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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

IWSG December, 2017, As it Was and How it Is





It's IWSG Day.  The goal of this blog hop is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds. IWSG is the brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh, our brilliant ninja leader. Co-hosts this month:Julie Flanders, Shannon Lawrence, Fundy Blue, and Heather GardnerTo read posts from all other members, click here



I walked outside looking for the newspaper at 6:00 this morning. It was dark and the moon was still full on high, glowing pale through a light cloud cover. Somewhere in a tree behind the house an owl gave a couple of low hoots. I walked up the driveway shivering, remembering a similar morning seven or eight years ago when there, out in the first breath of morning, the traffic hiss on the two-lane highway a quarter-mile away traveled on chilled air. Like today, a faint breeze rattled the remaining paper bag oak leaves, and I’d stopped to drink in the world, the quiet, the peace, the smoke drifting out of my neighbor's chimney. If it wouldn’t take me forever to find it, I’d search for the post I wrote about that frozen moment, all my writing then so in tuned to the present.

Bursts of description are no longer my practice, those brief essays, definable instants fashioned into the blog posts that prodded me along in my writing life. Sometimes, I miss the sense of accomplishment attained via a five-hundred word spurt. Now it’s all about the long haul. First the idea, then chapter-the-chapter-by-chapter grind. A hundred million edits, critique partners, writing group reviews. Almost incomprehensibly, years have gone by and my focus remains on the same two projects. 

As I write this, the sky through the shadow trees across the road brightens to a peach grey. A teenage neighbor has slouched-walked down his driveway. He stares at the ground, his hands deep in his cargo pockets while he waits for the air-brake hiss of the school bus, for the yellow doors to split open and swallow him into day. Around me, the cast iron radiators clank, the house pops as it settles, the air vent  in the kitchen kicks on with a whine. Commuters have begun their short-cut travels by our house, taillights glowing red behind them. Day has begun. Before long I’ll have to get ready for work. I've done nothing on my projects today. But I do have this. Evidence of a short haul and it's been fun. Tomorrow I'll put my head down and write.

Wishing you all wonderful holidays and blessings in the new year.

20 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

All things change to some degree. Glad you caught the moment of so long ago. It might not be exactly like that again, but you can recapture the joy.
Christmas blessings to you as well!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Glad that you can slow down and appreciate everything around you. And that's awesome that you like to write description. Not me! Happy Holidays!

Bish Denham said...

It's those moments that make life more enjoyable. It's THOSE moments that are real.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Sometimes those short bursts are enough. For me, novels are such a long haul, I like to work on smaller projects - flash fiction, blog posts, journal entries - so I can feel like I accomplished something.

And this post, this "short haul," was lovely. :)

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Enjoy those moments and don’t let “have to do” interrupt. We all do that and miss those quiet times that we all need.

Nick Wilford said...

The way you capture those moments is so eloquent, I know those books are really going to be something special. I do hope we get to see them. Here's to the long haul!

Joanne said...

slouch-walked, air hiss. Oh, you wrote this morning and captured the outdoors, the waking up, and life. I hope the rest of your day is full of good words and moments. Keep plugging along and enjoy the holiday season as it unfolds. Pause and lock in the memories

Christine Rains said...

Love how you captured your morning. The short hauls carry us over to reach the end of the long ones. :) Good luck!

Julie Flanders said...

Loved this short haul and I wished I was there enjoying that same morning. I love the quiet mornings of this time of year.
Happy Holidays to you as well!!

cleemckenzie said...

I love the day when it comes fresh. Quiet at first, dark, and then the stir of people and sounds that come with the light. Head down. Write.

Cathy said...

Hi!
Good to meet you. I am new to IWSG. Loved your descriptions. I was right there with you.

Chrys Fey said...

It's good to have moments like this. It revives us. :)

emaginette said...

Merry Christmas. See you next year.

Anna from elements of emaginette

Diane Burton said...

How wonderful you got to experience nature this morning. I don't pay attention as well as I should. That should be one of my goals for next year. Hope you & your family enjoy the holidays.

Fundy Blue said...

I loved your post, Liza! It filled me with a wonderful sense of time and place. I enjoyed your header photo, too. It's serene, and it reminds me of Bear River, Nova Scotia. My day did not start with hooting owls and paper bag oak leaves ~ just panic when I realized that I had published an unfinished draft of a post. So your kind comment was very much appreciated! Wishing you happy holidays and happy writing in December!

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Your ability to write descriptive passages is a gift. Your words aren't simply evocative... they made my heart sing. Don't ever lose sight of that. If you feel you can't include this sort of eloquence in your books, please take time to write them from time to time for your own pleasure. (And ours, maybe?) Maybe short haul essays is... your thing? I suspect it makes your heart sing, too. I hope your "real writing" does the same.

Yvonne Osborne said...

I like your descriptions.

Lynda R Young said...

We can all enjoy those moments. Best wishes for your writing.

Connie said...

I love the way you put words together in the short haul. You put your reader right down into the scene you are creating to experience everything there. I can't help but think that your long haul work must be just as wonderful. Hope you have a Merry Christmas.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Lisa - that's good - and I hope your day was a good writing one ... lovely descriptions. I should now walk down to the postbox here to get the paper - haven't done that early on yet ...

But yes the others are right your descriptive words are wonderful ... the yellow door split open and the teenage slouch is swallowed into his day ...

Have a happy seasonal break ... cheers Hilary