Despite Our Failings


Photo: Our first little harvest of the raspberries growing in our yard. They are sweet and wonderful. My husband is overjoyed. They are not seedless, so that’s kind of funny because you usually get them seedless at the grocery store. Doesn’t really matter because they are so lovely!


So, I am about 20,000 words into the little novella that I really would love to think I’ll publish on my 30th birthday but, at this rate, probably won’t be able to. I might have the words written by that point, but there is no way that it will be polished enough for publication.

And so I’ve hit a bit of writer’s block because, well, I know I’m going to fail. And failing sucks. And you tell yourself it’s ok to fail, and then you do it and you’re like oh my God, here it is, Failure. I can’t even handle it!

Ok, that’s hyperbolic. And I haven’t fully failed yet. And it’s a goal that I made for myself, so I should be able to adjust the rules so as to make it look like I didn’t fail. Because it’s better to look good than to feel good, right? Right??

No no no. Not gonna do that. No excuses. You work hard, you put yourself out there, you succeed or you fail. In all likelihood, unless something utterly miraculous should happen (like I somehow find a phenomenal editor, and someone who can format my stuff and some artist to make me a cover and… and… and…) there is probably no way that this is going to go down. And that’s if I can actually get to the point where I can type “The End” and feel like I’ve created something that is editable and good enough to distribute to the (tiny) (non-existent) masses.

I think that part of my writer’s block also stems from how invested I’ve become in the setting of my story. The place that I’ve set my story in is based on my hometown in Maryland, the rhythm of the language and the movement of the characters takes me home. I can see it, smell it, taste it. And homesickness is a very powerful thing. In some ways, I’m glad that this is where my creativity has taken me: I can recreate home in my own way in prose. It’s fun to do so, and i’m excited to explore “home” in this way.

Mom has fueled some of my homesickness as well. After spending some 10 days down there over the last two weeks, she has found a new home and is going to closing on it at the beginning of next month. Should everything go well, she should be moving by mid-August. When we saw her over the weekend, she was full of stories and news. Gossip about this person and that, news of places being built and other places torn down. Much political talk had to be had. There was even the obligatory conversation, about my own homecoming. But not before the empty promises of yore: “The house is big, and we’re going to have a room set up just for the boys. You can bring them down on your way to vacation and we can keep them for a week. I’m really looking forward to that.”

She wouldn’t take them for a weekend up here. Why the hell would she take them for a week down there? I’ll believe it when I see it. I’m fairly sure I’ll see it never.

And then, of course, there was this line: “You know, Kyra, I saw a lot of beautiful young couples with children down there. They are building up schools and putting together committees. Think about what you could achieve down there..”

It starts. Lord, it starts.

So now comes the month of insanity. She hasn’t really started packing yet, which, if you think about it, is a bit insane. She has an entire house to pack in a month. I have already warned my husband that we’re going to be called to duty sometime soon. We’ll benefit a little bit: I already know that we’re going to get getting their grill (“We aren’t putting that dirty thing on a moving truck!”) and we’ve already gotten their beach chairs and beach tent (“we always rent stuff when we go to the beach anyway.”) so it isn’t all bad. Besides, how could I be anything other than sincerely happy for her when she is this excited and ready to go?

On the other side of the family tree, I spoke with my Father this morning for the first time in three weeks. I got an email three weeks ago saying that his job offer fell through, so plans were on hold. The last line of the email read, “we’re going to the beach to for a week to regroup. Will be in touch after.”

Yeah right. So, because I’m a dutiful and stupid daughter, I’ve tried to call to get word on next steps. When he answered his phone this morning, he feigned ignorance. Whatever.

I was never fool enough to think that he was going to give up on his plans. The next 30 minutes of my life were spent listening to the big plan to take the TESOL and try again. “I’ve don’t have much longer to apply. They have age limits, you know. Can’t even apply after age 60.”

The timeline is now September at the earliest. “I’m so glad that I have time to finish up [grandma’s] place. We’re gonna do it up real nice. It’s still gonna be tight, but we’ll get it all done.”

I peppered him with questions about his soon to be 4th grader and what he was going to do about school. You should almost see the shrug, “we might start him here and then enroll him over there.”

And then at the end, the passing question: “You gonna make it down here for the reunion? I really want you to see the work I’ve done on [grandma’s].”

I explained that we’ve been doing our own improvements here. “I think you’d really like it. The paint that we’ve chosen is very thoughtful and the work on it has made it all the more special…”

I explained that we did that drive earlier in June and that gas prices have gone to ridiculous heights.

He seemed to only half care. “If you can make it, that’s great. If you can’t, we’ll send pictures. That drive is not a joke. I understand.”

Do you, Father?

I’m spending a lot of time preparing myself for separations. Most of them will be hard, harder than I care to admit. This one, though, is getting a little easier every day.

Imperfection is consistent. I’m grateful for the lessons that remind me as such.

Happy Monday, dear reader. Let’s make it a productive week. I hope that you are more successful in your endeavors than I have been. I hope to report some fantastical improvement in my work by the end of the week. I hope that you’ll hold me accountable!

Oh, and one more thing. Remember that biscuit cozy I worked on a few months ago? I finished but never took a picture. I put it to great use on Sunday when I made biscuits with gravy for breakfast. It’s pretty and it really does keep the biscuits toasty! My current project? Little baby booties for a neighbor. Quick and cute.




3 Comments Add yours

  1. Dude, I saw crocheted, baby flip-flops today. I thought of you.

    1. K.C. Wise says:

      Oh Oh! Gonna Google a pattern after this tornado warning passes…

  2. Butterflypages says:

    You can never be a failure if you are trying and trying you are! 20K words…you’re on your way! A try beats a fail EVERY DAY. Sending encouragement. Looking forward to doing great things with you in our collaboration. So excited…

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