My alarm went off at 5:00 a.m. with a foot in my back and my Christmas present of a super-whoopie-make-your-life-complete pillow firmly wedged under my shoulder and me nuzzled between it and the nightstand. There was a foot on my tailbone and a three-year old snorer firmly wedged in the small of my back. He had been there since 0′dark thirty as he has been every night for a month.
I hit snooze not moving, ignoring every ache and pain all for another blissful nine minutes of sleep. Except when I next looked, easy enough being eye to eye with my clock, it was 5:55 a.m. and yep, first day of the new work year and I’d be late.
Living in Illinois, you know when it hits the teens because you walk outside and can feel your nose hairs stiffen. I got to the late train and after boarding, it slowed to a stop because it was running…late. Happy New Year.
I got in some writing, not as much as I would have liked. I’m nearing the end, but having moments of doubt, moments of trusting that the story isn’t pushing the boundaries of believability. I’ve been pushing my quiet story toward forward motion, upping the stakes, without it becoming clichéd or melodramatic.
It reminds me of the first time I put on a snorkel. I was in Jamaica and not too far from shore. I put on the snorkel and mask and began to swim. I’m a decent swimmer, and barring having watched Jaws recently, I’m good once I get in the water. My love of being surrounded by nothing but water outweighs my fear of being prey. I first looked back toward the shore and then swam in a circle facing the wide open ocean.
And just about had a freakin’ heart attack. It was so vast and cloudy nothing as far as I could see. I was waist-deep in water and yet lost all sense of my place in the ocean. completely disoriented, the water seemed to spin vertiginously. I was swimming with my ex who saw me pop out of the water and thought I had been stung by a jellyfish.
I was done. A snorkeler, I am not. Cross if off of the list of career options and move on.
That is the closest explanation for my feelings on my WIP. I read it over and didn’t know if it was good, bad or indifferent. It’s the New Year, so it must be grand. Yes, that’s it. Never let the facts get in the way of a good story as my Dearest likes to say.
One of my resolutions, and yes, I do have them, is to write on the way home. My train ride home has consisted of a half an hour nap that allows me to keep the hours I do. But if I want more time, I need to find more time. So, the nap? Gone.
After a day that can only be described as perfectly fitting for the delightful morning in which it began, I bucked up and sat on the top tier of the train where I sit in the morning. The seats face out so unless you’re a fan of being the neck-bob-napper, you stay awake. I got out my notebook and read where I left off, looking for signs, bread crumbs in the forest, feeling the witch breathing down my neck.
That’s when I felt a draft. Not my draft. A draft. It was now a balmy 20 degrees outside and the Metra thought ahead to put on the air conditioning for our comfort. Bless their hearts. I looked around and saw everyone else looking around as they redressed in the clothes that habit dictated they remove. I sat on the upper deck alternately writing and then putting my gloves back on to warm my numb fingers. Lest you think I exaggerate, I could see my breath. I fully zipped up my coat, and pulled the straps on my hood until the only exposed part was my eyes. Then I gave up. I can’t write with numb fingers, and my gloves were too big to hold the pen.
The silver lining was I’ve been reading a new book on my Kindle and had a moment to read further without any guilt that I should be writing instead. It’s a good one.
We got to the parking lot and the striking thing was that it was warmer outside than on the train car. Huh.
Anybody else living Groundhog’s Day?