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  • May 12th, 2008 | 5:17 PM
Today's progress

I have a new habit for the drive home from work - I keep the radio off and let the silence wrap itself around me. In the past I would use the drive home as a time to sing, decidedly off-key, to try and restore the energy that is sucked out of me with the dayjob. But now I find the silence makes a good transition from a crowded time to a quiet time to what I hope will be a writing time.

I've thought of B on and off throughout my day. He has a twang in his voice at times. I don't know where it comes from yet I know it belongs to him. He argued with someone and he is homeless again and I don't know why. I don't know what will happen when I sit down to write.

A few hours later I have 200 words or maybe less. One scene that contradicts everything else I've said so far. One new character. One lost character. Three index cards of notes.

Plot still MIA.

I stand at the window and watch the birds feed, count the number of new poppies that have bloomed and wonder what Mr. Mac would say if he saw this yard. I should try for another scene, or at least another sentence or two or three but instead I reach for the camera hoping to catch sight of the woodpecker that has begun to visit the giant Yucca next door.

I listen for B. but all I hear is the sound of squabbling birds.

Hubby says dinner is ready.

Not a moment too soon.

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There are so many stories only you can tell.Tell them, please.


( 18 comments — Leave comment )
May 13th, 2008 12:29 am (UTC)
We just saw a pair of Gamble quail in our backyard, they had a lease a dozen little dots swarming the ground around them as they moved across. Little striped peeping dots.
May 13th, 2008 12:46 am (UTC)
Oh I am jealous if you have quail. :-) We were at my in-laws last night and on the way home a pair of quail darted across the road. I wish we could afford to live out in the more rural area so we could have more creatures like them.
May 13th, 2008 12:50 am (UTC)
We didn't see them much when we lived in town either. It seems to me though, as Phoenix continues to spread, we are beginning to see them in more populated areas as the developers develop around them.
May 13th, 2008 01:12 am (UTC)
That peaceful, quite time in our lives is so important. I'm glad you found a time for it.

May 13th, 2008 01:24 am (UTC)
Thank you, Jo.
May 13th, 2008 02:11 am (UTC)
I think your idea of turning off the radio is great--silence has to be filled, and if we're doing good at staying in touch with our projects, sometimes they step into fill that silence for us. :)
May 13th, 2008 03:02 am (UTC)
Indeed. I was amazed at how peaceful I felt as soon as it was quiet. There is way too much noise in my life, real noise and emotional noise, I can take all the silence I can get. :-)

PS - I may be emailing you for some brainstorming later this week.
May 13th, 2008 03:44 am (UTC)
Email away!
May 13th, 2008 02:41 am (UTC)
Isn't it interesting when we accidentally find ourselves caught in a silent moment? Creates a whole body sigh.....
May 13th, 2008 03:07 am (UTC)
Oh I love that - a whole body sigh. Beautiful.
May 13th, 2008 02:45 am (UTC)
I keep trying for a decent photo of the Western tanager (bright yellow w/ black bars and an orange head!) that has decided to visit my birdbath this year. Actually, there are two or three. But they don't light long enough for me to get a good shot. Two evenings I've sat quietly on my deck, hoping they will mistake me for furniture, but they stay stubbornly away.

I should open my WIP right now! I started it with a clear plan in my head ... and it's veering away from me, too. :-)
May 13th, 2008 03:27 am (UTC)
I love that - hoping they'l mistake you for furniture. I try to do the same thing. I could get away with it if not for the purple finches who are so darn flighty and then they scare everyone else away.

It's pretty amazing that I have any birds at all since there is just one tree in the front and one in the back and nothing else.

I hope you get your picture.
May 13th, 2008 03:44 am (UTC)
What a great idea - quiet time in the car. I'm going to try that next time! Maybe I'll hear voices! :)
May 13th, 2008 01:37 pm (UTC)
If you do, I have the perfect place for you! ;)
May 13th, 2008 01:48 pm (UTC)

I hear voices all the time and it totally freaks out one of my friends. He loves me but I scare him.
May 13th, 2008 01:52 pm (UTC)
May 13th, 2008 11:17 am (UTC)
That quiet time is so important. I'm glad you found a way to work it into your day!
May 13th, 2008 03:58 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Dori. It seems the older I get, the more quiet I need. Perhaps life is just much more complicated now and it takes me longer to reach that quiet space within.
( 18 comments — Leave comment )

Who am I?I was born on the Cancer/Leo cusp and share a birthday with Ernest Hemingway and Robin Williams. The similarities don't stop there as I can go from depressed to ecstatic without ever passing go. I feel scared most of the time though my friends call me brave and I find it easier to believe in my friends than to believe in my own abilities to make what I want out of my life.

Who am I? A wife, a mother, a daughter, and even, gulp, a grandmother.

Who am I? A writer who never gets tired of playing with words, even when the words are hard to find. A writer of books for children and articles for grown-ups and many things in-between.

Who am I? A motivational speaker, writing instructor, workshop leader and full-time follower of dreams.

Who am I? Read and find out.

Susan Taylor Brown

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"Successful writers are not the ones who write the best sentences. They are the ones who keep writing. They are the ones who discover what is most important and strangest and most pleasurable in themselves, and keep believing in the value of their work, despite the difficulties."
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"As writers, we must be willing to feel our sadness, our anger, our terror, so we can reach in and find our sweet vulnerability that is just sitting there waiting for us to come back home."
--Nancy Slonim Aronie

"Writers write about what obsesses them. You draw those cards. I lost my mother when I was 14. My daughter died at the age of 6. I lost my faith as a Catholic. When I'm writing, the darkness is always there. I go where the pain is."
--Anne Rice


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