I realize I haven’t been around much, lately. Summer is hard. Blogging is hard. Life is hard.

We moved, recently. It was a significant down-sizing and I am still dealing with the massive overflow of STUFF my husband, children, and I have accumulated during our lives. We thought simplifying would be easy, but it’s been a real struggle. Mainly because, as my husband says, I’m “an episode of Hoarders waiting to happen.”

I feel like I’ve gotten a little better, lately. While I still miss my mother fiercely, the sting of her death isn’t as harsh as it used to be. It seems to be easier to let go of the things that made her her a little more bearable. Sometimes that realization sends me into a spiral of depressive thoughts and self-loathing, but it is what it is. We’ve gotta move on.

Writing has helped. Writing is this wonderful thing where you can make your thoughts tangible, and if you want, you can strike them down dead again before anyone reads them and realizes what a looney you are. Writing teaches you what belongs and what doesn’t. What is necessary to keep the plot hurtling forward, and what should be discarded. It teaches you how to simplify. It teaches that the most straight-forward way is most likely the best way. It also teaches patience. That your first draft of anything is probably shit, but more importantly, that the shit is okay. Not only okay, the shitty first draft that you cringe to read weeks later is necessary.

That’s a nice thought. I wish it could be expanded. What if I could say, The last ten years were just a messy outline of how I want the rest of this story to go. These next ten, I’m going to cut the fat, limit the long sentences, cut a few of the characters, and focus on moving this story forward to its destination?

I know we can’t, but maybe I’ll try, anyway. Instead of starting a brand new story, maybe I’ll just edit the one I’ve already started. Flesh out the characters. Polish it up. Maybe by the time I’m ninety, my basement will be immaculate, my life will be simple, and my story will be a best-seller.

It’s worth a try.

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