It's April. Finally. Is it just me or did March seem to just hang on with fangs and refuse to let go?
Probably just me.
Gather round for another posting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click on the link HERE to learn more about this fantastic group, our amazing leader, and how you, too, can air your insecurities and offer up encouragement once a month.
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Over here on the writing front, things have been a bit slow. March started out pretty good: I finished second drafts on a novella and first drafts on a short story. I started printing out my novel and had all the intentions in the world to start on another when my new responsibilities as work kicked in and I apparently forget the blog-verse existed!
Then, the week before Easter, my grandmother died. Talk about a gut-punch. I talked a little about this in my last post but I wanted to share more about her today. You see, Mawmaw is from whom I inherited the writing bug. She was a prolific poet and, about five years ago, self-published two volumes of her poems. Five years ago she was 91. There's a lesson there in "never too late".
Mawmaw was an anchor, one of those folks you just knew was going to be around forever. We all have them. Sadly, I've lost four of those precious forever people. It leaves you in a fog. You walk around, living life, and suddenly you remember they aren't there and everything goes insubstantial. You feel guilty for laughing. You start to cry at baseball games. You can't write for almost 8 years because your biggest fan is no longer an email away. You lose your singing voice for the same reason.
This loss filled me with grief, yes, and sadness, but also with HOPE. No joke. I've been fired up and inspired because it hit me at her funeral that MAWMAW LEFT NOTHING UNDONE. Seriously. To this day I've never seen a half-written poem, a painting without a frame, a quilt without backing, or an article of clothing without some sort of stitched embellishment. That was the woman she was. She lived in the same house for 50+ years, never had a dishwasher and I swear her kitchen was never overrun with dirty spoons.
It got me thinking: why am I being so lackadaisical about my own work? About my own life? About my own spoons (seriously, you should see my sink...). What am I waiting for? Mawmaw worked, had three children, was a housewife and a part-time school lunchroom employee. She was the superintendent for her church's Sunday School department for 59 years! She helped teach others and take care of 9 grandchildren and more great-grandchildren than I can honestly remember. The living room would be off limits because her quilt frame was all the chairs in her dining room with the fabric draped over them. Her back bedroom held a sewing machine and papers spread on the full sized bed, all drafts of her poems she typed on an old, manual typewriter. There were paintings on her wall that she painted and a few ceramic ducks floating on shelves. I won't even begin to get into the woodworking.
The point of all this reminiscing? I have no excuse NOT to do the things I want to do. No excuse. I work part time. My children have four feet and fur. My brain is filled to bursting with ideas for stories and art. My house is only 700 square feet and I can't seem to keep the kitchen clean.
Get out those projects. Drape fabric over chairs and scatter leaves of poetry to the wind just to see where they'll land. Pick up your paint brushes, dust off that sewing machine. Pull out your great aunt's recipe box and start baking.
We aren't here forever, kids. But what we leave behind us can inspire someone else to live their dreams more fully. I can't take time for granted any more. And I know Mawmaw can keep an eye on me and cheer me on whenever I need her to.
Now excuse me while I go tackle those spoons...