Photo: Focus not on the atrocious condition of my messy desk, and instead on the adorableness of these little baby booties! Of all of the things that I set out to do this year, knitting has been the best thing. I love it. It’s probably saved my children, my marriage, my life… It is the single most relaxing thing I’ve ever encountered outside of swimming laps. If I can join a pool and swim laps during school mornings and then knit in the evenings, I may never have high blood pressure again…
My Quiet Thoughts are scattered today because, like many of ya’ll, I am utterly distracted by the news. There is so much to process, but this serves as a damning reminder of the human capacity for unspeakable and obscene cruelty and violence. Between the 295 souls lost in Ukraine and the many others lost as collateral victims in Gaza, I’m feeling a combination of mourning, frustration, fury and sickness. Political and news junkie that I am, there is an almost addictive fascination that can come over me when thinking about the impending domino effect of consequences from both of these crises. But my heart is very firmly focused on the number of people simply lost yesterday for the failings of men.
And, because the world is just too small for this kind of bullshit anymore, I think about the rippling waves and what could happen if they come to my shore. In a moment of irrational fear, I told my husband not to take the red line train for a while “you know, just in case there is some sort of retaliation or something.” My husband looked at me like I was an idiot (though he loves an excuse to stay off of the subway) gave me a kiss on the cheek (like I was a child) and went to catch his commuter rail train. I know that it was an irrational thing to think about or say aloud, yet I felt better in that moment to give into it.
Though I know what my very scientifically-minded husband was thinking, I also know that he knew what I was trying to do: That was my best expression of love at that little moment in time. To worry and to express that worry.
World news aside, this has been an intense week. It was hot and stormy here for the beginning of the week, we had the crazy running-around day on Wednesday, The Husband worked from home yesterday so as to facilitate getting the car fixed, the boys have not napped a single freaking day (including right now as I type), I’ve been racing to get the latest section of my writing project done and I’ve been on pins and needles waiting on an answer for my submission to a literary magazine. Oh, and we’ve been doing all of that without the very important help of a television in the living room. Of course, no week is complete without two simultaneous playdates in two completely different parts of town this morning…
It’s been a lot. It has been a week with not enough hours and too many tasks.
It was rejected. I got the email yesterday around this time. The frustrating thing is that it was a form letter, so I didn’t get any feedback on the story that I sent. I think that this magazine is more genre leaning while the story I sent was pretty mainstream (no hocus-pocus involved) and I might have just sent a good story to the wrong place. Then again, though, I don’t really know because all I got was a “Hi, we decided not to publish the story you submitted.” It’s disappointing but I’m really ok. Mostly because I believe that I created a good story and I’ve received good feedback on it before.
I’m also feeling ok because I decided to take a chance this week to become a little more invested in my writing. I started working with two other like-minded, very motivated and previously published mama-writers in order to create a group for encouragement and consistent feedback. We had a Google Hangout last Friday and all of this week, we’ve been furiously writing and cheering each other on all week. Pessimist that I am, I keep asking myself “will we be this excited to be working together this time next month?” but I’m trying to stay as positive as possible. Right now, this feels productive, so that’s what I’m going to think about.
The inspired writing that I’ve done has produced 7,000 words total of fiction and blogging this week. I’m about 1,000 words away from completing my draft for Act II of my larger project (I’m code naming is Project ViBo). No promises for that September delivery, but I’ve certainly got momentum. I’m excited to finish this draft tonight. I’m not going to write this weekend (gonna knit instead) and get up on some outlining for Act III and maybe try to write another short story for submission next month or September. That’ll be 3 out of 5 for my year, right?
I guess my Quiet Thoughts are about accomplishment, which seems to be a running theme for the year. I’m thinking about all of the things that I’ve managed to get done this week in comparison to all of the things I wanted to do and the things that should be done and probably won’t be done. I’m thinking about the goals I’ve yet to hit (being published somewhere) and how best to hit them. A little tiny part of me is wondering where I got the audacity to think that this was such a good idea…but I think that my Quiet Thoughts are telling me that this week, I did the best I could.
My new television is coming any minute. And did I tell you that the car turned out to be ok? Was able to get it taken care of in one day for only $100. God is Good. He gave us a break this time around. I’m hoping that, with a little help from The Husband, I’ll get some good binge time in in front of the new screen. Maybe House of Cards? I still haven’t seen it yet.
For you on this Friday, dear reader, I wish you lemonade. A lot of it. Cold and refreshing and an entire pitcher full, with real slices of lemon mixed into it. I wish you a sweating glass on a table, next to a good book or accompanying you as you enjoy a good story of another kind. I wish you light sandwich, maybe the crunch of potato chips. I wish you a belly laugh thanks to a great joke or a well told yarn. I wish you a hearty and happy reaction as you tell as story of your own. I wish you a starry night and a look at the moon, maybe a peak of the sunrise or a lazy observation of a sunset. I wish you a held hand, a friendly lick from a dog, the warm smile of a child. I wish you the heavy knowledge that you are here, and likely in no danger, while your brethren are not so lucky. I wish you a moment of acknowledging them, in prayer or in another form. And I wish you the opportunity to act in kindness, if only to bring a little bit into a world that is otherwise distracted by cruelty. I wish you warmth and joy, because you deserve it.
Until Monday, Take Care (of yourself, and your neighbors).