Don't Write in Your Library Books

I promise: I’m on my hamster wheel, running as fast as I can. Am I getting nowhere?

I ran a writer’s workshop last Friday for children. I think adults might enjoy it too. We stuck our hands into brown paper bags to feel creepy textures that our characters were supposed to touch in our stories. At the end, we all shook out the writing cramps while we munched on homemade chocolate chip cookies. I felt good about what I’d planned and how well each exercise linked together. Sometimes I swear, my subconscious is smarter than I am.

The next day, even though I felt wrung out from preparing for and executing the workshop, I attended a poetry workshop where I wrote some very bad poetry and generally sounded so pathetic that the whole group ended up trying to give me advice about getting into a creative zone. I hadn’t realized I would sound so desperate. I was just exhausted. They laughed when I said I’d gotten inspired by Terry Pratchett. I wasn’t kidding.

I had just finished reading The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett and it was a lovely read. I even read portions of it to my students. And yes, it inspired me. He wrote a paragraph about watching grass grow that made the hair on my arms rise. I want a copy of that book so bad so I can underline that paragraph. I’d been reading a library copy. Don’t write in your library copies.

DON’T WRITE IN LIBRARY COPIES. Just don’t. I hate that.

Since then, I’ve just been trying to keep the basics running until Mike got home from the Scout training he volunteered to support last week. He’s back now and we just want to get to the weekend. It’s only Monday.

So, maybe I am getting along as I run my hamster wheel, but I might allow myself to spin wildly for a few days until I catch my breath. I’ll need the strength. I just agreed to run a book club this summer. I’ve never even been a member of a book club.

Thank you for listening, jules