Friday, August 9, 2013


Inside this writer's mind...

Sometimes, I am way too sensitive. Sometimes, I am not sensitive enough.

I like to write. Sitting down at the computer to write is my "candy," my dessert for having checked chores off my To-Do list. But it's more complicated than just popping a chocolate-covered caramel out of a box on the counter.

It's checking the humidity outside, and the temperature, and setting a pound of butter on the counter to soften, and heating sugar to exactly the right temperature, and beating and beating and beating with a wooden spoon until - voila - caramel! It's choosing just the right chocolate, and heating it and beating it and burning my sticky fingers as I wrap  the caramel yumminess in brown satin.

Writing isn't something I do as simply as tearing open a box of chocolates. It's a process. It's reading, and learning about pieces of the world outside my head, and brain doodling, and thoughts bouncing like jack balls until they finally hit a target. It's powering up the computer, looking to see if Emily has posted any new poems :), checking the weather forecast, typing a few lines and then deleting them, switching over the laundry, listening to a hymn, and sitting here staring out the window with glazed eyes for what seems like eons. No, I'm not zoning out - I'm zoning In.

And then, somewhere in that stew of reading and listening and thinking and doodling, the words come and I write.

Understandably, people have different responses to what I write, whether it's here at the blog, in a newspaper article, or for a devotional. Sometimes, someone will say, "You're a really good writer!" Yes, absolutely, that encourages and blesses me. I love to write, and I love to learn that another person has enjoyed something I've written.

But there are different kinds of encouragement, aren't there?

My mom is a fabulous seamstress. She's the best seamstress in the world, as far as I'm concerned. But I don't make a point of ensuring that she has fabric on hand or that her sewing machine is working properly. She's good at what she does, and I'm glad she enjoys it, but I don't make any personal investments in her gift of sewing.

One of my sweet daughters not only encourages  me with words - "I really liked your last blog post!" - but she goes even further. When she realizes I haven't had time or freedom to write for an extended period, she'll tell me to sit down at the computer while she tackles the morning chores. Like this morning. The laundry is running, the ironing pile is shrinking, while I sit here tappity-tap-tapping. When she comes through the kitchen and looks over my shoulder to see how it's going, she doesn't fuss at me: "Why are you answering email? I'm doing all this work so you can write!" When I ask her to come watch the teaser for the new season of Sherlock with me (oh, yeah!), she doesn't tell me I'm getting distracted. No, she just lets me swim in the process.

Some folks are like hot sunshine and low humidity to candy making - let's get cooking! Others are like a muggy day in August - they make sunshiny comments from out of a soggy cloud of sighs. There may be occasional flashes of sunlight, but ain't no candy gonna "set" in this weather.

Yes, I admit it - I'm a little sensitive to the "weather." So is hot sugar. But I think the chocolate-covered caramels are worth it.

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