draft 3: just a few words

so yesterday evening, after my wife got home from work, i was describing my overall lack of engagement with the story lately. i’ve had fits and spurts of excitement, but that’s really all. the rest of the time, i’ve been having a growing feeling of dissatisfaction and distrust of the story as a whole, second-guessing myself*, and considering what seems to be the fruitlessness of this whole exercise, given the minimal response i’ve been getting from the queries and such.

compound this with the looming end of the summer, its attendant increase in school work activity, the fact that i can’t see how i’ll finish HHNF in time for the start of the school year** and if i don’t then when will i finish it because classwork tends to consume me once the semester starts, plus the fact that the summer has been an almost literal wash thanks to all the rain, and i really need to consider the purchase of a new*** vehicle as we head into the winter months here in Maine, the fact that my diminished income over the summer has left us less than flush given various expected and unexpected bills****, the constant work necessary on our house*****, and – as the straw that really broke the camel’s back this morning – my alarm clock has started making pathetic squeaky noises instead of proper beeps as it closes in on the end of its un-rechargable life******.

so, being me, i was carrying this all around on my shoulders all day, steadily adding to it while pecking away at HHNF and then doing a less than stellar day’s work at the paying job, all the while, twistedly enjoying the creativity-draining powerlessness of it all.

much of which i proceeded to unload upon my wife over the course of the evening.

instead of berating me or judging me or hounding me or trying to fix me, though, she listened and then simply and encouragingly reminded me that this funk and despair was a temporary thing, and left it at that.

it’s always amazing to me when a few words, simply spoken, can change my entire outlook.******* that said, the change didn’t happen last night, but this morning, after she’d left for work and i was dreading the book again. i remembered her words, though, and realized she was, of course, correct. i found myself making the conscious decision to be productive today, and i’ve made some excellent and exciting progress.

the story is good, i’m doing a good job with it, and it’s worth writing. if it doesn’t get picked up, then maybe the next one will. that’s it.

* again

** particularly if i want to be even vaguely prepared for the classes i’m teaching

*** to me (meaning cheap)

**** which reminds me i have to call and order firewood today

***** because i had to push for another 100-year old place full of  ‘character’, i.e., no right angles, level floors, consistent wiring, etc.

****** admittedly, the clock’s an ‘el cheapo’ import item that has worked steadily for several years longer than i expected it too in the first place.

******* to be honest, this kind of thing would usually set me off, as i would already be in a mood to be as contrary as possible, but for some reason she knew just what to say and how to say it. she’s amazing.

  1. *I’ll have to remember that pep talk for later use.
    **You know that you wrote much of NGD while teaching…it got done.
    ***that alarm clock hasn’t breathed its last yet…
    ****we are both fools for the ‘character’ of old houses
    *****And you know love, that street goes both ways. You help me see the forest for the trees, the light at the end of the tunnel, and the silver lining regularly.

    BTW, was this a record number of footnotes for a post?

  2. maybe not a record for a post, but definitely a record for a comment! and thanks, as ever, for bearing with me and bearing me up. we make this life together, you and i.

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