Making sense

Anne Lamott, on writing ...

"We are a species that needs and wants to understand who we are. Sheep lice do not seem to share this longing, which is one reason why they write so little. But we do. We have so much we want to say and figure out.”

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

On government shutdowns, lack of money, bologna, and MacDowell

It's Day Two of the government shutdown and I am feeling pissy and sad and emotional. Very PMS-y, I might say. Part of me wants to log on to Facebook and rant and rave and call Republicans Retardicans or Repugnacans, because it is the GOP that I (and much of America, including our fine president) blame for the mess that is in Washington. Congress schmongress. Let's fire them all and get new idiots in there. Let's start with the Tea Partiers.
My husband, who's been with the Federal Aviation Administration for twenty-five years, went to work yesterday, and today, and he will go tomorrow and the next day, but he isn't getting paid right away. Government-issued IOUs. So of course I have a pony in this race, which makes me (somewhat) worthless because I bring in a whopping $275 weekly from my nanny jobs. (I love my morning and afternoon gigs; I am torn. Don't want to leave my families; might have to leave my families and get a 9-5 desk job, which is necessary at this stage in the race because my foot is still semi-broken and throbs ten hours a day. But then there's my adorable children, and a verbal promise that I will stay with them throughout the school year. As I said before, I am torn. Oh, and broke.)
My default plan, whenever the pissiness and sadness and OhmigodIneedtomakemoney sets in, I turn to my writing. Specifically, I am trying very, very, very hard to corral my ADD and focus on my Bologna book. I am particularly in support of this plan because it has been one year since I was at MacDowell, holed up in my cozy stone cottage in the woods of New Hampshire. It was ONE YEAR ago that I was at my laptop working on Bologna With the Red String, and now 365 days have gone by, and I am still not finished.
Not finished.
Getting closer, but ...
What to do?
Pretend I'm at MacDowell. Head to my writing room, which my dear husband helped make possible (the man I'm disappointing financially); spray Indigo Wild's Frankincense & Myrrh Zum Mist -- that's the scent I sprayed inside Mixter Studio; listen to Tony Bennett's Duets II album --that's the music I listened to on my iPod as I wrote, outlined, edited and cursed at the simple desk adjacent to the stone fireplace; set myself to a schedule: 9 a.m. to noon, write; break for lunch; write from 12:30 to 3 p.m. And yet ... I am missing (son of a bitch, oh, how I am missing) the screened-in porch and wooded surroundings of Mixter studio; I am missing the electric hotpot that I used four, five, six times a day to make decaf coffee or tea; I am missing the glorious absence of housekeeping; I am missing the wonderful Plunk! of my lunch basket hitting the porch; I am missing naptime. (At MacDowell, I napped from 3 to 5 each day, waking to shower and prepare for dinner.)

To encourage my focus and discipline, I tell myself that I will to return to MacDowell once I publish the food memoir. You will go back, Kathleen, you will get there.

It will happen for you. Now sit your ass down in that chair. Finish the fucking book.

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