“I’ll plan on doing the dishes,” he says.
I’ve written a post each week for the last month. They are stacked in my queue. I think they’ll stay there.
I opened a long-forgotten draft last night of a YA fiction book I began writing many moons ago. I read it all. I was disappointed that there wasn’t more, so I went on a search for the notebooks I used for the project. The notebook entries are dated with the year 2011.
That was 10 years ago. It doesn’t feel like I’ve been toying with the idea of writing fiction for more than 10 years.
I reread some of my old posts from last summer, imagining what a memoir may look like. It doesn’t seem like I’ve been toying with the idea of writing memoir for a year.
I opened the plans for a book about faith and the idea that we are created for celebration rather than survival. Eleven chapters were plotted, and six were written. It doesn’t seem that I’ve been toying with the idea of a book on faith for more than a decade.
Searching for the fiction notebooks, led me to the drawer that stores my old notebooks. It’s a wide drawer. It’s a deep drawer. It is packed to the top.
I opened notebook after notebook with ideas for professional writing. Snippets for articles and samples of student work bulged my notebooks. Multiple tables of contents were fleshed out and post-it notes collected additional thinking. I flipped through from cover to cover and saw my messy scrawls. The messy and large loopy writing are signs of my best thinking.
Last night Andy and I were home alone. Is this what happens in the leg of the journey before “empty nesters”? On a random Monday the house is empty? There was a crock pot full of meat and fresh baked bread, but it was only Andy and me at the table.
“Do you mind if we eat on the couch?” I asked.
I know we are breaking the rules. I know Andy doesn’t mind breaking the rules. I sink into the end of the couch and Andy sits on the opposite side. We hold hands on the center cushion and Andy offers grace.
The food is good; the bread is warm.
“I’m thinking about writing a book again,” I say. It is as random as being alone at 6:11 pm on Monday night.
“That’s good,” Andy says.
It’s been a long time since I’ve written a whole draft of a book. I don’t speak the words out loud. They spin around my mind, and I begin to wonder if I’m even capable of writing a book. I used to write books; I’m not sure if I can write books anymore. I’m not sure if I have the audacity to write a book. I’m not sure if I have the moxie to write a book. I’m not sure I can publish a book, even if I do write another book.
“I’m exhausted,” I say so quiet I’m not sure he will hear me. I’m not sure I want him to hear me.
“I know.” He confirms, and I wonder if what he really means is I no longer have what it takes to write a whole book. The quiet is loud in a house that is never too quiet. I think he’s forgotten that we were talking about me writing a book. I think I should forget it too. It is a silly thought, a pipe dream left over from the imaginative childhood of a lifelong dreamer.
“Just make sure it’s fun,” he says. My lips quirk into a smile, and he winks at me. “It takes a lot of time to write a book, so make sure you’re having fun. I’ll plan on doing the dishes.”
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