I'm most recently a writer. In the six plus decades of my life, I've been a wife, mother, grandmother, Jill of all trades though mistress of but a few, and most of the time pretty content with my lot. As a much younger person, I believed I was called to write, but life and living distracted me for most of those decades. An unwilling transplant from the South, twenty years ago I unintentionally landed in the geographical center of the US. Writing came about in part due to the unwillingness, I expect. When caring for family, gardening, and renovating a century-old house failed to provide sufficient creative outlets, I turned to the one thing I always intended to do. Eight titles later, I'm grateful I found myself while Lost in the Plains!
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Here we go again?
Two years ago, October of 2010, I was in a really low place. Not sure why, other than maybe I was looking hard at 60 and couldn't quite sum up how my life's work would be measured if I didn't make it to 70. Oh, I've worked, and I've done lots of things I enjoyed. They just had very little connection to what I thought I was going to do when I blew off college, certain it couldn't teach me to be a writer.
As always when I reach a place like that one, I had a long talk with God. Or maybe it was just a short one that went something like "How did I get here and where do I go next?" (Obviously a question I ask frequently.) He always answers, not necessarily with the directions I was expecting. This time, he seemed to be giving me permission to take one more run at that old dream of writing. We didn't see eye to eye at first about which one of the little mental file of stories I was going to pull out this time. I had one thing in mind and when it refused to go past a few pages, he pushed me toward another one. Frankly, I had never been able to see much potential in it past the short story I'd tried back in the day, but I started off anyway, in longhand, in a spiral notebook my daughter had abandoned when she left high school ten years earlier.
Five novels later, I fully acknowledge he was right. Of course, he's never wrong. The story that grew from that forty-year-old idea and the characters who walked into the room and told me who they were and how they would live their lives have changed my life and touched the lives of others.
At the end of this book, I'm not certain what comes next. There are plenty of possibilities, dangling plot lines and characters I've gotten really attached to. There are also those other stories in that mental file that still have some appeal to me. I've been asked more than once what I'm going to do next, and the answer is pretty simple. I'm going to clean my house, finish the half-dozen or so projects that are screaming my name, and wait. I know how I got here now, and I know the answer to where do I go next will come. All I have to do is be still and listen.