Exercise #16

Good Evening one and all- or maybe just my loyal reader Mrs. Batty 😀

The weather finally took a nice turn today and it was sunny, 72F, and breezy in the national capital- a nice change from oppressively humid (this is a swamp) and in the mid to high 90’s.  As I walked into the office around noon I actually found myself wanting to skip and run to Great Falls and walk around the trail for a while.  This didn’t happen and I am now wishing for a hike in a mild, mountainous location Maybe do some terrain research in the Colorado Rockies????

Either way- here is the next exercise!

Exercise #16-  Describe something you love to do.

I’ve been asking myself this question for the past year and a half or so and I still don’t have an answer to the question- What do you love to do.  I have a LOT of hobbies.  I knit, I crochet, I write, I read, I sing, I sew, I cook and I day-dream.  These are not very productive skills when it comes to a career I’d guess, but meh- These are the things that can usually get me excited.  The though of making a dinner for 10-20 people in a nice setting gets me so excited that I can hardly contain myself.  I nearly drove one of my friends crazy last Thanksgiving when she asked me to help with the dinner and I hijacked the whole thing nearly two months ahead of time.  In my defense- we had a tight budget and a small kitchen to do dinner for 20, and for all intents and purposes it went off without any crazy issues.  When I start to get into the holiday spirit- I think about what project I will knit/crochet for my family and friends and I get giddy.  I’m not deluding myself that these creations will get a heck of a lot of use, but I like to do it anyway. 

So, what do I love?  How would I describe it?  One thing that I’ve loved wince I was very young is writing.  My journals were my only friends a lot of the time and they were the only place where I could say admit the things that I was feeling.  I have not been a loyal journaler to my many half filled blank books.  After a certain time, I think that I got bored with the repetitive nature of what I was documenting.  The only feelings that I wouldn’t tell anyone were about loneliness, inadequacy, pain, and longing.  Those things that felt like if I let them pass through my lips that I was admitting to some kind of failure or damning them to either come true or not depending upon whatever the opposite of what I wanted was.

In the second grade, those were the Connecticut years, I discovered that I liked to write.  Mrs. Collazo had a creative writing class that she taught and she really seemed to like my stories.  I would hope that she did at least convincingly pretend to like them because it’s kind of cold to tell an eight year old how much they suck.  I can also remember in that same class the moment when Allison Fay read her story to the class and I listened and my heart sank because it was so much better than mine.  This was the doubt that has stuck with me ever since.  The doubt that, though I enjoy the freedom of words and imagery, I might just suck at it.

BUT!!!  The moment when you know that you have a story that you can be proud of- that is exceptional.  Poo on anyone elses opinion even if it is only others opinions that make a written work successful.  In high school, the Virginia years, I went to a summer writers workshop at the UVA campus in Charlottesville and began to “experiment” with my short story writing.  I wrote an untitled piece in which the protagonist is making dinner and retreats into her own head where she is having a conversation with the man who lives there.  He represents the archetypal antagonist for any teenager- lover, father, friend, foe, etc……  and the only way that she could escape was to plunge her hand into a boiling pot of water. 

OK- so it’s trite, I was 16.  The quirk was that I didn’t use any He/She identifier.  One characters dialogue was italicized and the others was bolded.  This story was one of the most intense things that I’d written and read like a suicide note, but I was so enamored of my own ability that I actually wanted to submit it to literary magazines and try to get published.  That never happened.  My ex-step father accidentally erased the disk that I had saved the story on and I didn’t have a hard copy.  I guess that it’s a mix of happiness and heartbreak, but writing that piece was the most alive I have felt and I sincerely hope to reclaim that one of these days.

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One thought on “Exercise #16

  1. Mrs. Batty says:

    After a playful day with my daughter, once she’s in bed and I can hear her little snuffles over the monitor, I love to cuddle up close to my hsuband on the couch and do nothing. Maybe the TV is on, maybe he’s playing a game on the Xbox. We’re not really talking to each other, just savoring the downtime after a day well spent loving our daughter, teaching her anything we can and being all around silly.

    We’ll be touching somehow, sitting close enough maybe, that our thighs are side by side or our arms maybe, but there is always contact. Occassionally we’ll make some small comment about our day our what we’re doing but for the most part, we’ll content to be next to each other winding down and just being there.

    Simple, nothing to it, but I thrive off of moments like it.

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