Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Another Excuse

I've started listing to an audiobook, "The End of Your Life Bookclub," by Will Schwalbe.  It's the author's account of his mother's last two years of life, as she battles pancreatic cancer (caught too late) and the two share and discuss books.  Just as Schwalbe's mom always read the last chapter in a book first, the author starts at the end and then goes back to her diagnosis and the beginning of their bookclub. Reading together helps change them from a sick person and a well person back into a mother and a son.  I've only listened to the first couple chapters, but I already love and am sad for these real people.

I'm a bit tearie, lately, and I mostly blame the season.  I always seem to get a little sad and tearie (you know, not actually crying, but tears hang out in the corners of my eyes) this time of year, even if life is otherwise pretty good.  Sundays I go to my grandma's house, and lately I've been thinking about how lucky I am to have been able to spend this time with her.  Usually it's just me and her--sometimes my brothers are there, sometimes my fianc√© comes, sometimes my dad is home--but mostly it's just me and her.  We talk about sports, politics and religion (the latter two subjects, I mostly listen).  In small pieces, she's told me about her childhood and her marriage.  I've come to understand and admire her so much more through these quiet Sunday afternoons where we mostly sit and watch the Reds or Bengals, and she asks me to wait to fold my laundry until after she returns from the bathroom because she likes to see what I've worn throughout the week.  I think about how much this time has meant to me.  And thinking about that makes me cry harder, because I don't know how many more Sundays we'll have together because a) she's ninety, and b) I'm getting married.  It won't make sense for me to go there every week and do laundry as a married woman.  I'll have to find another excuse.

* * *

This evening I had a great meeting with my writing/critique partner.  Not only do I get detailed and helpful feedback on my own work, but tonight I also got to read the start of a new project of hers.  I'm impressed and inspired by her ability to create new stories and characters.  These meetings help me refocus on myself as a writer--most days, lately, I haven't thought of myself as one.  I have to stop waiting for inspiration and just do it.  Push through the tedious hard stuff of fixing my manuscript.

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