Sunday, November 21, 2010

Wax On, Wax Off

Practice.

My friends on ProzactoPrana and Slippers have been talking about it, and I promised to do it this month. 50,000 words in 30 days during NaNoWriMo may not produce a finished novel, but it is certainly good practice. Where am I? Embarrassingly far behind.

To save face, I'll say that I haven't been trying. Losing my best feline friend on the first day of the month beat the stuffing out of me. But the whole truth is less sympathetic: I am finding every single word of this novel to be bloody, boring, painful, unrewarding work. And I'm not the best when it comes to that. (Honestly.)

Mary K Swanson
Today, I worked on my bottle tree. I cut and twisted heavy wire and embedded hooks to set up the old fence on which I'll hang the bottles. Then, I tried to drill a bottle. I drilled too fast and it shattered. I asked for instruction, and David showed me that it takes ten minutes to drill one small hole into one bottle. "Steady pressure. You have to feel for it. It's more of a meditative practice."

I swear. That's what he said.

Wax on.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Portia

Mary K Swanson
Today, I am a year older. At least, today is when I admit that I am. November 1, I lost my alter ego, the cat I have been carrying with me for almost 20 years. I didn't realize until I started to write this that when she died, I lost a little bit of what defined me.

She and her feline sisters have stood in for my feelings in my dreams. When I saw her in a dream, I knew I needed to look for the pure underlying emotion that was driving my actions, but that I had not yet accepted as part of myself.

But it's important to remember that she was herself, first. She had a voice that could peel paint, loved Italian food, hated kisses, enjoyed playing in the sheets while the bed got made, had two color eyes, was white all over, loved to be chased, and to roll in the dirt.

She was a cat.