Saturday, June 15, 2013

To Write

So what do you need to write? A pencil and paper? A computer with some sort of writing program? Sure, but those are just the tools. Sadly, one of the things you need is solitude, room to think, time enough to take a stroll into a different world or a different life.

While tending my garden, I used to pretend I was the palace slave who, for some infraction, was relegated to the job as a punishment, only I liked the work, so it wasn't really all that much punishment after all, but don't tell them that. My favorite scenario was that I discovered a wounded soldier trying to hide in the bushes, only he'd passed out before he realized how close to the garden he was. Of course he was very handsome and so very vulnerable, and I didn't like my masters very much so of course I would do what I could to protect and help him. Produce from the garden would keep him from starving, and there were herbs to tend his wounds, though he needed more than that, and once in a while I managed to smuggle something from the table. Then of course, the inevitable would happen and he would be gone and I didn't even know who he was. This idea eventually evolved into parts of What Future, Slave, but there's little resemblance to it in there really. Maybe one day it will be the core of it's own story.

Years ago, while waiting for sleep to come (and likely succeeding in putting it off), I would pretend I was some soldier left for dead on the battlefield to be discovered by some old hermit who used a lamed warhorse to drag me to his little cave in the side of the cliffs. He had of course been searching the battlefield for valuables, but he had a soft spot for survivors.

Little did I know how valuable these pretend sessions would become. Not only did they take me away from the mundane nature of normal life, but they became a tool I used frequently to get me though some scene or other. Many such scenes were totally played out in my head, and some were physically rehearsed to a certain degree.

I've heard it said from time to time that writing is a solitary task, and it very much is. Today, not having an idea for this post in mind yet, I had to wait for my family, and my nine-year-old, chatterbox grandson to go fishing before I could come up with an idea for this post. I love my family to death, but writing just isn't possible with the house all in a hubbub. I find it nearly impossible to write with just the TV on since the darn thing is sitting right in front of me, just across the table away. There's no room in my house for an office and my husband would complain if I made use of one anyway. So, being pretty much the only person in the family who is a morning person, I get up early to write or edit for the battery life of my computer. By then my husband is up and doing his thing for the life of his battery, and I can go do other things until the generator is started. But, it's summer now, and what with family visiting, even that simple routine has been disrupted.

Like right now, my husband would still be sleeping for another hour or so. Instead everyone got up early to go fishing. Next week, my son and grandson will be gone for a week and then the entire family will come back out here for another week. That counts up to both my sons, both their wives, and my grandson here in this little house. This will be a first for them all being out here. Last time we were all together was when my husband and I went to Fairbanks to spend a winter with my youngest son and his family so that I would have internet access to facilitate publishing my first book. My oldest son came back from Korea for the Christmas holiday, but he wasn't married yet.

It will be so much fun having them all here. Gold panning, sorting out the stuff they've had stored here for the last ten years or more, and trying to dig the worm I've managed to acquire out of my computer, is on the agenda for their visit, not to mention fishing. Why didn't I go fishing with them today, you might ask? Thanks to the partial sorting of upstairs stuffs, a lot of old dust was stirred up. That coupled with the dusty silt that is everywhere along the river and so easily carried on the slightest wind, and the fact that the trees have decided to try to make up for the lateness of spring by taking a super dump of pollen, I have spent the last three days wheezing and out of breath. If it doesn't clear up soon, my husband will cart me off to the doctor for a prescription. I tried to buy an over-the-counter inhaler last winter when I was in town, but they don't sell such things over the counter anymore. Yeah, the prescription stuff worked better and even tasted better, but Primatene worked well enough for me and it's a whole lot cheaper than a doctor's visit. I'm healthy; I don't even have any of the growing old issues yet, other than getting just a mite slower than when I was a teen. I guess not having a paying job this summer was sort of a good thing, if you don't look at the financial end of it. Not only was I like three weeks late getting mobile, now I'd have missed three more days of work.

Ah well, such are the breaks of living in the wilderness. Now we're praying for rain to wash out the air and to fill my water buckets again (that's how I know about the super pollen dump - my water buckets and thick with it) and to break this super hot dry stretch we've been having. If my son, who has spent the last few years living in Arizona is driven out of the sun, you know it's hot.

Enough about me. I'm home alone and I promised to be good and not stir up any more dust so I'm off here to go do some editing after I start the generator. Love ya. See you around the www somewhere. Take care.


William Kendall said...

Good post!

I generally need music as an accompaniment to whatever I write, but I also need a mindset where I'm feeling a sense of calm, and a sense of focus. At the moment, those are in short supply

Anna L. Walls said...

Yep, my focus has been scattered these days. Too many people coming and going. Too many problems and troubles to worry about. This will sort themselves out soon though, one way or another, and it'll be back to writing for me.