Friday, April 25, 2014

Finding a Writing Class, Finding Peace

A friend posted this on Facebook and it tickled my fancy in an aha sort of way.
 So that's what I've been doing wrong! 
I spend most of my life trying to get all my ducks in a row, which I do with varying degrees of success. The finding peace part...I'm not sure exactly where that fits into the picture, it's not like I don't have peace. I'm not a malcontent. Peace neither eludes me nor is it my constant companion. As much as possible I live in peace with God, people, and my surroundings -- finding joy in little things like sunshiny days, wildflowers and rainbows. I have a friend who gets exuberantly happy over having a perfectly ripe banana to put on her cereal. I'd like to tip my own scale in that direction. Or is that more of me working, organizing, striving -- setting the stage for peace?
Forget that! Right now, it's my blog post about rabbits, robbing me of peace. I've got to publish something new so I don't have to look at those sweet, dear, departed creatures every time I fire up my laptop. Sniff, sniff.
The rabbits came to me in the midst of our remodeling project. Our living room renovation has successfully imposed itself on every room bordering it. Kitchen -- painted. Guest room -- filled with all the living room furniture. Family room -- likewise cluttered and torn up as we prepare to build in closets and turn it into our master suite. The little guest room off the family-room-transitioning-to-bedroom -- cleared out ready to become our master bath. But hey, that's not all...
They came when spring had sprung. On the days nice enough to work outdoors I'm clearing flower beds,  picking up sticks to make way for lawn mowers, raking leaves left over from last fall, and readying birdhouses for new tenants.  Township clean up day sneaked up on us and we're hurriedly gathering junk to haul away this weekend. Our outbuildings -- hopeless collectors all year long -- get this one chance a year to give up broken useless treasures and junk. Someone's got to supervise and help load it all. That would be me. All that, and...
When Phoebe brought me the rabbits I had just signed up for a writing course I found on Patricia Kay's new website. Her smiling face, friendly demeanor, enthusiastic style, and especially, her publishing success, reeled me in. This description of her course in her own words, caught my eye: Challenge to Write is the name of a class I teach. It’s designed to give writers a kick in the pants, something to help them get started writing for the day. If you’re not a writer, I know you’re probably shocked to find out most writers need a kick in the pants.
She piqued my interest and made me laugh. Click on over there and read more about the class and more about Pat Kay. I was hooked when she said, If you’ve found your way to this page, you’re either a writer or a curious visitor wondering what Challenge to Write means. 
Through this course I'm accomplishing what I set out to do, which is to write every day. Confession: I got behind the ten days I was nursing bunnies, which coincided with Holy Week and extra church activities and services, but not irreversibly behind.
Pat offers encouragement and critique to writers who post their work. Another confession: I haven't been posting my assignments -- not because I'm too shy, more because I'm still figuring out whether fiction is my thing. Compared to my classmates I have a deplorable lack of imagination, and imagination seems to be the key to good fiction writing.  On the other hand, I do have this novel I've written. I have two versions of the same book. One manuscript is safely tucked away in a desk drawer, where I understand all first novels belong. The other lives on my computer desk top, subject to edits and changes according to my will or whim.
Challenge to Write serves as a litmus test. By the end of the month (five short days) my novel, my work in progress, will earn a place of priority in my daily writing...or not. Either way, the class has been successful. I'm writing every day. Not posting for critique, mind you, but writing. And feeling a sense of hope and peace about it.
Having found peace, surely everything else will fall into place. Right?


Sarah Rose said...

What a beautiful, thoughtful piece, Betsy.

Kristine Riddle said...

Right! You are seeking your way, Betsy, and it will happen just as it is supposed to happen. You'll see! :) In the meantime -- Peace Be With You!

Betsy Henning said...

Thank you Sara, and congratulations on this exciting news...

Way to go!

Betsy Henning said...

Thanks for your encouragement, Kristine, and for sharing the peace. And with you also!

Now I'm off to read Flash Fiction Friday!