Day 26 – Finishing

When I was a freshman in high school, I crocheted an afghan. Everyday after school, I sat and crocheted during Oprah for weeks. Everyday I completed a couple of rows and draped them across my bed to see how much farther I had to go. Inch by inch, it was completed. On the last day, I worked into the night because the final row was so close. Finally, I laid it across my twin bed and it was so huge it touched the floor on three sides pulled all the way to the top. Patting myself on the back, I called my mom to come look. She surveyed the afghan hands on her hips and clucked her tongue. “You know,” she cocked her head to look at me over her eyeglasses, “I didn’t think you’d finish.” Her tone matter of fact. My face fell, my jaw...

Day 25 – Words & Weight

Writing is tied to my weight. I wish the more I wrote the less I weighed, but no. Sitting around stressing about words makes me munchy so my weight goes up. When my weigh goes up, my writing confidence goes down. When my weight is down, my writing confidence goes up. And yet, I cook just as confidently despite what the scales says from day to day. My fat nags me all the time, but especially when writing. When you’re fat, you can’t forget it. It’s always there. Heaving along with you. Pressing against your waist band as you sit stewing. Fat says you should be running instead of writing. Dieting instead of writing. Which quickly turns into a whole list of other things you should be doing instead of writing. Until writing is successfully avoided...

Day 24 – Food & Dance

Today I read, wrote, then cooked dinner for beloved friends. I took a recipe from a new website. It didn’t turn out. Nobody cared except me. The flavor was okay, but the texture was all off. It was supposed to be a sauce, but turned out more like a soup so we used spoons instead of forks. I’m not sure what went wrong, if it was the recipe or the coconut milk (I used a different brand than usual). It needs some thinking. Maybe I’ll try it again. Maybe not. Tonight’s dinner is still in progress. The eating part is over, the party part is still going. We’re in full on interpretive dance mode.  CSS is the soundtrack. Pure ridiculous. Wine is involved. It makes breaking the silly barrier easier, but isn’t necessary. Moving your body...

Day 23 – Just Say No

I didn’t write today. Snow is coming, but that isn’t why I didn’t write. I didn’t write because my creative energy is running low. Having company in town wears me thin. Not enough quiet, not enough constancy, not enough of me saying no. I have a problem with that. Saying no. Especially in times of doubt about writing. Any request to be a good friend, to show up for someone else, is a convenient excuse to not show up for myself. And I didn’t show up today. Not because I couldn’t, but because I chose not to. No excuse. I made a series of choices I knew were going to lead me away from writing and I made every single one of them with a sick feeling in my stomach because I knew full well what was happening. I’m not going beat...

Day 22 – Ann Patchett

Ann Patchett spoke at Book People tonight. I haven’t read any of her books so I bought one, Truth & Beauty, because a strange tiny woman wearing strange tiny glasses swore on her life it would be one of my most favorite books ever and I’d never regret buying it instead of the Jeff Wolfe book I had in my hand. So I bought it. With a recommendation like that, how could you not? Plus she looked a bit like the Professor of Divination in Harry Potter so maybe she knew something I didn’t. I’ll let you know how it turns out. Anyway, Ann Patchett was impressive, a nice mixture of confident and personable, a great talker. She lost her luggage due to a detour to Tampa so she couldn’t do a reading. Instead, she talked about bookstores and...