Life to me seems very much like this boulder field right now. I’m sitting in the center of this, sort of stuck and uncomfortable, while out there on the fringe is all the good stuff. The cool green, the water, the trees, the birds, and the whole great busy forest of life. But here I sit.
For almost six months I have struggled to finish a book. The story is done and some of the beta readers have seen it, but I feel it’s missing something. Some elemental part of the story that I’ve missed. The betas have been great about suggestions for additions and deletions and I’ve grabbed quite a few of them. But the issue with the story remained. It’s just not exciting me.
Yesterday, it dawned on me that the problem is not the story. The problem is me. I’m not excited about much of anything. Without the contact and enthusiasm of the people around me, I’ve just been feeling a little hollow. I didn’t have much of an “out and about” life before, but I have a hell of a lot less of that life now. I can’t remember the last time I met a friend for lunch to talk about an idea for a book. I’m struggling to close out another story because I can’t figure out how we close the story we’re living through.
I’ve probably mentioned at some point that I do not like crowds. Never have. Never will. Anything more than 8-10 people is too many for me. I’ll find a corner and watch. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t like people. I love people. I like to talk to people and hear their stories. They inspire me and make me think. They lead to crazy paths that I can then venture down in my mind and often while venturing, I bump into a story. There has been no travel, no wandering, no visiting with old and new friends, and no personal contact.
What I’ve not had is the opportunity to make the trips that I like to make every year or so. The one to sit on the patio at my friend LeiMomi’s and have a morning cup of coffee while we laugh at some obnoxious little thing. To sit across the table from Michael and Mary Ann and talk about the world as they see it. To walk on the beach in Oregon as the rain beats on the hood of my rain jacket or to walk on the sand of the Gulf Coast and stare at the aquamarine water. To sit in the Family History Library and dig through a stack of books in hopes of finding that one item that will break down my brick wall. To hug my oldest and dearest friends and suffer the free-wheeling abuse that only these people seem to be able to take as easily as they dish out.
The feeling of being adrift in a boat doesn’t apply to me. I can see the horizon. I can feel the breeze and smell that forest. But, I’m just sitting on the rocks wondering when I can get up the enthusiasm to go back. It feels like I’ve been in mourning—and I have been. Mourning the boring little life that I had before this mess.
What I need to figure out is how to toss off the mourning clothes and get back in the swing of things. I don’t want to be a cranky old broad. The world has enough Grumpy Gretas. I’m tired of hearing everyone complain—me included—when I have so little to complain about. So, I’m going to pull it together and get back to work and sort these two books out.
Time to dump my flip-flops and put my boots back on and get this show back on the road. I’ve got a good damn book, now I just need to clean it up and figure out a stinkin’ title. It’ll be great!