Sunday, August 1, 2010

In memorium...

It's been quite a while since I posted anything on this blog. I've thought about it. I've determined to write. And done nothing. I've seldom been near the internet and, besides, my well of creativity seemed bone dry.

In my last posting I talked about losing my uncle and step-father. At that time it looked like Mother was doing well enough that I didn't need to worry about her. Her situation changed, I flew to California at a moments' notice, and I've spent the past five weeks at her bedside. She finally passed away early this morning.
During this time, between raging at God for letting her suffer indefinitely, struggling to concentrate on Sudoku puzzles for want of something better to do, and wondering if I was going to lose my mind from being cooped up in a building in the summertime, I managed to reread nearly every one of the several dozen Reader's Digest Condensed books I've given Mother over the years. Had I owned a laptop I could have worked on the re-writes I was doing before Mother became ill. But I don't. Probably wasn't in the correct frame of mind to do a good job anyway. So I read.
You know, there's a reason why writers are advised to read, read, READ. The first time I read those books-some of them years ago-I was interested only in the story. After all, I read primarily to enjoy the tale.
This time, however, I already knew the basic story of each novel so I found myself noting certain details I'd never noticed before. A unique turn of phrase here, a subtle lead there captured my attention. How this author handled a certain situation gave me insight to potential ways of strengthening my own narratives. How that author's description of a setting introduced subsequent action or outcomes caught my attention, too, giving me ideas that would make my wip more exciting, more daring, more mysterious. I took notes and wrote plans for additions and changes to be made. This activity filled my days, and frequently much of my nights, while strengthening me as a writer.

I'm grateful for this time I've had with my mother before her passing. I'm grateful her suffering is over. I'm also grateful for the legacy she passed down to me - that of patience in suffering (and anyone who has ever struggled through endless rewrites knows how this applies to writing) and of loving to read. Mother was noted for her voracious literary appetite. I hope I can be a credit to her memory - a well-read author who has the patience to suffer through the changes necessary to bring the current work in progress to a level of perfection equal to what my mother achieved in herself before the end.

Thank you, Mother, for your legacy.