Yes, You Can Have a New Dress

I’m overdue for a post. When my daughters are around, underfoot, messy, loud, social (we always seem to have three or four extra kids here), I’m convinced that if they would just go away — just for a few days! — I would get some writing done. Then, they all take off and I stumble around the house, bereft, cleaning, calling people I haven’t seen in ages, reading novels that I really don’t need to read.

Finally, today, I stayed in my chair. Remember BIC? Butt in chair? Whenever I felt really really frustrated, as though I would explode if I sat for one more moment, I conjured up someone like Jane Yolen or Anne Lamott, those masters of getting-work-done, and they told me to keep sitting.

I thought, often, of Naomi Shihab Nye who I  once heard proclaim at a poetry reading (was she reading or just proclaiming?): “Sometimes I pretend I’m not me, and I just work for me. So I check in. I ask, ‘How are you doing? How’s the work going?'”

Today, after several hours, I could finally say the work was going fine. Now, with 55 pages cleaned up and printed out (and a new character added!) I can stop. I have a wedding to attend this weekend, and I think I will go buy a new dress.

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