More Like With a Puff

wintermistStruck me today as I was walking that I haven’t started 2009 with a bang. This includes blogging. Any new readers that have come my way probably aren’t impressed with me at the moment.

My brain’s foggy, trying to wade through my priorities for 2009.

I just wrote seven rambling paragraphs and erased them because I don’t know what I’m feeling and what I meant to convey. In those seven paragraphs I admitted to desperation and disappointment and fear.

I suppose what’s really on my mind is this: I’m returning to my life as of summer 2007. That is, I’m back to technical writing to pay the bills (writing grant kaput) with no publishing contract in sight (literary agent kaput). And this feels like a sad, been-there-done-that, what’s-the-point way to start the new year.

One question intrudes even though I keep pushing it out of my mind in the quest for hope and optimism: Since I’m back to this, is this where I’ll always remain?

Answer: Hopefully not; it must not be; perish the thought. But funny how the question persists, buzzing at me like a pesky fly.

I’ve decided that for the New Year I’ve got to ease up on Lisa the Writer and get back to being Lisa the Whole Person. This will help, I think.

Choosing to Believe

boysinsnow2-copy.jpgI spent most of today in bed reading and sleeping. I had a feeling that galavanting around in the snow yesterday with my much-adored nephews would send my head cold over the edge. I’d been maintaining a minimal head cold all week in an effort to shore up my energies for little Trevor and Andrew’s first visit to real live snow. Their first snowball fight, first snow angels, first snowman. We had a blast. This was also the first year they were old enough to fly up from California with my sister for the holidays.

Today I’m paying for all the fun, but I don’t mind. I choose to believe that my body is clearing itself of toxins just in time for the New Year. This choosing-to-believe bit is something I do with myself. It’s like Steve Martin wrote in a recent New Yorker essay:

Through the years, I have learned that there is no harm in charging oneself up with delusions between moments of valid inspiration.


Despite my kvetching on this blog, I’m actually an optimistic person. And besides, delusions are fun. For example, I experienced my first snowy Christmas this year — with actual falling snow! Firsts are good at any age, and I chose to believe that the snow was a good omen for 2008.

Especially for my writing. I’m full of plans for using my time more wisely, finishing my current novel, and traveling back to Ireland for research. A bright and shiny start to 2008! Delusions are great — charge myself up enough and the delusions will become moments of valid inspiration and action. Maybe this is what Steve Martin meant in his essay.