Happy Mother’s Day! It’s ironic that on my first Mother’s Day since moving closer to my children I didn’t see either of them today. I’m not complaining though. My oldest was out of town for a wedding and I spent the weekend at her place taking care of the pets. I heard from my youngest this morning but I have no idea what he was up to today. He’s 22 and living his own life, and spending most of that life with his girlfriend, so I’m not upset about it. He’s doing his thing, as I want him to do.
I checked in with the new mothers in my life to wish them a happy day, as well as my own mother of course, and other mothers in my life. There’s a reason we make a big deal about Mother’s Day, even if it seems at time like a made-up Hallmark holiday. I realize I’m biased, being a mother and all…
There were days I was in that camp, until of course I became a mother myself. But I didn’t fully appreciate my own until recently, when I participated in a virtual gratitude dinner and everyone had to talk about someone they had never thanked and why they owed them a “thank you.” I was panicking at the thought of having to speak and participate and figured the easy answer would be my mother. But as I started talking I realized that I do indeed owe her some thanks for the example she set for me and for my daughter. As much as we’ve disagreed over the years, and despite the fact that we are not as close as many mothers and daughters, I am not blind to the way she has lived her life and the courage it must have taken her to make the choices she made, specially in recent years. She’s nearing her 80s and she’s out there on her own, having packed up a little used RV and moved to the middle of nowhere following a dream, living in a community of like-minded souls that she had never met before. She’s creating, she’s experimenting, she’s living her life much like the starry-eyed youth who signed up for the Peace Corps in the 1960s. I thought she was crazy when she bought that RV, and part of me still does believe that. But she’s happy and I have to give her credit for pursuing and creating her own happiness.
This weekend I finished one book and I’m half-way through another. I finished the book I started on my birthday about first impressions, gut instincts, and informed decisions. This time I’m reading about writing. I’m reading Stephen King’s book On Writing and as I’ve been reading I keep thinking I should send it (or order a new copy) to my ex. But I won’t. And that makes me sad. Ten months ago I would have been talking to him about it already and looking forward to discussions about writing and our own writing projects. I have no idea if he’s writing at all these days. He’s made it clear it’s not my concern what’s going on with him. And I’ve accepted that but I can’t help but wonder sometimes and when I read books like this he’s still the one I think of. Guess in addition to finding a new life partner I need to find a new writing mentor and editor. Any interested applicants out there? (For the writing partner, that is. I’m not concerned yet about a life partner.)
As I read King’s book I thought about the few bits of writing I’ve done over the last year and took another look at the short story/flash fiction piece I published here last fall to see how it holds up months later. Did I use too many adverbs? What about my attribution verbs? Were they “pumped full of steroids” as King put it? I read it over a little while ago and I still like it. I think it passes those tests, and I still like the story itself. Could I have done it better? Probably. But I’m still proud of it. I need to do more of that type of writing. My poetry isn’t anything special, with maybe a couple exceptions, but if it made it onto this blog I think it’s at least decent. But I haven’t tried another story in a long while.
Maybe after I’m done with this book I’ll find some inspiration and write another short story. Maybe it’s time to sift through the prompts again. I’ve got some notes from my Savannah trip that I might be able to work with too. I enjoy writing, and I need to do more than use this platform as my online journal. As I’ve probably said before: wish me luck!