Sunday, March 14, 2010


Well, we've made it over the Chapter 7 hump. On with Chapter 8! My two protagonists finally encounter the object of their search, the event that changes their lives forever. Things get to moving right along, then the family plans a four-day retreat that I feel I can't miss. We are a family of loud, kid-happy, cooking women, so when our core group gets together, our men tend to flee for the hills. It will be a fun, laughter-filled four days, but that is four days spent at my mother's house, four days I could be writing, four days that the novel's forward momentum must come to a screeching halt, four days without a moment's quiet. I shall have to run to the bathroom to snatch a moment to myself, I'm sure, but I'm packing the Xanax, so if worse comes to worst, I can pop a chill pill.

I think I'm giving the wrong impression. I love being with this wonderful group of women and kids. I just need lots of quiet and still, too, or I get so keyed up I can snap into cries-ville or feel so overwhelmed that I become introverted to the point that I float along in hazy-eyed silence. I'm not so alone in that anymore either. My sister made sure to ask, "You're bringing your Xanax, aren't you? I might need one -- or ten." She and mother knock heads a lot. So it can make for some tense moments. Another reason I dive into myself. Escape when there's no other option for escape.

I'm still giving the wrong impression. I'm fully anticipating a fun, food-filled weekend of well-earned indigestion and exhausted vocal cords. The kids are so much fun. I don't have any of my own, so I feel like I can dive in with them and play their games at times. The most precious thing is seeing them dress up in the same play clothes we women used to dress up in when we were that age. Sometimes they come to me for help, and I get to dress them up in wild combinations of old prom dresses we found at garage sales back in the 80s, or old drapes we turned into long capes and veils, or sashes that become a pirate's bandanna. Our memories become theirs, and we get to see them making the same precious moments that will fill them with warmth in the cold days, years down the road.

Not only has progress been made on the novel, however. We've completed one of our yard projects. I guess I can call it that. We were planning on getting goats; we put up the fencing ourselves, bought the guard dog, a huge Great Pyrenees, but decided to downsize the garden area, so we don't need the large animals now to produce copious amounts of fertilizer. We bought bunnies instead! Two adorable baby bunnies that now we must protect from the Great Pyranees, not to mention three cats who would love to ... how did I put it elsewhere? ... feast on those tender bunny brains. My sweet, snuggly kitty Raphael steals the varmints that his brother, Gabriel, catches, then eats the critters head first. Gopher brains! Yum. But hasn't this turned a gory direction? Bunnies. Right. Cute, fluffy, poo-producing bunnies. Project checked off the list. Progress feels good.

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