Thursday, May 31, 2012

Write, Write, Write


I've been shut out of Rockbridge Times for days. The little pencil icon that signified 'new post' used to appear up in the right hand corner of my blog's Home page. And then it didn't. It's been over a week now and it never occurred to me until five minutes ago that I could use Search to type in Blogger.com Log In to find another way into Rockbridge Times. Here I am again, posting and happy to have reclaimed my very own blog.
Today, I wrote a script for a Power Point presentation as part of a new art consulting assignment. I find myself a member of a design team of an engineering firm that won a METRO light rail contract for the Hughes Underpass on Harrisburg. I am happy to have the job, however, except for the income, I'd not mind dispensing with jobs altogether so that I can write, write, write. 
I schedule writing time each day and let me tell you, it takes more discipline to carve out those hours than I thought. Time spent with ES, doctor's appointments and health issues, home maintenance, visits with friends, blogging and now this new consulting job all chip away at quiet time spent on a keyboard. Every day I renew my commitment and block out hours on the calendar. Some days I'm more successful than others.

After that panic attack I had last fall, I am acutely aware of how absolutely limited my time is to pursue writing.  Panic attack? I don't think I'd ever experienced one before, nor did I mention it on Rockbridge Times, but it was real. Kathie and I were in New Orleans spending several days in a wonderful compound of houses called Race and Religious. We were eating good food, wandering the city and reading late into the night. I'd picked up a copy of "Kate Chopin, A Vocation and a Voice" at the Faulkner Bookstore. Chopin's third collection of stories were published and edited at long last by Emily Toth, LSU, Women's Studies. Toth has also written a biography of Kate Chopin. How have I let so many months go by without ordering that biography?
In the middle of Toth's introduction, I suddenly jumped out of bed and began to pace the floor. What was it about Kate Chopin's life that got me?  I was beside myself. It was suddenly crystal clear to me that my productive days on this earth are finite. 
Perhaps ten more good years?  Maybe 15 years, before I am infirm, dependent, disabled, unable to think properly or get about with ease. I was horrified. And then I realized that if I were counting properly and 2011 was year one, well then, the first of those fifteen years was almost gone. After all, it was the middle of October. And how time flies these days.
I am not sure how I quieted myself that evening, but I did make a commitment to write, write, write. "Do not reach 80 years of age without writing consistently and well", I told myself. Of late, I've gotten great encouragement from many people to pursue writing and as Mom would say, "I'd better get crackin'." Mom would also mention the parable of the talents.
Tonight, I am rewriting/editing a piece that I read to my writing group last Monday evening. It needs tightening, a different choice of words here and there, the addition of turns-of-phrase that have not yet occurred to me. 
I'm on it.

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