Ever wonder what writing magic you can create in only 7 minutes? Letting your mind minder into which ever direction you wish will relieve stress as you stumble on to a new idea. Students in my classroom, and classrooms all over, discover all kinds of wonderful when we find the right prompt. A few weeks ago many of us had a blast writing on Vermont Writes Day. You just never know what will turn up when you let your imagination soar.
For ever I’ve been writing as ideas come crashing in. During certain blocks of time these writings took on titled forms, like poem or novel or stage play. No matter the name, these pieces wholly occupied my time and sense of self, appearing like hidden treasures, each a gift on the page. Unlike the wonder and joy I felt while writing, however, forays into publishing were as consuming as quick-sand or as frustrating as a sand-trap: regardless the simile, this aspect of my writing process did not bear fruit. An occasional academic or periodical publication but not with the fanfare in which I suspected a titled “writer” would receive. A person with piles of papers covered with words stored in boxes. Is there a title for that kind of writer? Certainly there have been times when writing did not appear like fairy dust. In fact, I had a particularly dry stretch. After working with an unhelpful agent for a disappointing year, I lost interest and direction, and for a while I stopped writing: for months actually. But then, (and how wonderfully lucky I am), my dearest one suggested I consider blogging. What do I have to say? I responded immediately. I doubt I got more than her one eyebrow lifted before I broke into laughter. Plenty, yes, I’ve had plenty to say, and apparently continue to say, for there is no shortage of ideas springing forth for my weekly posts. This is how it was, during a distant dreary November, now six years ago, that Nine Cent Girl came to me. I’m so glad she did.
Sometimes life is perfect. Right when you need it most. And this week, as my sister put it, “You hit the lottery.” Now, considering all the curve balls we have been running to catch, the near misses we have handled, and the hits we have taken, good fortune is indeed due. But does need predict success? Does desperation grant achievement? I will tell you, no, a flat out no. Just ask anyone experiencing troubles. No one feels their challenges were warranted, nor is there a quota; yet despite misfortune, miraculously, most learn to endure all that comes their way. Thankfully this week, we kick up our heels. Smile brightly. Look up. For fortune favored us.
Getting dressed for your day can be a daunting task if you are feeding kids and packing lunches. Or even if you’re not. Getting your whole look together in the dark dawn can often mean pulling on that same old thing too many times. My daughter, once she reached 7th grade and decided what she wore to school defined her, began arranging her outfits the night before. She carried this habit into her adult life, especially when she has an important affair, she plots out her whole look beforehand, tries it on, fiddles with accessories, to works out the whole ensemble. Smart girl who grew to become a professional stylist. As of today, I rarely get that far with my wardrobe, but I do stop before I head out the door and view my whole self, then add a flourish here or there to make my look as signature as my spirit. I encourage you, tomorrow, reach for something new, switch up your hairstyle, don a neglected pair of earrings, a colorful bracelet, just play with your finishing touches.
Darkness arrives before we get home from work leaving us without much cheer to face the long night. To survive, we need to celebrate the little moments. This November I say take whatever flimsy excuse you got and congratulate without reserve. Work out in the gym five days in a row? Boom, Celebrate! Manage to wake up before hitting snooze to meditate with Oprah and Deepak? You’re a hero, Cheers! Remembered your keys, cell phone and wallet, for once? Take a bow, Santé!