I’m not having enough fun.
I started the year with reflection and resolution, having made it through the holidays intact and if not refreshed, then at least rested. I engaged with my new job duties right off the bat, worked at adjusting to the shortened hours at my job and set up a new schedule for my creative life. I rewrote the beginning of my novel, incorporating the advice given by my critique group and esteemed faculty at the SCBWIWWA fall retreat. Then, as the snow fell, the power winked out and the generator kicked on I slowly ground to a halt.
I had plenty of food. I had heat. I could take a shower and even run a load of laundry. But my husband was in B.C. and I was on my own as the tree limbs cracked off and fell on the roof. The landline cut out. No internet or television of course. Cell towers lost power and so could not provide a signal. So I wrote and I thought a lot and I took notes and I read. I did not motor on joyously through my book. In that endeavor, I slowly ground to a halt.
I thought: I can’t write my way out of this. The whole idea is stupid. It’s not going where I thought it was. It seemed clever but now I’m not so sure, maybe I should just cut my losses. Hell, I’ll shit can the thing. I have all these other shiny ideas, easy to write, ALREADY OUTLINED. I am not an outliner but I was driven to it. I was talked down off of that branch by my pal Dana before it broke under me, and I recognized this monologue for what it was: winter talk. It’s January. February is just around the corner. We have not seen nothin’ yet as far as the Northwest winter goes. It does go – on and on.
Here’s what I decided: I’m not having enough fun, and fun is really important to me. So instead of distracting myself with a shiny new story, instead of further whining and dark thoughts, I am going to be in the business of manufacturing fun. Like a little jolly elf, with a tiny, tiny hammer and a sweet little workbench, and a twinkle in my eye. I’m having some friends over on Friday to design puppets. Then we’re going to make them. Then we’re going to make stuff up for them to say. Then we’re going to play. Hopefully by then there will be less winter left and some fun will have spilled over into my writing. Wish me luck.