"Someday's gonna be a busy day..."

Friday, 10 January 2014

The morning poke

This morning, after shuffling Jade down the lane and onto the bus for the first time in three weeks, I did something sneaky. Once Dylan was absorbed in his BBC kids' show, I tiptoed outside and sat on the back stoop with a hot cup of coffee, flavoured with the last of the eggnog. The air smelled fresh and melty, instead of frigid and manure-y like it did last night. Breathing it in gave me more satisfaction than even that first sip of coffee. I watched a cloud of finches burst into the air and settle with a chorus of chirrups in the naked branches of our red maple. An irate blue jay soon scattered them, but they whooshed their way onto the black walnut tree instead in a cheerful, fluttering rush. I could hear a distant snow plow scraping its way along our road, but other than that and the chatter of finches, there was delicious stillness. Then faintly, I could hear a voice through the open kitchen window hollering the one word with the power to shatter any zen moment: "MUUUUUUUUMMMMMMMMYYYYYYYY!?"

It was five minutes of solitude at the most, in weather that's finally warm enough to pause in without six layers of protective clothing, but it was all I needed to give me the poke in the brain I've been waiting for: it's time to write again.

We've been housebound since Sunday, thanks to the "arctic vortex" that descended on most of our area over the past week, bringing nose-hair-freezing, bone-cracking temperatures and wind that slices through you like a samurai sword. You know it's bloody cold when a winter lovin' gal like me starts to shiver in her snow pants. And before the deep freeze, we had my sister and nephew's arrival from Australia to celebrate, the my other sister's arrival from balmy Bali, then a wave of sickness at Someday which postponed Christmas to Boxing Day. Throw in a few Lowry Christmas celebrations, travelling to and from my Dad's cabin, New Year's, one sister's departure and enough laundry to choke an industrial washing machine, and life was full to the brim of…well, life.

Not that I'm complaining, or making excuses. I just decided that it was time for a sabbatical from writing. After all the edits and drafts and proofreads and reorgs of my book, I'd had enough. When I played Candy Crush or pretended to be a kitty for sale for my daughter's enjoyment or sat on the couch and read a pile of books under D's disapproving eye, I was conscious of my blog and my notebook and my new purple pen staring at me balefully. "Yeah, you can wait," I told them, and refused to feel any guilt whatsoever. Instead of writing, I cooked soups and stews and baked biscotti and smartie cookies. The kids and I decorated the house to within an inch of its life. I hung out with my sisters and nephew, hurt my knee tobogganing, played "Coffee Monster" and tractors and Sneaky Snacky Squirrel with the kids, re-read three of my favourite Game of Thrones volumes and uploaded a squillion photos onto Facebook. I didn't read any blogs, I didn't write any blogs, and I didn't care. The nice thing about being a writer (to me, anyway) is that even when you're not physically putting stuff down on paper, you can write stories in your head until finally there's no room left and they have to burst out onto the page.

This morning's five minutes of gorgeous, snowy peace reminded me that it's probably time to end the sabbatical and get back on the ol' writing horse again. I'm ready now. I've had a good rest, a very full winter of joys and irritations and the ideas are starting to leak out of my ears. Hopefully you're all still interested in hanging out with me at the Someday Diaries again.


Anonymous said...

You betcha!

Susan Barclay said...

Welcome back! And was that amazing picture taken in your backyard?

Kimber said...

Hey Susan! Yep, taken off the back steps. (0:

Tanya Feick said...

You do know how sexual your title sounds, right?