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.
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.
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.