Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Sunny side of the street

Today was a beautiful day in our fair state. The sun shone, the sky was blue, a stark contrast to the autumn leaves of red, yellow and orange. It reminded me of a photograph I took about seven years ago. Seven...that is a symbol of completeness. Interesting thought. Here I am seven years after leaving my full time newspaper editor's position. Seven years of learning, stretching and growing. Seven years of finishing some things I started--like raising children. Seven years of learning my craft of writing...a long haul for DH who thinks I'm never going to get my work published. Of course, he still thinks there is "just" one novel, even when he comes into my office and sees the shelves lined with folders, the piles of notebooks and papers, all works in progress for one project or another.

Am I complete? Hm. Another interesting question. I had an enlightenment yesterday, an epiphany, as I was working on my novel. Some truths made themselves known to me and I have to admit, I was taken by surprise. I don't know why I didn't see these things before. I mean, they were right there in front of me all the time! But I didn't see them, I guess, until the proper time. Interesting.

So, I am ready to begin writing chapters 13, 14, and 15 of a 33-chapter novel. I decided the number of chapters this morning. How many chapters, I asked myself, will it take to tell this story: beginning (introducing problems), middle (defining problems), and end (resolving problems). Well, how many lines are there on this piece of paper at the back of my notebook? 33. Well, that means chapters 1-11 for the beginning, chapters 12-22 for the middle and chapters 23-33 for the end. I began to make plotting notes to myself so I can keep control of my story as the rough draft is written from beginning, through the middle, to the end. It sounds simple, but again, until the time is right, it just doesn't make sense or fall into place. Could I have learned it faster, sooner, in my younger years? Or was I on my way when I decided to take that first newspaper job? Did I hamper my own growth as a writer by working that 24/7/365 job?

I guess that's a moot point and doesn't really matter since I can't go back and change a thing. But I can begin from here because I know more about my craft. I may have more to learn, but I will take what I know at this moment and move forward.

My mom and I sat on the patio all afternoon with our crochet hooks. We talked and giggled and laughed out loud, enjoying the sunshine, the blue skies, the companionship, the tea, the crocheting. I can't remember when I last did that. But I know we make time for the people and things that mean something to us. Mom. Dad. Sonny. My children. My grandchildren. My marriage. My faith. My writing. All are meaningful to me, but are not always in the same order.

I am only now at my midlife mark. I have another half of a life to live and learn and love and write.

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