For weeks, words float around in my head every day, but other duties take my attention; the job, the house, the horses, family, friends. It's frustrating at times, wanting so much to just sit, put some music on and write...allow the words to pour out my fingers from my mind. Writing takes forever for me, and I need to allow myself to just follow the feel of writing, and then go back and fine tune. I fine tune as I go and therein lies the problem. It takes me forever that way. And so I have my daily writing challenge.
Today, I'm going to follow the feel and see where it takes me.
Ugh! I'm already fine tuning. Began this paragraph three times and changed it, over and over. Okay...letting go of control and handing it over to the feel.
The story will continue, but in telling it I now find myself at one of many crossroads. I'm struggling with the outcome of the truth. In order to tell my story, things swept long ago under the rug of secrecy, will be uncovered. People will get upset (perhaps...perhaps not) and being who I am, I don't want to upset anyone. Which is the main reason why I have put off telling it. The more people you have in your life, and the more involved they become, the more complicated things get. Interaction leads to something, good or bad.
But I ask myself, why should I hid their secrets, when I believe the light of day is necessary?
If you've visited my Pinterest boards, then you know I love quotes. But then, I love words. Last year, I found a remarkable quote, and it got me thinking. Words to put me back on the path of following my dream. Yes, it's a big dream, and it scares me sometimes. But I can not let another day go by living with the regret of silence. Not this kind of silence, a quietude forced by fear of consequences born from the spiteful discourse of other people's thoughtless actions.
“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”
― Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
It's the simple truth.
Soon, you will see a different side to my sister, Diane. For now, she is my protector, my angel. But soon, she makes a choice that forever changes the course of my life. An emotional choice, rooted in jealousy. And it will set in motion a sequence of events that will split the lives of my father and myself in two.
Jealousy. That stupid, petty green-eyed monster that lives in every person. I have no use for it and will go to any length to avoid it. The wounds and scars left by one act of jealousy in my life run deep and taught me well.
So, back to the story. I hope these inside thoughts of the writing process don't distract readers much from the story. It's my way of bringing a behind the scenes perspective, if you will.
~~~~~Journey of a Heart (JOAH)~~~~~
Book one: Through the music
Chapter one: Tears of Time (continued)
Next door lived an older couple who leased horses to motion picture companies and television shows. For a time, I lived next to the white horse rode by James Drury in the tv show, The Virginian; I spent countless hours at the fence between their property and ours watching all the horses. They would always come to see me when I did, and sometimes I'd just sit on the ground, listening to the patterns of their breathing, their movements and the persistent buzzing of the ever present flies.
With all the land, we soon had animals of our own. We had two German shepherds we named Eva and Zsa Zsa, after the Gabor sisters, because they were very much like them. Eva always carried one of her ears off to the side, giving her a silly look but she was so lovable and cuddly; while Zsa Zsa was prim, proper and very reserved. Unfortunately both dogs had a bad habit of getting into the neighbors yard and killing their chickens, so we ended up rehoming both with a local seeing eye dog service for the blind.
And then there were the cats. I have many memories in that house, but one that stands out is the time our cat decided to have her litter of kittens in my bed, on my back, while I was asleep. It was the middle of the night, everyone was asleep and I had to go potty. But I felt this heavy weight on my back and a lot of movement. When I lifted myself up to see what it was, I heard a thud when something hit the floor. I began calling out to mom, which woke Diane, who promptly told me from her bed on the other side of the room to go back to sleep. Well, I couldn't really, because there was the matter of using the bathroom. And the litter of newborn kittens on my back. At that point, annoyed with me and my late night disturbance, Diane rolled over with a huff of consternation and put her back to me. Worried about whatever it was that fell to the floor, and the burden on my back, I announced the situation to Diane, point blank. She didn't believe me. But something convinced her to turn around, look over at my bed, and then get out of her bed. In her haste, she almost stepped on a kitten, the one that free-fell from my back to the floor. She whirled around, running out of the room and calling for our mother. Seconds later the dark room was flooded with light, mom and Diane were cooing over the babies, while I, still laying on my stomach, did my best to contain the internal urge. To no avail. Finally, with tears welling in my eyes, I hastily asked for the removal of my furry burden so that I could relieve myself. This was done, post haste and none too soon. I hiked up the long skirt of my pajamas and high tailed it to the bathroom, just in the nick of time.
For as long as I can remember, animals were always a part of our family. When it was just mom, Diane and I, we had a collie named Laddie, a parakeet named Jimmy, a skunk (de-sacked), a raccoon, and plenty of cats. Not all at the same time, mind you. Laddie was hit by a car and didn't survive. The parakeet, well I'm told my Aunt Joan wasn't a fan of the bird, and convinced me one day that cats and birds loved to play together, then suggested I put the bird in a box with our cat. So I did. If nothing else, I was an obedient child. Mom never forgave my aunt for that one. As for the skunk and raccoon, I don't know what happened to either of them. My only memory of those two was helping mom give them a bath, feeling something warm and gushy on my hand, and pulling it out of the bath water to find one of them had pooped on me. Mom deftly thrust my soiled hand back into the wash water and removed the offensive mess. Oh, and I know you can't lock a raccoon in a bathroom with a full roll of toilet paper. If you do, they will spend hours tearing the entire roll into tiny, tiny pieces, one sheet at a time. It makes a huge mess.