Friday, November 27, 2009

A lot of work

The kitchen is (mostly) back to its baseline.  The leftovers have been crammed into the fridge, with some in a cooler on the back deck.  Pie and coffee for breakfast--my favorite 'black Friday' tradition.  :)

I love to cook for a crowd and I love to putter about in the kitchen with my husband, who is truly a fabulous cook.  (I'm the workaday cook and baker, he's the whip-up-a-gourmet-meal-with-leftovers kind of cook.)  That's what makes thanksgiving one of my favorite days of the year.  Even though we are far away from both sides of our family, and because of hubby's work, we are unable to travel for turkey day, we've always managed to make it a festive holiday with friends at the table, and this year was no exception.  (:waves to Nancy, Eddie, and Jayne!:)

Preparing a full on thanksgiving meal is an enormous amount of work, especially the way we do it, from scratch.  No matter how much we prep ahead of time, it's at least 5 solid hours on our feet in the kitchen the day of.  But when you are doing the thing you love, the time flies by; it doesn't feel like a chore.

What the heck does this have to do with writing?

Not much, but in talking around the thanksgiving table, I realized how much creating stories is the work that I love.  I have been a physical therapist for over 23 years, and I am good at what I do.  Helping people to feel better is important and enriching work.  But after 23 years, it is no longer the work that enriches my soul.  Writing is.

Writing a novel is difficult, time consuming, painstaking work.  There are frequent days of running into brick walls, deleting whole chunks of hard-fought words, and enormous personal doubt. It's also the ultimate in delayed gratification--if I'm lucky, it will be years before anything I write today reaches the hands and eyes of any reader.  And did I mention rejection?  The odds are daunting.  Any sane person would advise me to stick to my day job and if I must still write, well, that's what a hobby is all about.

But I'm a stubborn lady.  I insist on making pumpkin pie starting with a pumpkin and a crust from scratch.  Sometimes, I wish I could just take the path of least resistance, but it's not in my nature.

"Future Tense" is only weeks away from a finished first draft.  Even on the days where the words knock me around the ring for a few rounds, writing is still a joy.

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