Writing in Sickness and in Health

This week's writing challenge: The plague. In my eye.

Monday was productive because I spent my morning writing and then the rest of it catching up with committee work that I actually care about . . . namely, plans for the Creative Writing Festival (CWF) our college holds every year in the spring. We're going to add some nice little incentives for our panelists and workshop leaders, and the idea is that we'll attract more attention that way. Additionally, we made plans to streamline our operations (again). Every year this monster runs a little more smoothly -- and I'm hopeful that having a little more time and flexibility in my schedule this fall will allow us to really run this year without any of the headaches that usually afflict us.

Tuesday was good because in addition to a little more CWF planning, I managed to write for another full five hours. I took a step away from the fairytale and worked on two new poems for the myth section of the manuscript, and began a third, too. That was a REALLY good day. I feel like the manuscript is finally beginning to take shape -- or, actually, physically manifest the shape I'd already envisioned in my head. That might be a more accurate way to phrase it.

Productivity for the week was challenged, however, by fate and the school district. The Pancake has two days off this week, today and tomorrow, because of Rosh Hashanah, and I woke up on Wednesday morning with, as I stated above, the plague. In my eye.

I suspect that somewhere between administering to The Doodle's cold and our lovely dog camping out on our bed during the day, I managed to contract some horrible kind of bacteria not only inside my eye, but on the skin/eyelid covering it. I've got conjunctivitis and cellulitis, and let me tell you, I LOOK GOOD right now. Not only has this illness hurt my considerable vanity (I really hate looking like a leper), but it's kinda hard to read or write with an eye covered in goop.

So Wednesday was a wash. This morning I saved some face by writing from 6:00 to 10:30, but that block of time was broken up, of course, by my responsibilities to feed my children. (Admittedly, I have shirked my responsibility to dress them for the day, and we are all still in our pajamas. But that shall be remedied shortly.)

Tomorrow, if my eye and my vanity permit me to inhabit the world of the living, I shall spend a Mother/Daughter day with The Pancake that we were originally going to do today. So there will be, most likely, only a small amount of work accomplished tomorrow. But I feel that while the first month of this sabbatical has had a bumpy beginning, with a lot of stops and starts, the two complete poems (one three pages long, the other two) + the 117 lines/13 stanzas of the long fairytale poem -- all written in meter -- signify a huge accomplishment for someone who, in the past, could barely finish two or three poems a year.

So yeah, I'm patting myself on the back. I need to sustain this feeling for a while. It will help me be more upbeat and relaxed as I direct my attention to a house that is disorderly-on-the-brink-of-catastrophic, and my two lovely children, who, while granting Mommy the time to write, have cheerfully trashed the living room and basement.



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