It has been 42 days since I’ve posted anything to my blog. My guilt propels me to provide an explanation for my absence. In short, I have no excuse at all. I have just not been inspired. That could be because life—that is, LIFE in capital letters—has pulled my creative energy elsewhere. You ask, What in life could stifle one’s passion for the written word? Let me begin with illness.
Over the past 5 weeks every person in my family has suffered from one illness or another. Some have been chronic like especially bad seasonal allergies, and some acute like the common cold or Flu B that made it seem as if someone stole the batteries from my Energizer Bunny son. Then there’s been the random virus. You know the one. That one when you take your daughter to the pediatrician, all she can say is, “Yep. She’s sick.” No cure, no medicine, just a she’s-sick, and thanks for that $20 co-pay, the one you had to pay just in case your daughter had strep throat, which, as we now know, she doesn’t because she’s just sick. I knew she was sick before I paid my $20. That one.
Family has also led to my writing timeout. My father, my brother, his fiancé and his three kids visited Houston last week. I played hostess, chef, and tour guide. We went to the famed Houston Livestock and Rodeo, saw Kenny Chesney perform, went to an amusement park, toured some caverns, and slept in teepees. Fun, good times, great memories, but I was not home long enough to type a sentence.
Preparing for the family visit took up a great deal of time. I looked at my kitchen table and said, “Kitchen Table, you need a makeover.” So, I poured my creative spirit into refinishing the kitchen table, which led to refinishing the chairs, the dining room table, two bedside tables, and two end tables. I was a sanding and staining machine! There was something so soothing about sanding tabletops. This led to other projects like painting the front door, painting all the doors to the rooms upstairs, scrubbing carpet stains, washing curtains, and touching up the walls and kitchen island. As with most things I do, I became slightly addicted to this work.
Reading/listening to books has been a wonderful distraction. I’ve consumed what feels like a semester’s worth of reading for two literature classes. Reading and writing go hand-in-hand, but I have just enjoyed the immersion into fictional worlds. I can confidently say that I would recommend the following books:
The Magician’s Assistant by Ann Patchett
The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
Bossypants by Tina Fey
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School by Jeff Kinney
The Girl with the Pearl Earring by Traci Chevalier
Salem’s Lot by Stephen King
Full Dark No Stars by Stephen King
The Forgotten by David Baldacci
The Innocent by David Baldacci (Anything by David Baldacci)
What She Left Behind by Ellen Marie Wiseman
I can say I enjoyed each book, and it was a good use of my sabbatical from writing.
I feel as if whatever muse I have has also returned from vacation so for better or worse my creative musings will flow once again.