Sunday, August 16, 2015

Not Needing Fertile Soil

 Sometimes, writers act like writing needs to flow in an effortless way from the fertile soil of their Muse's garden.  It is as if the only truly creative writing can be done without planting any seeds, or weeding out the imperfect attempts, or toiling under the hot sun, or fighting off the attacking locusts.
 Some of my writing has bloomed like that. Then I am as surprised by the words that flow through my fingertips onto the screen as if they really were written by Duffy Barkley and his friends, telling me as they travel through Uhrlin, what is occurring. Sometimes, I feel like Della, opening her Desk expecting to see her journal, and instead discovering one from 102 years in the future.  I love it when my characters make it easy on me.

 These last few years have not progressed like that.  I find myself on facebook, muttering apologetic words in writing groups, or at school, explaining to readers that, no, The new book isn't done yet.  I blame Writer's block.  But when I don't want to teach and I'm not motivated, I don't blame "teacher's Block."  I don't stay in bed and whimper that I have no motivation.  I get up, go to school, and act out the routine until suddenly one or more of my students inspires me.  I fake it until we all make it, and the students rarely know which days I wanted to be there, and which I dreaded.

This summer there were a lot of excuses not to write, from broken computers to long road trips, to illness and family crisis.  Life wasn't giving me a lot of nitrogen rich soil and water and sunlight.  Then I went on a small day hike. The light was orange because of forest fires burning here in the CA/OR border, it made my aching lungs spasm even more but gave me delightful pictures of the serpentine bogs where Darlingtonia grows in soil rich in metals like copper and nickel and almost without the minerals plants need. No calcium or Nitrogen.  These plants thrive because they live in symbiosis with tiny things that break down the insects they trap, and give the Darlingtonia (also known as Cobra Lily) the nutrients they need to reach their knee high beauty.

 so these little carnivores have reminded me, that it is critical to bloom where you are planted, and if you are not getting what you need, then you need to find a way to create it.  So I'm back in the game again. Writing matters to me. I love sharing my stories and the beauty I find in this world.
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