|My skis are under there somewhere.|
I slog through untracked snow. Wind and sun have conspired to make it a dense, heavy snowpack, almost as if I am skiing through a cake made with whole wheat. I can't even see my skis, buried in the snow. I am pushing along a small avalanche as I attempt to glide through the douglas fir forest. I breathe hard. I take off layers. This is a lot of work.
Skiing's been like this all winter so far. For every good, gliding day there are five death marches where I establish a track, only to return to find it blown in. I do not even fear the Trail of Terror and the Hill of Death because I slide down both without much speed.
Writing's been like that too. I sit at my desk feeling nauseous, scrolling over paragraphs that I suddenly hate. What is this drivel? It takes hours to form a passable sentence. For every five days of this, there might be one where words spill out like water, no effort from me at all.
My novel sits blinking implacably up at me. Like a frog, I think uncharitably. A big, fat, stupid frog! It thinks it's done. At 128 pages, it can't be, but I wring myself dry trying to continue. My memoir is closer, but I have been wrestling this same beast for several years. Is it good enough to sail bravely into the world? I cannot judge.
So why do I do these two hard things? Skiing. Writing. I could wait for someone else to make a track in the woods and follow behind. I could decide that after years of rejection letters, a few published pieces, and lots of drafts, that I have done enough. But I don't.
|I wonder how long it would take Callie to write a novel.|
Something drives me. I think it is the memory of the good days, the perfect days, when my skis fly. When my words sing. I never know when I turn on my computer or when I clump away from the parking lot which kind of day it is going to be. It takes a few steps to really know. I wait. I hope. I dream.