Monday, June 23, 2008

Not One Minute Too Soon

Did you ever get the feeling that the walls are closing in on you? I've spent the past few days with the tedious part of writing. I've been going cross-eyed looking over proofs of my introduction and story that will appear in Literary House Review. I have to go over these several times, searching out typos or formatting problems. When I'm proofing another writer's work, this is not such a tough job, but on my own work, that is another story. Those nasty little mistakes such as new when I meant knew hide out in plan view. The whole time my artist child is screaming to write, really write. 

Part of this weekend I spent revising a book review that will appear in Internet Book Review Magazine. Dear American Airlines is the name of the book. I'm not at liberty to talk about it, but people you must read the review when it's published. Making editor changes, once again, makes my artist child throw a tantrum. She is very angry at this point. So, angry she is insisting on listening to Sheryl Crow's Best of Music on my I-Pod. Rebellious to the core.

And this brings me to the best part of this post, the part artist child is itching to tell you. We leave for a four day trip to the Smoky Mountains this week. This trip hasn't come a minute too soon. I can already feel the cool, crisp morning air. The rows of mountains, resembling ocean waves, gives artist child a peace she can't find anywhere else. The important tools are ready to be packed away in the car. A writer never leaves home without her laptop and writing notebook. And, of course there is the I-Pod. Artist child needs her music to create. 

We will stay in a little cabin not far from Raven Fork River and only three miles from the entrance to the park. Artist child is the boss on these trips. She insists that all writing projects are left at home. No work allowed. What she takes is imagination and of course the muse is somewhere hiding, waiting for just the right moment to reveal herself. There seems to be a trend among artists, especially writers, not to believe in muses. I'm of the old school. My muse is both my best friend and enemy. She flirts with me and then disappears, leaving me to do the hardest part of my creative work. But always she knows best. And always she channels some delicious character or scene my way.

I know not to wait on her because she'll never show. Instead, I begin to string words together into sentences, paragraphs, and pages. But she never fails to appear. She especially loves when I give artist child a trip. Her visits are then full of insight and inspiration. They are such good friends after all. When artist child and muse play together, I'm reminded of why I turn down that lunch date with friends, or unplug my phone so I don't get caught up in conversations. I'm brought back to pen and paper. To images and silly poems. To Sheryl Crow and funny jokes. 

Sometimes we can get so lost in the career part we lose sight of the art. My trips to the mountains refill the well. Have you ever slept in a tent beside a rushing creek? Or dozed on a warm boulder, absorbing its wisdom? The Cherokee believe rocks hold wisdom and teach us. Have you watched the mist settle in the mountain valley for so long, sprites and fairies begin to appear in the dusky light? This is the magic of taking artist child along. She makes up for all her whiny ways. 

We're packed and ready to hike to that one waterfall that allows us to walk behind the wall of water without getting wet. While there, we'll stand still on the edge of a world we only visit. We'll explore the old cabins and cemeteries. Scenes, characters, images will paint on our canvases their own unique stories. Imagination will be the rule of the day. 

Ann

1 comment:

Melissa said...

Hope you guys have a great time! :)