Happy Anniversary Again

February 13, 2002
91st birthday anniversary of my mother, Rose Dwyer Yakimoff, 1911-1993

I was thinking about energy, about perpetual light, about the energy of the past, the present, and the future, about how it might be possible to become connected with all the selves I ever was, about how I might come to wholeness and redemption — and a cat walked across the back edge of our property, nosed around in the forsythia, and then trotted off over the swale. It was gray and white, with a white tip on its tail. It looked like my cat Leon, gone twelve years now.

It was a sign that I can begin again.

This journal went on line three years ago today. I’ve had periods when I posted frequently, although never really daily. And I’ve had periods when I posted only every few weeks, the intervals getting longer and longer. I’m in one of those long interval periods now, and more than once in the last two weeks or so I’ve decided that I would abandon the project altogether.

Someone whose journal I follow recently told her notify list that she was considering shutting down because she fears she’s getting boring and repetitive, since the issues that are consuming her attention she is not willing to share, and the that leaves only “I got up, I read some, I ate lunch, etc….” But another journaller I read follows that pattern, and although what he writes is not great nonfiction, reading his “bite size nuggets” is like getting a daily phone call from him.

So here I am, on the third anniversary of my debut in a genre I didn’t know was a genre, unwilling yet to darken this space. I haven’t been writing in here because each 1000-word piece demands at least two hours of work, from concept to first draft to polishing to publishing. 

Those hours have been devoted, in the last four weeks especially, to real, productive, and steadily improving work on my fiction. I started up again with the tutor I engaged in August. We took a break after my initial eight-week contract with him, during which I didn’t work much and pretty much ignored his prodding and suggestions. When he said he needed a break because he was overworked (by other things), I thought maybe he was gently dumping me.

But we did start up again in January. I also started with a weekly workshop session he oversees, although I am not in his group. And, suddenly, I find myself working, returning to a project with his weekly suggestions even though I feel the challenge is beyond me. So far I have one completed short story and a whole pile of stuff that is the foundational stage of what he calls a “well-begun” novel.

That means that I can’t spend the creative energy on very many two-hour-consuming personal essays for this space. But I miss this, I want to keep on, even with only maybe one real essay per week and a few paragraphs that say little more than “I had a pork chop for dinner and I wrote 2000 words in my novel.” 

So, I’m still here. I thank those of my readers who are as well.

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