I used to love to cook but in recent years that love has faded to a "have to." And long vanished is the urge to tackle anything that requires more than five minutes and three ingredients. Then I saw the movie Julie and Julia, and I've been craving Boeuf Bourguignon ever since. So, I'm making it this week. I'll let you know how it turns out--if I can remember where the kitchen is.
I'm diving back into writing full time this week too, and it's been a while. Within My Heart, the story I began last fall, before Mom's cancer diagnosis, has been sitting on my laptop. And though I haven't written much recently, the story hasn't been dormant. It's been living inside me, growing and taking shape.
For a while, I tried writing in the hospital (as I stayed with Mom, sitting close beside her bed) but I quickly learned that hospitals are no place for rest--or for writing. The real clincher for me (when I knew I needed to lay aside this story for a time) came some time back when Mom started to speak, then stopped, and said, "Oh honey, I'm sorry. Am I bothering you?"
I closed my laptop with a click.
I'm so grateful to my publisher for their patience as I finish this book (which will be released in late summer 2010 now), and I'm keenly aware of how the story has changed and taken shape in recent months. Everything a writer experiences eventually makes it to the written page in some form, at least it does for me, and my experiences these past few months are no different.
I treasure every moment with Mom, every overnight hospital stay, every "early wee hours of the morning" chat when she couldn't sleep and we'd sit up and talk. Every one of those times is written on my heart and has changed me and my view of this life, I think for the better. When my time comes to cross over from this life to the next, I'll do a better job of it because of watching Mom go before me. Thanks, Mom.
And now, back to Timber Ridge, Colorado, 1870s.