See How They Fly

Each writer has a different process by which they make their stories.  Some eek out a few words or sentences a day. Some are capable of great paragraphs and chapters per day. I am, most days, somewhere in-between. While working on my fantasy series, I’ve suffered from the neurosis known by all writers as “writer’s block.” I’ve also had joyous days when I can’t write fast enough to keep up with my characters and all their words. Those are the best of days, when I wish I had no other responsibilities but writing.

Working on my new WIP, The Flying Ponies, has been nothing but pleasure. I realize I may be cursing myself for admitting this out loud (I did just knock on the wood of my desk), but it truly has been. I think for every writer, there is that one book or story or poem that is just right, that seems to come knowing who it is and what it is meant to do. I don’t mean it won’t need editing – everything needs that. But you can feel it deep within yourself. It resonates throughout your whole being, and you can’t imagine why you never wrote of it before.

I wrote an earlier blog post about the magic of the carousel, and I think because I’ve always been a horse person, loving the old wooden horses is ingrained in me. They feel right to me. Writing a fantasy story about them feels right. And I think that’s why so far, the writing has been easier than with my other fantasy series. I love my Pentallia characters, of course, and hope to get them out in book form soon. But the Flying Ponies keep calling and talking to me, and I can’t ignore their voices. They’re overwhelming.

And so the words have been flying too, and there’s just not enough time in the day to get it all down. Maybe some day I’ll be wealthy enough to make writing my full-time job, but for now, it has to share with my librarian job, which I love. I work at a great place, with great people who are more family than coworker. Still, old Wellington, my beautiful desk my husband bought for me at a second-hand store, beckons all the time, and I wish I could just park in front of him and write. Don’t we all wish we had nothing holding us back from writing?

My weekend will be busy with my son marching at the home football game tonight, and then watching him play with the high school jazz band at two different concerts tomorrow. Tomorrow night is dinner at the in-laws (who are fabulous people), and then on Sunday is church and taking my dad to see Sully. So when do I get any writing done? Maybe Sunday night, after the rest of the family is in bed.

But the best part? When I do finally get to sit down at Wellington, the words are going to fly, just like those magical, fantastic Flying Ponies who have nestled deep into my soul.


Give Me Heart

Last night my husband and I watched our son, now a freshman, march during his first football game with the Shelby Marching Tigers band. Our daughter was there too; not being interested in football (yet), she read her book. And the band was great. Really, especially for it being their first performance of the year on the field. They did what my husband and son both refer to as “park and blow,” when the band marches onto the field, but then stands in formation and plays, instead of doing an actual show. Weird term, I know, but dating back at least as far as when my hubby played trumpet (which is what our son and daughter play) in high school.

But it wasn’t the marching band last night that was so striking for me (don’t tell my son that). It was the fact that though our football team was outgunned and outclassed at every maneuver, they never gave up. And that’s remarkable, given that these boys are probably between the ages of 16-18 years old, and they lost every single game last season. Let me say that again: every single game. On top of that, they only won two games the year before. The Shelby Tigers were a force to be reckoned with three or four years ago, but then, as it happens to every good team, the seniors kept graduating, and Shelby lost the boys who had made it the team to beat.

Last night, in the face of being down some forty points to zero, I watched and listened as the Shelby coach gathered his boys into a huddle, and told them to never give up. To dig deep and find the heart that he knew they all had. To play the best they could. And after that speech, those boys went out and scored a touch down. It was beautiful. It really was. And the celebration on both the field and in the stands was amazing. Because you see, our team is little compared to a lot of the other conference teams. I don’t mean in height – some of the boys are over six feet. There’s just not a lot of them. But they do the best they can. They dig deep, and they don’t quit. And that’s something to both admire and respect.

I know football isn’t for everyone. Getting excited about a small town team making one TD, and getting a one point conversion, wouldn’t wow everyone. But it wowed me last night, because the Shelby Tigers varsity football team made do with what they had, and they deserved that touch down and conversion. And the greatest thing? They did it with heart.