A very merry un-birthday…

Credit: Ardfern

Oops – not an Un but a real one.

I’m another year: older, grayer, happier, possibly even wiser, surprisingly thinner, more productive, poorer….

I’m not used to journaling at this hour. This is usually a morning exercise. But I’m here and thought I shouldn’t waste the moment.

I made a wish today.

A surprising, scary, who’d-a-thunk-it, wish that terrified me as it delighted me.

I wonder who came up with the idea of putting candles on things and blowing them out – one for every year of your life. We’ll the folks at the restaurant only gave me one candle but I made a wish anyway. It’s been years since I’ve made a real wish. This one had all the earnest quality of when I wished for a sister. (I did that once – in a wishing well) And in that moment held the thought so clear in my mind that it simply had to come true. I know my Dad was dreading calling us if I was wrong and had a brother instead – he didn’t want me to be disappointed – and I was so sure of that wish.

It was one of those moments.

I leaned in, took a breath, and the thing I wanted more than anything else in the world sprang into my mind fully formed. No one was more surprised than me. I didn’t wish for money, a job, or to sign a contract on my first novel… all the things I expected to wish for. Nope I surprised myself.

It’s kind of like first thoughts…

One of the reasons I write in the morning is the quality of the thoughts. The coffee is just kicking in and my mind is waking up and all the to-dos of the day aren’t swirling in my head. I’m always amazed at what comes out. The amazing things that sneak around and pop out – they are always better than anything my head can make up on a conscious level. In fact I am sure my consciousness is a very bad writer. It’s that other me – the one that I keep in the padded cell – when she comes out to play everything works and surprises lurk behind every sentence.   

The last month or so I’ve picked up a few books and magazines that talk about how writers write. Everyone is different – which makes me feel good – Everyone is the same – which helped clarify the direction I’m headed. When things work, they work well, it is that hesitation, the stuttering of my fingers and thoughts, as I kick start the engine of my head. Those are the rough moments.  

I was reading about good/bad advice successful writers were given early in their careers in the latest edition of Romantic Times. The ones I liked were (and I don’t have it here so I’m sure I’m misquoting)

Finish the damn book (good advice) and Have a backup plan (bad advice) Write every day (landed in both camps – a good idea but sometimes difficult given the structure of our lives).

I’m really thinking that it is all about finishing the damn book.

That said – I’ve spent the last few days doing nothing but reviewing old pieces that have come back and researching new homes for them. But I’ll get back to the novel soon – it’s just that if I don’t get things out there I can’t sell them. And I can’t seem to stop myself from being obsessive compulsive about things – I like to focus on one thing and get it done. Multitasking is a bad word in my household.

Hopefully I have now distracted you from my wish… you know I won’t tell. If I did it wouldn’t come true. Okay so I told everyone about wanting a sister and I got one – but it was a one off event. This one I’m going to hold in my heart a little longer, quietly nurturing it, in the hope it will come to fruition.

~ Tess


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