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The Silence In Between

I spent part of this morning moving some books from piles to shelves, while some were bagged for the next library book sale. But the aloe is still leaning over under the weight of its thick, prickly self, waiting to be repotted. The garden is still waiting for me to appear with clippers and rake. I won’t mention housework. After finishing my novel, I did tend to some chores, but I’m trying to make myself available to the muse, too. And she likes to find me on the window seat, looking unproductive.

There’s a silence before a new work comes that can feel prickly, no matter how I longed for it was while hunching over a hefty stack of pages. There’s been a goal in mind, a sense of how I want this big thing to look. Now my novel has reached that state. Peter has almost finished kindly combing it for errant letters, missing articles, apostrophes doled out too randomly, the occasional if that should be it, or she’s that need a name. He’s put gentle question marks beside too flighty poetic flights. He makes me smile with his sweet manners on my pages: It might be more clear if you had a verb in that sentence. Um, yes. And I’m glad for his occasional praise. “This may be the best description of a color I ever read.” Yay! Anyway, I think we’ll have finished tidying by tomorrow, when I expect the drama of hitting Send. And already I’ve set blank paper before me, which needs to get filled one page at a time.

Empty paper can bring up panic, which I’m trying to ride out with deep breaths, when I’m tending to shallow ones, and a still bottom, when I feel wiggly. The aloe and dried plants can wait just a little longer, while I mull my way to and through false starts, dead ends, ideas not quite interesting enough.  I’ve written a lot of notes about a girl and a place and their particular powers, but I’ve kept myself from opening that file. And my stillness (well, a few more books were re-shelfed) is paying off a bit. I’m catching a few birds that may or may not be important. An older sister. An aunt. Rocks and a clay-bottomed river. These are enough to begin with. I scribble around them, as if they might mean something.

Time will tell, so that’s what I’m trying to give the process. Saying no to the new yarn, the ever-so-attractive unread books, the sack of flour and cranberries, the spade. I’ll get to them, but for now, I’m trying to be as quiet as the paper and the patient, sprawl of roses that I promise to cut back before winter. 


I love your posts. Love the way you are where you are and accept it. It is good for me to read.
I just sent my ABC book to 5 agents and feel like I'm waiting for the firing squad. I'm going to do more tomorrow.
Oh, I know the firing squad feeling, too! Good luck with sending out. And acceptance, which of course comes and goes, in between ducking bullets.
You and your birds and water and flowers are always such good reminders of meaning and revelation and stillness, Melodye, so thank you for those. And yes, I'm very lucky to have a loving editor in the house!
I know. You'd think the muses didn't have dishes to do, too! But it seems no. Or maybe they're just so polite and don't want to interrupt the chores.
Oh yes, do I know that prickly place! Like the air before a storm. And this post is a poem. Thank you.
Thanks, Irene. Here's to moving beyond the prickly places!
What sweet and thoughtful comments Peter makes! Lucky you!

I hear you on the quiet (hehe). I was desperately grasping at new projects while I wait for feedback on my WIP and nothing was floating to the top. I just needed to sit - and in the meantime, the voice of an old character from years ago has started to whisper to me. Maybe this is where I'm supposed to be.

Yes, I cherish the kind and astute comments from Peter!

Yay for an old voice whispering to you. "I just need to sit:" sounds so simple, and it's so hard. I think you're just where you're supposed to be. And I hope to see you there in person sometime soon! xo
I will just lean in quietly and say, "Cheering for you." :)

Also, your husband sounds like one of the sweetest men ever. Truly.
Thanks for this cheer and all you've been so generous with over the years, Jeni. Yes, and Peter is truly sweet, something I saw on our first movie date some 30 years ago, when he wiped away a tear while we watched E.T.


new yarn

Hi, Jeannine. New yarn is one of my biggest draws away from writing. I keep telling myself I will spring clean the house when I'm done with a writing project, but yarn is too tempting.

Re: new yarn

And it is the just the season for new yarn!

There are always other springs for housecleaning.