Wednesday, May 09, 2007

How did I get here?

Did you ever have one of those days when you wondered exactly how you ended up where you are?

As you may have guessed, I'm having one right now. It's probably because after I had my critique group last night, I headed over to Waterloo Records and picked up a CD I haven't listened to in about 12 years. But I popped it into my minivan's CD player (we had to replace the left front speaker recently, and it looks like the front right speaker is going to have to be replaced, too) and was suddenly transported back to another time.

A less complicated time.

A time when, to be honest, I would have welcomed more complications.

I was thinking about it this evening; right now, I'd like a life that's relatively uncluttered, with lots of time for reflection -- and, of course, for writing. And dream-following, of course; we only have one life, and it's up to us to make the most of it.

But between the school plays and the kids' health problems (yes, there are more now -- not major ones, but issues that require further consultations, time commitments and worry) and the laundry and the bills and the editing deadlines and the oil changes I haven't done yet (speaking of which, my inspection sticker expired in February and I still haven't done anything about it), some days I wonder exactly how I got here.

And how I can get to Tahiti from here.

Which brings something else to mind. Several years ago, I moved to a beautiful 1860s Victorian house in Bethel, Connecticut. It was like something out of a fairy tale; my room was a beautiful pale peach, with antique hardwood floors. It also had a lovely balcony overlooking a grove of tall, tall trees; in June, it seemed like heaven on earth. I recall looking forward to a proper snowy Christmas, and vividly remember one December night, looking out my mullioned window at fat flakes of snow as they swirled down from the gray-black sky. It was beautiful -- I half-expected snow fairies to pop out of the trees and perform a little pas-de-deux.

By February, however, the beautiful windows were covered with plastic and blankets (the house had no insulation, and the temperature never topped 50 degrees) and I was sending letters to the Chamber of Commerce in the U.S. Virgin Islands. (In my defense, I'd spent over a decade in Texas and didn't own proper boots, much less a coat, so I was hardly prepared. As I recall, I spent most of that winter in the bathroom, reading about Arizona -- with a space heater and a hot bath.)

But I digress. The point is, there are those of us who are destined to be content, I think.

And then there are people like me, who are always scanning the horizon, looking for what's next.

And this entire post just goes to show why I should NEVER post after imbibing two glasses of pink wine. Because I get totally maudlin.

Okay. Enough navel-gazing. (And -- obviously -- enough pink wine.) I'm off to start chivvying children to bed. Oh, and writing? I'm in edit mode, on page 250 of a 400 (400!) page manuscript, and working at a rate of 30 pages per day. Hope to be done by this time next week, at which point I'll try to remember where I was on the other manuscript when I switched gears.

How are you? Any exciting news? Any fun trips to destinations that you can tell me about? (These days, it's all about vicarious travel...)


At 9:04 PM, May 09, 2007, Blogger Laura Kramarsky said...

I'm with you on the always scanning the horizon thing. I keep saying it's time to grow up and learn to settle down, but it keeps not happening. I blame it on my Jewish heritage--if we don't have something to complain about, we're not happy. (Did I ever tell you that one year my Catholic roommate and I tried to give up complaining for Lent? Oy VEY!)

The last travel I went on was to Sleuthfest in Florida. Lovely place. I got outside for abotu two hours one afternoon and went out for Cuban food one night. The rest of the time was spent in the conference, which doesn't seem quite right when you go someplace as nice as Miami Beach.

On the writing front...I actually had a very good time at Sleuthfest and had a couple very intriguing conversations, but now is not the time or place ;D

In other writing news, I am finally--at least temporarily--back on track. In fact, I just finished writing a long post about some things I learned on the way to my current 55k words.

At 10:08 AM, May 10, 2007, Blogger Gracesmom48 said...

I definitely have felt those feelings. I used to fantasize about driving to the airport, getting on a plane and never coming back. But those pesky kids kept me here. Fifteen years ago we lived in a 100-year old farmhouse in Bristol, Connecticut with hardwood floors and a screened in porch. I spent a lot of time out there with my books and I felt I was in heaven. But as the old lady of the group, I must say that those feelings have mostly subsided and I have become more content in my old age. Everything on your body begins to fall, but you become more accepting and less stressed; at least that's been my experience. Tomorrow, I may be crazed again, but today that's how I feel.

At 5:57 PM, May 10, 2007, Blogger Karen MacInerney said...


You could blame it on your Jewish heritage (how many years wandering the desert?), but I do think some of us are just wired that way.

And now I'm dying to know what you talked about at Sleuthfest.

Off to read your post now... and you're ahead of me on words. You go, girl!

At 5:58 PM, May 10, 2007, Blogger Karen MacInerney said...


For me, it comes and goes. Today, I'm feeling more content. Maybe it's because I finally replaced my iPod.

Glad to know that someday I may reform... :)

At 10:14 AM, May 12, 2007, Anonymous Marchbanks said...

I also have been spending a lot of time transported by music to a less complicated part of my life, although in my case it's occasioned by transferring my enormous vinyl collection to CD so I can listen to it somewhere BESIDES at home. Eventually I'd like to have an iPod to record mixes to keep me company on my exercise walks round the neighborhood.

At 12:52 AM, May 21, 2007, Blogger Karen MacInerney said...


Music and smells can really take you back, can't they?

I highly recommend an iPod -- I replaced the shuffle I lost just a couple of days ago, and it really helps me get into that dreamy state when I'm walking.

Of course, that means I walk past celebrities and don't notice, but who cares?

And you've got vinyl... how cool is that!


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