Rediscovery

Let’s talk about writing for a minute.  Golly Gee!  As if we haven’t done that before.  I know I have OCD and lately I’ve suspected that there’s some ADD or ADHD lurking around.  For the last few weeks when I try to write, I simply cannot sit still in my chair.  And the times I can sit I end up killing time on Facebook or IHeartRadio.

I’ve had very little concentration and even less patience for myself because of it.  I’ve added several books to my e-reader and to my bookshelves lately, also, and haven’t read any of them.  That irritates me, too.  Last Thursday I wanted to stay out of my desk chair so I would be able to sit for my in-person group meeting.  So I stretched out on the bed with my e-reader and something amazing happened.

I read an entire story.  Granted, it was a short story, but it turned into an appetizer.  I read a second story.  I was almost late grabbing a shower to get ready for my meeting.

My internet was acting up when I got home.  Go figure.  I fired up my e-reader and only got a few minutes before my battery petered out.  So I looked at my bookshelves to see if anything grabbed my attention.  What I found was an old friend.  I’ve been a fan of Nora Roberts romances for a long time.  My favorites are the Donovan Legacy books about a family of witches.

I stayed up until 3:30 in the morning reading.  I laughed again at the familiar jokes and laughed at myself when I cried along with Morgana and Nash, even though I knew what was going to happen.  But the important thing is that I stayed focused on the story and kept reading.

When I was growing up I loved to read.  I read everything, even the labels on Lysol cans.  If you’ve been reading me for a while you’ve heard me mention my mother.  Many times I would escape into a book.  Mom would fuss at me to put down my book and be sociable.

What I realized in the wee hours of the morning when I finished reading was that I no longer had to read to escape from mom or the ex-husband or anything else.  I could read simply because I enjoy it.  For the love of the story, the interaction of characters, to peek inside a world created from the psychosis of someone else’s fevered dreams.

Now back to the writing:  You need to read to be a good writer.  Reading shows you technique, style, ideas expressed in a way you may not have thought of.  Sometimes you can be engrossed in the depths of a story and get smacked in the face with an idea or realization about your own story.

Sometimes you just need to clear your head of your own characters so you can see them clearly.  If you’re having trouble getting words on the page and you keep trying to force it, you get frustrated.  Nobody can write like that.  Give yourself permission to take a break and regroup.  Your characters will still be there waiting.

Umm…(I hear crickets)…

Okay, yes, I know I’ve been a bad blogger.  It’s been a couple of weeks since I was here.  No excuses.  I simply have not had anything to say.  Don’t get me wrong, I always have something to say.  I just didn’t feel like sharing anything.  I’m not really sure what I want to talk about. 

A writer at a loss for words is a strange thing.  I could tell you how much better I feel after the major sinus infection I had.  Or how I’m working on rehabbing my knee.  We could discuss a particular Canadian who is still hiding behind his computer.  Maybe I’ll tell you about the fingerless gloves I made to stave off the ache & pain in my hands when they get cold while I type.   (I’m wearing a pair of them now.)

I had a really weird night last night.  Didn’t sleep well, strange dreams, aching knee, plus I had to be up early.  Once I was out and running I heard the song My Immortal by Evanescence.  It speaks to me on several levels.  Made me cry a bit this morning.

The opening speaks of being suppressed by childish fears.  How do you know what to be afraid of?  My brother was afraid of spiders.  A cousin watches horror movies and laughs at them.  I will not ride escalators.  We fear the things we are taught to fear by parents, other siblings, teachers, preachers, our peers.  Why?

Why do I have to be afraid of finishing something? Of accomplishing something?  Just because my mother chose to be a housewife most of her life and never reached any of her dreams, I’m supposed to curl up in the corner of my room and not try to achieve any of my own dreams?  Who says?

The video and lyrics for My Immortal are about being in a relationship and still being alone.  The flip side is after the relationship is over and you are alone but the other person is still in your head.  One of the weird things about last night’s dreams is that my ex was in them.  Yet again.  Bloody bastard.

Granted not all of the marriage was bad.  We did have some good times.  But there were plenty of bad times, too.  Moving from pillar to post because we were behind on bills.  Moving in with family because we were both unemployed.

Sometimes I feel like I wasted 13 years.  Not a damn thing to show for it.  I pawned the jewelry.  At least I did get some cash out of that.  Sound cold & petty?  Not when you consider how little money we actually had at any given time.  My parents lived like that.  I swore to myself I would not do the same thing and there I was, borrowing from Peter to pay Paul.  We actually lived without power for over a year.

But I chose to stay.  I didn’t really know any better but to stay.  Once I saw life on the outside, it scared me.  Scared me that I did not know who I was.  The last four years have not been easy, but they are getting easier.  I have a job, a car, health insurance, a place to sleep without mice.

I know I needed to learn that lesson.  And yes, I do things the hard way.  Thirteen years is a long time.  I wish it had not taken me so long.  But I am stronger for having learned that lesson.

There’s a line in the song that says “but you still have all of me.”  That’s what made me cry this morning.  There was a time I would have defended him against the devil himself.  I was so busy trying to save myself from my mother that I gave myself away to a man who was no better.

That does not mean that I have to still let him have any part of me.  He does not deserve any part of the person I am now.  We both made mistakes in that relationship.  But I will be damned if I will let myself repeat those mistakes.  I know how to look in the mirror now and see the truth.  I’m a much quicker study now than I use to be. 

I’ve been learning how to redefine myself.  And there is no room for him.  This may very well be the last time I blog about him.  The lessons I’ve learned I will still talk about.  But I’m not giving him any more credit.  He was a stepping stone.  Letting him go is the last step of the old me.  The first step of the new me is in front of me.

Guess I had something to say after all…