Just get in the car and drive….

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Today is my first day of two days off in a row!  Sadly, I think the last time this phenomenon occurred was during the Christmas holidays when I had a horrible case of Pneumonia and couldn’t get off the couch.  Not even the sun shining through my bedroom window this morning could pull me from under the cover of my duvet.  I did rise at 7:30 to tend to my four-legged roommate but, after returning to bed, the clock read 10:39 a.m. when I finally emerged from my cocoon.

It’s amazing how quickly you can lose your grip on reality.  Work happens day in and day out and, if you let it, work can consume your life.  I awoke this morning almost struggling to come up with something fun to do since my day off usually consists of laundry, house cleaning and other mundane tasks.

I did mow the lawn and weed around my mom’s tree to feel some sense of accomplishment today but the day rapidly evolved into a day of carefree abandon which I have not been able to enjoy in a while.  My travelling companion and I hopped in the car and headed out onto the open road.  The sun was shining, the sky was a remarkable shade of blue and the roads were all but abandoned.

country road

I finally felt a true escape today that I have not felt in a while.  I didn’t think of what would happen at work tomorrow because my tomorrow work-day was extended for another 24 hour period.  I didn’t care that I hadn’t vacuumed my house because I still have tomorrow to vacuum.  It was a memorable day of reckless abandon and not having to share the open road because all the tourists are happily ensconced in their city homes.  It was just me, my dog and an endless stretch of sun-streaked pavement.

It’s amazing what you take for granted.  Those seemingly meaningless pleasures suddenly become treasured moments when you realize that you are unable to enjoy them as often as you would like.  Driving along winding country roads with not another car to be seen was my perfect moment today.  It gave me time to breathe.  It gave me time to reflect.  And it gave me time to just be myself.

When was the last time you had a perfect moment?

 

 

 

It’s about writing (comma) period (end sentence period)

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In what could have been described as a clandestine meeting, a good friend stopped by tonight to merely exchange a handful of cash for two spots in my football pool.  We hadn’t seen each other in a while and we fell easily into a comfortable conversation about our writing.  He is currently writing a novel as well and we both have been challenged with individual hurdles and brick walls in the process.

During our conversation he reminded me of a very basic rule that I had long forgotten.  Writing is not about grammar.  It is not about punctuation, capitalization or italics.  Writing is very simply about storytelling.

Deep down, we both know that being able to creatively express our ideas is the basis for the passion we both have for writing.  Being able to use words to introduce characters, describe beautiful imagery or construct interesting dialogue deserves more of our focus than moving commas, changing adjectives or repositioning quotation marks.

RED PEN

There are companies specifically formed to pick out those common mistakes that writers make in the moments they become truly lost in the story.  That is their gift, their job.  A writer needs to remember that his or her gift, his or her job, is creativity – the gift of being able to weave a tale like no other because that story comes from a magical well to which nobody else has access.

The writing is about those ideas that swirl around in our heads at 4:00 am and relentlessly linger until we write them down or record them on the closest available device.  The writing is about those characters gnawing at our consciousness until we give them a voice, until we tell their story.

We both need to realize that our gift is that story deep within us.  And the sooner we stop spending time worrying about how to properly punctuate a sentence we wrote six months ago, the sooner we can free our brains to let that story loose and see where the journey will take us.

(image credit)