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[Quiet Thoughts] You Gotta Work for the Breakthrough

3 years ago

1224 words

Photo: My summer wildflowers are months away from blooming. Yet they are emerging from the cold soil to seek the sun! Too bad we haven’t seen much of it this week. Everything in the world seems to be working on a breakthrough…

 

I had a morning off this morning, so I took my notebook down to my favorite little breakfast spot and got to work. I’m still working on Ploughshares and I’ve been struggling. I’m working through that struggle, but it’s a slog.

I’m sitting there with my decaf, waiting to order, and a man about my age, wearing jeans and a flannel shirt, came in with a man in a suit. They sat far enough from me that I shouldn’t have been able to hear them, but… I dunno… acoustics… I got a good bit of their conversation. Now look, I’m not an eavesdropper! They were loud and, I dunno… I like a good story. What is remarkable about this conversation I didn’t really want to hear is that it wasn’t some father and son having a quick breakfast (my original assumption) but a young techie guy making a pitch to a potential investor. Something something phone app…

Well…

It was obvious that he was nervous and there was a lot riding on this breakfast. I heard all of the filler words, all of the nervous buzz words, the unimpressed questions from the dude with the money. I really felt for the guy. I was like, bro, you can do this. You just gotta break through. It was the pep-talk I needed for me, not this dude bro I didn’t know. But here I was, eggs benedict in front of me, hoping that this guy would find his footing.

It is non-spring in Massachusetts. There was snow on my yard and my car yesterday. Snow. There is barely any budding happening, no green under the (still) retreating snow piles. We all still have our heavy coats on and we really haven’t seen much of the sun this week. I itch to unseal these windows and let in the fresh air, but to what end? We need to keep the heat on!

And with the no-napping and the pressure of two major projects (the auction sleep sack and the short story, both due next month), not to mention a little party for a certain little bear… I’m feeling a bit behind. Stagnant at best, behind at worst. I lamented yesterday as The Husband and I got into bed, “I’m going to be one of those people who is mediocre at a lot of stuff and never gets good at anything and none of it will do any good for us. It’ll all be this colossal waste.”

God bless my husband. He was very supportive and talked me off the ledge.

But it feels like all of us are crawling toward that breakthrough moment. When buds are going to open and flowers are going to blossom and grass is going to get green again. And I’ve been pounding at the creative wall for an entire week, just pushing and pushing. And this guy, he was just explaining and pitching and trying and

then something clicked for investor guy.

Suddenly, he seemed to see the vision. At least, more than he had in the beginning of the conversation. And Millennial techie guy relaxed, the buzz words fell away and the nervousness disappeared. He later walked out with the investor guy with a smile on his face. I’m not sure that the next great phone app was born today, but at least a guy got the boost of confidence he needed.

And I changed the narrator and point of view of my story, moving from 3rd person (my comfort zone) to 1st person and allowed a character who barely had a line before narrate the entire 1st scene in her voice. It was the best writing I’ve ever done. Ever. I can’t share it because it’s still a draft and it would void the story for entry into this contest… if it gets rejected, maybe I’ll share. But anyway, it’s beautiful and perfect. Its the first time I’ve ever fully translated the vision and voice I had in my head onto paper.

Breakthrough moments can happen at the strangest time and in the strangest places. Patience is required, and Lord if it isn’t the hardest of all virtues to obtain.

As for the non-spring, Mother Nature seems to be imploring that she’s working on it. In the mean time, there is a show to be seen if people would simply stop and look. Like, for example, as I type this, there is a snowy owl perched on a branch just above my stone fence. I cant get a clear picture from this vantage point but, he has been sitting there, swiveling his head to an fro waiting for his early supper to scamper on by. He’s beautiful and I’m delighted that he’s here because he’s gonna eat stuff I don’t want in the house! Perfect.

There is also this:

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Four little kits came out to play today. Without their mama. They skipped and scampered and wrestled and hopped all around the barn for almost an hour. They are very skiddish, often popping into the barn at every little noise. I haven’t seen them for a week and they grow like whoa! Last time I saw them, they were under their mama’s foot and they were pretty and fluffy gray! Now look at them!

Oh yeah, and lest we forget, I had a morning off, so:

 

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The Concord River is quite swollen from the thaw. It was wonderful to hear the gurgle of the water and see the strong current sweep various things down stream.

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It’s primed and ready, just waiting for consistently warm days, some sunny hours. Then this place is just going to be awash in that bright palette that only Spring can bring.

Are you working toward that breakthrough moment, dear reader? Either those first leaves poking through in the garden, or recognition at work? Something smaller or more profound? Is your world full of energy at this moment, waiting for the opportunity to burst forth into something spectacular?

On this Friday, Opening Day at my beloved Camden Yards, I wish you a surprising view, a glimpse at something majestic, big or small. An owl patiently waiting for his meal, the first home run of the season, a child’s first steps, the love of your life doing that little thing only they do. I wish you brilliant pops of color in places where there hasn’t been for a long time. I wish you words that make you pause and think, coloring your world with something new and exciting. I wish you a hug, warm enough to thaw, long enough get deep down into the places that are still dark and cold after this long winter. I wish you a good white beer served with a bright orange slice floating at the top. Finally, I wish you something yellow, Minor’s favorite color. We’ll celebrate with a small gathering this weekend. The theme? All Yellow Everything.

