Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Week Of New Possibilities

Mercury might be in retrograde, but you wouldn't know it from my vantage point. Things are coming together rather swimmingly for me over here.

For starters, there's my novel. Last I wrote, I had a first line and dueling protagonists clamoring for her novel to be written. It's a good problem to have when you're as prone to writer's block as I am.

Since my last post, Alex has been full of helpful suggestions.

“You know what your problem is?” she asked me this weekend while I was cleaning the bathroom. “You’ve got two different novels spliced together into some kind of weird Franken-fiction. Take out all the stuff about my teaching woes and stick to stories about the house.”

"I don’t have any more stories about the house,” I grumbled.

“Yes, you do,” she said. (Alex is turning into a really obstinate pain in the ass.)

She proceeded to point out that I watch a bazillion home improvement reality shows on tv, and said, “What if Alex applied to be on one of them so she and Will could afford to make the repairs on their new house?”

At this point, I sprinted to my office for a notebook.

“The reality show will pay for all the repairs,” she continued, “but the catch is that they have to do all the work themselves, with no outside help whatsoever, they have no clue what they’re doing, Alex is still messy and laissez faire, Will’s still an obsessive-compulsive neatfreak, and now there’s a film crew following their every move…”

Here is where the heavens parted, and a choir of angels appeared, singing a heavenly chorus.

I really feel like I’m on to something here — that this is a huge breakthrough for me — and it is going to take my book off in a new, and better, direction. I just hate that it took so long for the inspiration to strike.

And in the meantime, I've spent a lot of time highly frustrated by my (lack of) output. Lack of taking-the-world-by-storm literary success. Lack of "purpose."

When Tom and I moved to Greenville, I really wanted to give the full-time-writer thing a try. But being at home hasn't contributed much to my output. Apparently there are limits to the amount of literary genius I can squeeze out of myself at a time, and it makes absolutely no difference how much free time I have to write--when I'm at capacity, I'm at capacity. And more and more my thoughts drift back to the classroom. I would love to be teaching again. I really miss it. And with my Master's degree in English, it wouldn't be that terrible of an ordeal to get alternative certification in Language Arts.

We'll see how things play out, but I'm excited that I'm discovering some new avenues to pursue.


  1. congrats on breaking the wall, and i hear you on the teaching....

  2. that's wonderful! oh to have a breakthrough! well done you... AND it sounds like a great great story. KEEP WRITING! i know how you mean - i've been looking forward to my hubby going away (I know, awful) for ages so i could have 4 evenings fully free to write. if i eat with the kids you see, i can be at my desk at 7.30pm. of course, here i now am writing to you. anwyay just wanted to ask for Alex's number. Thought she might give Mia a call and tell her to start talking to me...?

  3. Perhaps you should threaten Mia with a long stay in a Rubbermaid container in the attic. It certainly motivated Alex. :-)

  4. the master's degree in english automatically certifies you to teach middle/high language arts in florida. yet, you have to have further cerification for elementary...which if i ever do it is strangely enough where i want to be.

    sounds like alex has been giving you some good clues! and thanks so much for the very sweet "i'm in awe" comment on my blog. i'm far from as talented and together as you think i am, but i give it my best shot! :-)

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