Park City, Utah. I landed in Salt Lake City on Monday. Tuesday and Wednesday I was sick as you can be without being sick enough to merit a trip to urgent care. Park City, Utah. On Thursday, it rained and rained and rained and the sky slammed with light and thunder. It’s February. We’re at 7000 ft. A summer monsoon in the winter? What an oddity. The rain eventually turned to hail. Monday afternoon, I return to Colorado for Block 6. Seminar. Workshop.
But right now, I’m here. Park City, Utah. With my family. Supposedly, with time to spare.
I have a tendency to do this thing. This thing where I stack my “vacations” with expectations–thousands of words on a page, hours dedicated to sweating, books to read, random tasks that have been sitting in my extended to-do list for longer than I dare to admit. So, I do this thing. And then I get sick. Or I get lured into the leisure of idleness. Or my family’s craziness sweeps me into their tide. And I think I need to stop doing this thing, because I only set myself up for irritation, kicking myself for not filling my quota.
The rough draft of my thesis (novel) is due in less than four weeks. The 40,000 word mark is on the horizon, swimming in the triple digits page wise, so, really, I’m doing fine. But I’m at this horrific place in the draft where I’m unsure of the remaining trajectory. I’ve done outline after outline–traditional, emotional, scene lists–but somehow, regardless, I’m still treading mud.
Obviously I know the solution: write. Press on. Move forward, don’t flinch, push to the next moment. I know the solution. I do. But the last two days, since recovering from the flu of doom, I’ve refused to put what I know to practice. Why? To torture myself. To torture those around me. To milk my fears, or whatever you want to call the emotional habit to not write when I know that’s all I need to do. If I choose the wrong path for the book’s second half, well, that’s fine. I can go back and edit, revise, rewrite (as I always do). But I won’t know what’s right or wrong until I put the words to the page.
My family is out skiing. I’m not. One too many freak accidents on the slopes have deterred me away from strapping my feet into a board. Plus, ballet is too important to me (even more so now as it’s my last semester with the free opportunity to bend at the barre) to put my legs at risk of injury. And, well, I’m in crunch time: write, write, write. Right? Take risks. Write. Look at photos of my bookshelf waiting for me back home in Colorado for inspiration. Stare at the snow. Stare out a clear window blank eyed until a guy passes by and he stares back and I keep staring and he waves and I wave too. Write. Write some more.
I’m sorry this blog has turned into a relentless echo. I’m saying the same things in slightly altered forms month after month. My brain is saturated in this pursuit, in attempting to retell this one meek story (again). My life is an echo. Is that a bad sign?
A week or so ago, the CC Senior Class Committee sent an email to all graduating seniors, informing us that we walk the stage in a hundred days, that our year’s quote has been chosen. A quote that I think is kind of perfect.
“Now go, and make interesting mistakes; make amazing mistakes;
make glorious and fantastic mistakes; break rules.
Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make good art.”
– Neil Gaiman
Park City, Utah. Two more days.