Yesterday I left the boys at home and went exploring on my own. It was a cautious, mapless sort of adventure, in which I simply followed the thread of our main road all the way out of town, past the farms where the day before we’d scored a flat of berries and a jar of black cap jam, past the stables and the cat motel, through the roundabout and up a mountain, the name of which I have not yet learned. Up up up, through a tunnel of pines and out the other side, where a fog-draped view of the farmland opened at my feet.
I stopped the car for a bit and sat on the hood in the rain, taking it in. All those houses below, and I know no one. In this town, and the one tucked into the leafy hillside beyond, I am a stranger. I can go anywhere I like in whatever state of disarray and rest assured that no one gives a shit, least of all me. I can’t remember ever feeling so deliriously invisible.
When my hair and shoulders were too soaked for any more navel-gazing, I retraced my path through town, made one safe turn onto a tentatively familiar road, and found the library. Holy moly, I think I’m in love. If ever I get tired of my little writing nook or the cafe down the road, I’m all set. And there’s a creekside walking path right next to it, for those moments in which the story becomes elusive. Hell, isn’t it always?
Which leads me back to writing. I’m more than ready to dive into the next book, but have stalled out at the moment as I wait for . . . well, let’s say I’m waiting for editorial direction. In the meantime, I’m dabbling. Short story here, prose poem there, obnoxious blog rants and obscure text messages to my family. I badly want to start drafting something substantial. I want a plate-sized porterhouse steak of a story, not this anemic, protein-poor directionless blather I’m producing. My last story was entirely plotless, comprised of two panting individuals attacking each other under a waterfall. I finished it before I realized I’d given neither character a name.
Classy work, Averil.
What do you write while you’re waiting?