I'd like to say I woke up early today and did something productive; went to church, started writing, planted all those flowers I bought from Home Depot yesterday. Something. But no. I simply woke up early and starting...thinking.
There's an itch at the back of my brain -- one of those personal preoccupations one doesn't share in a public blog -- that's demanding more attention than I want to give it today. But man, it's loud. Peskier than that character conflict I need to heighten as I plow through this manuscript re-write, and certainly more compelling than the fact that I always leave my plants-to-plant in the garage or on the porch until they're on the brink of death before I turn gardener and save them.
So I've managed to ignore the "itch" by covering it with the guilt of not making it to church. Again. (Shaking my head here.) I even told the kids that today would be the day we return. The first for them since the divorce. (Except for a family funeral and birthday celebration they've attended with the other side of their family.) Maybe I was mad at God for a while. You know how we humans can be. But somewhere in the past few weeks, I've decided it's time for us to return.
Until I remembered -- this morning -- that I let my daughter ride her bike and make mud pies in the rain for a looooong time Friday evening. Wonderful for her. Trauma for her hair. An afro puff is fine for soccer, but not for church (to me anyway). I can just hear the old folks whispering behind the itch in my brain, saying, "Look at that baby's head," with an accompanying tsk, tsk, tsk. I let mommy guilt push me into the paralysis of analysis and here we are at home. The kids are not in pews. They are in bed until I finish this post.
It's been so long since I've strung a whole thought, I figured my poor Plotting Me blog was way past due for a new installment. And this is so much easier than that dagblasted re-write I'm submerged in. (Notice I did not say immersed. Very careful word choice there.) I love my story and its new direction, the growth and evolution of characters I am as attached to as my Mac lipstick, the anticipation of an amazing happy ending.
Yet, every other day I'm thinking it would have been easier to start an entirely new story. So, why didn't I? Because there were components of this one that I wanted to keep. At least that's what I thought a year ago when the book found a new home with Amazon. Now, the more I work on it, the more I realize how much I outgrew the manuscript I originally submitted. Little remains the same in this story aside from the title and the characters.
Now that I've admitted this factoid aloud to myself and the universe, I'll move ahead accordingly, deleting the old words and replacing them with new direction. After I plant. My daughter is awake and anxious to bring the color of God's annuals to the front porch and the back deck.
That's what Sunday morning thinking will get you: Prayers without church, new life for uprooted plants, heart-opening plot bursts, and a shower of words to help all of this bloom. Everything, it seems, becomes salve for the itch.