Wednesday June 13, 2012

The last couple of weeks have been very unproductive for me on the writing front, and I've had all kinds of handy excuses:  the Memorial holiday, then the end of school craziness, and oh yeah, the loss of another body part.  Just a tooth extraction this time, but jeez, all of a sudden I feel like I'm sliding downhill and aging in a hurry!  Getting old is a bitch, but as they say, it's better than the alternative.

But, I'm back to writing this week, and my mantra is:  You won't go where you've never been if you don't do what you've never done...  I am feeling moments of confidence amidst my self doubt.  Belief takes practice.  And some cheerleaders.

My editor reassured me that I should keep doing what I'm doing.  He will help with editing and transitions and flow of the story, but since this is a memoir, he can't really help much with the content.  This is my story - our story - to tell.

I will continue to write for the next few weeks and then we will meet in person after the 4th of July to assess our progress.  I am also hoping to finalize contract details with my publisher in the next week or so. Pretty exciting stuff for me.  Somewhere I've never been, that's for sure...

My parents are en route from Nevada to Minnesota and will arrive here in Rochester on Friday.  They are getting out of the Vegas summer heat to spend some time near family.  Today, they texted a picture from an IHOP in Utah and they were reminiscing about Shannon eating at IHOP each day in San Francisco last summer.  That memory made them think about what a trooper she was, so determined to eat a good breakfast each day so she would have strength for all the activities that she had planned.

Dan is in Michigan for work this week and took the ferry across Lake Michigan to get there.  Just a year ago, we did that as a family and enjoyed some time on the beach at South Haven.

Earlier this week, the three of us were driving and a Katy Perry song came on the radio.  It instantly sparked a memory of driving Shannon and Erin and their friends home from a football game, and all 6 of them were singing the completely inappropriate lyrics at the top of their lungs - "yeah we danced on tabletops, and we took too many shots, think we kissed but I forgot..."  That memory makes me laugh and cry at the same time.

Memories - what a double edged sword for us.  Happy and sad.  My writing brings me to these feelings each day.  Tears flowed again today - looking at a picture, remembering the moment, remembering the loss.  So bittersweet.

And yet, there is no acceptable alternative.  Denial?  Avoid the topic?  Try to forget?  No way.  She lived, she loved, she died, and we remember.

Music can not only spark memories, but also can provide inspiration - for exercising, for working, for writing.  So, today, a genius mix of my favorites accompanied me while I wrote.

The lyrics that stuck with me came from Gavin Rossdale's song, Love Remains the Same:

I never thought that I had any more to give
Pushing me so far
Here I am without you
Drink to all that we have lost
Mistakes we have made
Everything will change
But love remains the same