Remember that you are loved, dear reader, near and far, known and unknown. Tell someone you love them this weekend, yeah?

Until Monday, take care.

11 Replies to “[Quiet Thoughts] You Gotta Work for the Breakthrough”

  1. Im feelin’ ya.

    Monday:
    Jaw in screaming pain becuz new dentist jammed the novocaine needle into my bone. Buy another bottle of ibuprofen. Student loan holder fucks up payment, doesn’t show received on time even though bank shows they cashed the check–puts first ever late payment mark on my student loan history. Aunt calls–has a brain tumor. Surgery Thursday.

    Tuesday:
    Sister calls. Aunt in surgery, brain fluid, brain cancer, two strokes, flatline on right half of brain. Airline tickets for July vacay might be changed for trip home. Best friend calls: mom has alzheimers. Work wants fifty-60 hour weeks until July. School deadlines cannot be met due to work schedule–have to take F’s for the entire term, and retake the classes. One term left for a BA 26 years in the making, and can’t finish for time and money.

    Wednesday:
    Car’s oil leak worse, tire won’t hold air. Mom and dad might lose their house cuz dad got screwed by evil coworkers, lost job, no one will hire him; I have to eat the $1000 water heater I let them put on my CC.

    Thursday:
    Still holding out hope of making May 1st school deadline. No sleep. Migraine and tooth infection that dentist refuses to acknowledge. Friend back home is getting food stamps cut in half cuz our governor is a crook. Might lose her house because can’t make payments on disability check without food help. Medical bills too high. Never asked for a thing her whole life until now when she can’t deny the need. Sent her a box of meat.

    Friday:
    Best friend’s sister’s house burnt down, killing her five dogs, leaving her with no possessions or home. Sent a few weeks worth of cash. Old friend lost five family members in fatal auto crash–all 5 died in the car. Had to drive back home with no notice. Phone dying, no upgrade til 2016. New work platform total failure like we told them it would be. Automated process now all manual. Co-worker, who has shown total loyalty and awesomeness for the last 15 years got hosed on her review by our weasel new supervisor who’s nothing more than a hairdo. Two years to retirement and he screwed her, so she has to work past 65. Uncle had a heart attack, has 7 stints installed. Thankfully not in ICU. Only pair of shorts have an unfixable hole.

    Cherry on top: the dog smells like urine. Really dog?

    1. Oh, wow. That sounds like the most horrendous week ever. I don’t know you, but I’m sending you and everyone involved in these various struggles many good vibes and hopes that things will get better, even if in some situations I don’t know as it will help. Hopefully next week will not be as awful. *good vibes and hugs*

      1. Lol thx. Im fine, but
        I am getting a little cranky. However, I don’t have two boys to raise. I wouldn’t trade my week with Kyra for nothin’. Just reading about her day wears me out 🙂

        1. My God… Your week… I’m so sorry. I don’t know how you are still standing or breathing, or hopeful, or able to do anything other than scream at the top of your lungs in fury toward the Heavens. That is a monstrous week. I’m especially mourning your college classes. You’ve worked so hard for this and you are so close!

          Is there anything I (or anyone) can do to be supportive to you or your loved ones? I can’t promise much, but … I, like Miriam, am at least sending good vibes and hugs.

          1. Honey, this is just life. Ya just make jokes and move on. Just keep bringin’ us your awesome 🙂 Im always excited to see a new post. Love the laughs, the learning, and the love. Take care of yourself; those boys need superheroes.

          2. On second thought, you could send me one of those girardelli cookies lol. Found the white chocolate chips, but baking season is over here until winter (too hot for ovens).

  2. *cheers writing breakthrough* Those moments when things click really help motivation when things aren’t going so well, don’t they? So I wish you many more of them for the story!

    1. Thank you, college girl!!! How are you holding up!?

      You know, I’ve been watching a lot of Public Television shows about famous authors I admire and a LOT of them used to write in bars. I was writing in a tavern! I think there is something about the energy in there! I wasn’t drinking anything but coffee, but the creative energy was full and thriving! 🙂 Gotta do that more often.

      Seriously, though! College! What’s UP!?? Are you thriving?

      1. Uni is HARD WORK! As evidence by the fact I’ve been going through my inbox and reading blog subscriptions from October that I didn’t have time to read… O.o But I’m coping, settling down a bit now. I’m coming to the end of my Easter break at the moment so I’m frantically trying to do all the work I’ve been neglecting, read all the fiction books I borrowed from my local library, and squeeze in a bit of writing. When I go back it’s the dreaded “exam term”, so that won’t be much fun… but the weather is cheering up here and I have a friend coming to stay this week whom I haven’t seen in person since summer 2013, so that’s exciting. 🙂

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