I’m in Love – Again

You fall in love and you can’t get enough of your heart’s desire.  Every waking moment is spent thinking of, studying, obsessing over, and drinking in all that he or she is.  He or she loves every bit of you in return and all is right with the world where birds chirp and the sun shines everyday.

And then the shine wears off.

Suddenly, endearing quirks become irritating.  Spending so much time together becomes smothering.  Familiarity may eventually breed contempt, but at the very least it keeps you from recognizing what it was that made him or her special in the first place.  You can’t really even see the person at all.

Now before you think I’ve lost sight of our relationship, this is not about my husband and me.

This is about the cast of characters, particularly a young man named Dmitri, in my young adult novel.

I had sensed the growing frustration between us.  I tried doing things differently to liven up the doldrums into which we’d wandered.  I gave him space.  None of this worked.  In fact, the extra space felt surprisingly refreshing.  Too freeing.  I didn’t know if I’d ever want to return to the constraints of our relationship.  Though I didn’t know how to fix it, I always felt guilty when he came to mind because of our unresolved issues.

Then one day, I opened a book.  The voice on the page, the way the girl told her story reminded me of my Dmitri.  I thought, if only Dmitri could be freed like that to tell his story.  I opened my laptop and Dmitri spoke to me in ways he never had.

I’ve spent the last four days cavorting with him.  In a blissful sort of oblivion, we’ve reunited, he reaffirming all I ever loved about him.  I can’t catch my breath.  I’m positively vibrating with excitement.  When I’m forced to perform one of my daily obligations, I can’t wait until I can return to him.

So sorry I haven’t posted lately – I’ve been falling head over heels in love – again.

Somewhere Out There

I write best when in my car.

No, I’m not one of those people you see mouth agape going eighty miles an hour applying mascara.  I’m not reading the map spread across my dashboard as I try to maintain lane (disregard the fact that ergonomic dashboards and GPS have made this point moot).  I’m not even trying to eat a sloppy sandwich as I steer with my elbows.

I have both hands securely planted on the wheel, watching both the speed- and tachometer, the radio adjusted to a safe level so as not to cause distraction.  My youngest daughter is safely secured in her five-point harness in the backseat.  My eyes are on the road and what the traffic ahead of me is doing.

Some part of my mind, however, is in the hills lit by sunlight on the horizon.  The clouds sweeping across the crest of the hill.  That part of my mind is parsing words and phrases, building them up and fine-tuning them.

the roadInto poetry.

Into a thousand different perfect prompts for this blog.

Into the character quirk I’ve been needing for Dmitri.

Into metaphors and images, symbols and signs –

all of which leave me when I sit down hours or days later at the keyboard.

There are times it’s happened in the ether just before sleep.  When the body has relaxed just enough to quell the mind’s obsessing, but not it’s creative processes.  Perfectly formed paragraphs gather and congregate.  Teasing me to remember them, knowing I won’t fight the exhaustion to lift a pen and record them in the notebook on my bedside table.

In the morning, the memory of them remains but not the perfect manuscript.

A voice to text application would probably help.  But I have such a nostalgia for and dedication to hand- and typewritten words.  I’m searching for a place to display the ancient Underwood typewriter my father’s holding for me now.  It would feel disingenuous somehow to speak my words into thin air and have them magically transform to text.  Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment.  Maybe I just hate to hear a playback of my recorded voice.

I’m hopelessly devoted to forming the perfect mental manuscript and promptly forgetting it when my hands touch the keyboard.  If only mental memory would transfer to sense memory in this one instance.  Just another form of writers’ block, I suppose.  Or another rationalization for not writing what I’m supposed to be.  It’s much easier to lament the perfect lost words than write the imperfect permanent ones.

So I’ll take leave of you now.  Perhaps to go for a drive.  Perhaps to build on the momentum I finally reengaged in my book yesterday.  Or maybe to go stare out the window and dream of the perfect words floating somewhere out there.

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