Sunday, July 21, 2013

Goals, mapping, drifting . . .

Slowly it has come to me that perhaps the most important goal of all is to drift . . . 

When the words don't come.

When a loved one is not well. 

I promised that I would update my goals for the coming week this Sunday. It's now early Sunday. The Africa presentation is Tuesday (I'm about 80% ready). Mother-in-law leaves Wednesday. Today, actually by 10:30 am, the women leave for the clearance floor at Macy's. I don't need anything. The pleasure is in taking my daughter, granddaughter, and mother-in-law for an annual trolling of goodies-to-find. But, I'd almost rather go to garage sales and second hand stores.

Perhaps that's what draws me to historical fiction, that delving into the detritus, of finding something that once was precious to someone else and treasuring it anew.

It takes no courage to go shopping.

Perhaps I like to recast the past because so much of history is unknown. We see political and economic history in shelves of books, but the women's stories, what's been dubbed social history, is hard to find. Rather like my search for water.

So last night, after everyone left following dinner (pesto hamburgers, my first home-made pesto), I did nothing at all. I sat and quilted a bit, making something of scraps of cloth, letting go of the panic beneath the day's activities, for I know that life will change again. Allen's discomforts continue; we'll find the results of the MRI in the coming week. He says the results will be typical, yet his energy level drops.

My goals for the coming week are very simple.

1. Survive until Wednesday.
2. Keep working on Smashwords conversion (I actually did make progress on this).
3. Reduce electronic clutter.
4. Read and comment on Gardner's poetry that he sent me in June.
5. Read Flanagan's Gould's Book of Fish.
6. Do another crit for NOVELS-L.
7. Write a post for my travel blog (a little difficult since my travels are more internal).
8. Cherish each day.

Did you notice there are no writing goals for this week? Hah! No word count. No tracking hours spent. I give myself permission to drift this week. My characters will simply have to talk to each other for a bit.

When do you allow yourself to drift?

A wonderful group of ROW80 writers posts twice weekly to share goals. Read about our progress here. Or considering joining us at A Round of Words in 80 Days here!

Carolyn Mabel Johnson, my grandmother.
She's the child in the center, flanked by
her mother, rumored to be Native American,
her father, a soldier,
and his intrepid mother.
Fort Reno, Oklahoma, about 1900.


  1. I *love* auctions, garage sales, thrift stores... just as you said, finding something loved by someone else and love it anew. That's precious.

    I'm sorry to hear that you have a rough time. Seeing loved ones in pain is hard. You should be proud of allowing yourself to do nothing, that can be so hard. But sometimes the act of letting everything go and just spend some time in the present is what we need to keep going.

    Drift, drift away :)

  2. Thank you, Tanja, for your comforting comment. We don't always see what others are facing down. I really have much to be thankful for -- including family, the writing, and ROW80! May your own writing go well this week.


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