on her profile and scrolled through a few of her posts to get a feel for who she is. For some reason, I clicked on this link she posted: http://sarahrcallender.wordpress.com/2011/05/15/monogamy/, which was timed perfectly for me, because only yesterday, I felt the lure of the other, better story, the one that comes along at some point in the writing of this one to attempt to seduce you away from all the hard work. So thanks for that post, Sarah Callender and the tweet about it, Therese Walsh. You were just what I needed today.

Off to write…

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Derek K. Miller

I never met Derek Miller. I spotted the odd tweet by people I follow mentioning his name, especially over the last couple of weeks, but I didn’t know him, never read his blog, had no involvement at all in his life or his battle with cancer. The closest I got to meeting Derek was retweeting a message for the people who wanted to get #weloveDerek trending. Because they love him. Seemed like a good reason to me.

Derek died yesterday.

And this man I’ve never met, whose family I don’t know but am thinking about today, made me cry with his last blog post.

Go read it. But get a tissue first.

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