I'm going to miss this.
"I'm just going to do my writing", I announce right after dinner, leaving the rest of the pack to tidy and stack, then prep for bed. It buys me just a slice of time. We may be socially distanced from outsiders, but we remain five in the house, day in, day out.
I grab my notebook and computer and head into the bedroom, sitting up against the triangle pillow, feet snuck under a blanket. There's the ritual of cleaning glasses before I flick through the pages of my notebook to find the next page, keeping an eye out along the way for inspiration in a previous page. Hmmm. I wonder if this is what other slicers go through. Surely I'm not the only one fumbling around in the dark for ideas? There's no panic in the fumble, though. I know I'll come across something soon enough.
Some evenings I look out at the setting sun, or the first twinkling stars in the sky and just wander (or should I say wonder) through my day, plodding past storylines and possibilities. There are those nights when the ideas lightbulb has blown, and I catch a tiny flame of an idea, searching for tiny sticks to keep it alight, fanning it with my breath and my body, only to have it flicker out and smoulder into nothing. Still, I'm not panicked. I pick up a flashlight and head into the memory vault. Maybe there'll be something there.
I wonder, on some nights, if I am actually writing something I've written before, so familiar to me is the story, the details. Does this come from living it? Recalling it? Imagining it? Dreaming it? Telling it? I guess it comes from all these things, after all, they are comrades who walk arm in arm with the writing of it. But I like to start with something that feels more fragile, an idea that calls for support and attention to make it to writing. Pity when I choose one that's too frail, too slight, I just tuck it away and wonder if maybe it will grow into something another time.
The act of writing, the fingers plodding along the keyboard or that most wonderful sound of a pencil scratching over paper, that's sometimes enough to get me started. A page of characters and words that appear and disappear like an incoming tide on the beach, moving down the page and back up again with each wave, each sentence, adding and backspacing, the words slowly climbing further down the page, forming paragraph after paragraph, until it is done. Until high tide, when I know there is no more to come. I quite like that feeling of floating, drifting on the page. This is the joy in writing for pleasure, not for a deadline or a grade.
Sometimes I have to read first, waiting still for my writing to appear. What a delight, this smorgasbord of slices on offer each night. I like a story to make me smile. I like to think that of my writing, too, though I post on many nights feeling that mark has been missed. Oh well, I invariably think as I hit <publish>, there's always tomorrow night.
Until it's the end of March. Sigh. I will miss it.