I Apologize, Arty

Apparently my dog Domino was snuggling with Arty

I had a great post all lined up this week. I took pictures, I edited, I was proud. Or, at least, satisfied. But the bulk of the post was based on an article I read more years ago than I could remember, which ultimately proved a hairy problem when I sat down to find the article. I thought an easy internet search would unearth it. I was mistaken. I searched for quite some time, about 2 hours. Couldn’t find it.  I was faced with a quandary. I could re-edit so that my post was a more vague referential kind of thing. I mean, I’m not exactly a fact-finding hard-core journalist, right? I am campaigning here to be President of the Ramblers. I could post a poem, one I have already written, and find a couple of pictures to match. Not too hard. I could go to my idea bank and make a withdrawal. I have had many ideas since I started blogging so long ago. (3 weeks.)

You can gather from the evidence before you that I am a writer. I have a blog. (Look, Ma, I’m writing!) But what you may not know is that I am working on a novel. This is the number one reason I am not doing NaNoWriMo. (If you don’t know what this is, see here) I feel like nothing good could come to a novel in process by joining the masses sweating over their keyboards. I see it like this: I have made a commitment, and rushing headlong into a short-lived affair that I know will end in heartache, though it be filled with passion, would sacrifice something I hold dear, that being the story my characters have to tell. Another way I see NaNoWriMo is akin to handing your characters, your story, a bomb. When it explodes, you will see the ins and outs (and innards) faster, but you will spend the next year piecing it back together.

Which brings me to tonight, and how I already feel like my characters are starting to lose their patience with me. “What gives?” they say, though I don’t think any of them talk like that. “This blog gig was supposed to bring you closer to us, to your commitment to us, and yet here we are again, set aside, ever-so-gently, in order to be ignored. While you do what? Troll the internet for some historical relic?” I hold up my finger, but say nothing as I sit hunched over in my internet-search posture, eyes squinting though I see perfectly fine, the whole left side of my face resting on my left hand, so my cheek is squished up and my palm is starting to sweat. It never occurs to me to scoot my chair closer to the desk so I don’t have to lean so far over.

Have you ever had someone meet you at your house, and you are late to meet them, and they have to sit outside in their car, or on the front step, in the cold? That’s how I feel right now about this. I’m late, I know. I said I would be there by now. Because this is a matter of self-punishment, I also must imagine it is snowing on their heads, and they have no hats. Not one of them. How could they have? I have not written any for them.

These past couple of weeks it has been Arty wanting my attention. I have been desperate to know more about Arty. For quite some time, I’ve only had first-date knowledge of him. I know facts, I know tidbits, I know his wife, Lou, and I even know their story. But Arty and I need some more time together before I can pick up those quirks that you don’t see until you’ve spent a lot of time with someone. Arty has been waiting outside my door. (Do you want to know something really shameful? The other day I called Arty by the wrong name. I called him Andy. It is a direct consequence of spending too much time on the Pinterest geek page seeing pictures of all kinds of movie characters with “Andy” written on the bottom of on of their boots, like Woody has in Toy Story. There is even one of Han Solo. It’s funny. But shameful.)

I promised Arty some dedicated time tonight. It was going to happen, I told him, my post is already done. But, lo, I would not concede after hour one, I had to push to hour two of trolling for the little-remembered article. And now, even while I write this, I imagine him sitting behind me in the green recliner, playing with the lampshade on the table beside him. He is quiet, and bored, and I keep thinking, let me just finish this. I made a commitment.

For some more great thoughts on NaNoWriMo, see this post by Olivia’s Opinions


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