Right Now: I’m always writing or thinking about writing or sick of writing or longing to write or happy I finally wrote or wishing I had more time to write or feeling terrible at writing.
I made Crispy Chicken Tacos from the Pioneer Woman’s newest cookbook last week (okay, and again today after church). The day before that, I made the garlic lemon shrimp, and soaked up bits of butter with crusty bread. The night before that? Chicken Parmigiano. (I won’t even tell you about the three dozen cookies that were baked…Okay, I will. Canadian classic: The Best of Bridge, “Mona’s Mother’s Mother’s Best Friend’s Favourite Cookies” world without end, amen.)
When four-year-old Joseph sat down to eat, he declared, “My am wearing my turkey pants!” and yanked the elastic waistband out, copying his Dad’s Thanksgiving proclamations: My am here to eat, let’s do this thing.
Henceforth, let’s just all agree to refer to elastic waist band pants as Turkey Pants.
My creative process is very scientific. Let me tell you about it:
First, I avoid it. I do laundry, school drop off and pick up, preschool crafts, procrastinate, clean something, dither around, check Facebook, write a blog post to prime the word-pump (check!), bath the tinies, make lots of yummy food, read books out loud, avoid the washroom-cleaning, clip 80 finger-and-toe-nails, procrastinate a bit more, I hide in coffee shops on two-mornings a week (or my parents’ dining room), I make a writing playlist of Jane Austen movie soundtrack music, turn on Little Bear for the tinies, clean the house, sweep the stairs, fold a mountain of laundry, think about writing, don’t think about writing, go for a walk, download Anti-Social app to block all social media, read, and then I sit down, every now and then, on the edges, to bang out a thousands words (give or take a few zeroes).
It’s a delicate and precise science, clearly.
Watching me (sometimes not) write a book is stressful for my husband.
We’ve established a good rule: if it’s going well, I’ll tell him so. If it’s not, I won’t bring it up. And, darling, please don’t ask me again to estimate by percentage how much remains to be written.
I am a full-time stay at home mother with very small tinies still, and I write on the edges of my life, and I like to eat, and read a lot, and I hate talking on the phone, and my laundry is never finished, likely never will be, I’m sure.
Right now, book writing feels as if I am in the middle of my first marathon, and I’m really regretting that I didn’t train in a more useful fashion. Or at least take up jogging. Instead, I’m cooking with a lot of butter.
“Jesus Feminist“ (that title is still tentative, by the way) is due for first round edits early in January. Yeah. Just a few weeks away.
It feels like a monstrous undertaking, impossible, and I’m in way over my head, and it’s awful, and beautiful, and I love every single second of it (when I’m not busy hating it).
I’m wishing for one of those “Writing Retreats” that real authors apparently do to write books. Right now “holed up in my own basement for an hour after supper while chaos reigns overhead and Brian hollers at everyone to BE QUIET MUM IS TRYING TO WORK” counts as a retreat.
My small Evelynn has been quite sick (she’s on the mend), and that’s meant a week-without-much-creativity for my befuddled and tired brain.
Today, I’m in the Quiet Room at the library, and I may commit an act of violence on the knuckle-cracker in here.
Later tonight, I’ll leave the supper dishes to the rest of the family, open my laptop at my old oak desk downstairs, light a few candles. I’ll open the windows to the forest, and pour a glass of chardonnay, everyone will be too loud, so I’ll turn on my little writing playlist to drown them all out.
Chaos is my muse, chaos is my muse, chaos is my muse.
But first, always, never not this:
Jesus, be near. I love you, I long for you, breathe here, please please please. Abba, I love you, help me love you better through this, help me love others better through this. Holy Spirit, sweep into my fuddled and worn out mama-brain, and stir the waters, I need you here.
God, may you be glorified, I’m weak, and I feel my inadequacies so strongly, so look here, I’m moving out of the way, would you increase here? My hands are open, my heart is yours.
Thank you for this, thank you for this, thank you for every single wonderful beautiful second of getting to do this with You.
And then I just write.