Sabbatical Update

Ahh, my poor neglected blog, I miss you sometimes. I miss wrestling my thoughts into words and responding to comments and feeling like I have a place to dump all my miscellaneous musings.

I HAVE been wrestling thoughts into words, but I’ve been focusing almost entirely on fiction for the past few months, and so I haven’t made time for you. The novel is coming along – I’ve got the first book mostly mapped out, and I finally (FINALLY) figured out how it ends in a way that is reasonable, necessary, and still surprising within the context of the world. And I’ve been spending an incredible amount of time on short stories. In the few months since I’ve posted, I’ve finished seven short stories, and started nine more, five of which I am hoping to actually finish. And because fiction is an entirely new creative venture for me, despite my intimidatingly prolific history as a reader, my new babies are surely awkward little things, under-foreshadowed, or over-explained, or what have you, but they’re so beautiful to me, I love mooning over them in the mornings and lingering over them at night.

And I’m still writing a play. I lose confidence over this one more than any of the other projects, probably BECAUSE it’s going to be produced, and I’m just sure that it will be a gross display of ineptitude, cliche, unrelenting darkness, or some other absurd deformity. So I put it away and tell myself that I’ll get to it “when inspiration hits,” and then rigorously avoid the things that would prompt inspiration. And this creates a familiar shame cycle for me, yadda yadda yadda. Anyway, I’ve got a month and a half left before we try to workshop it, and more than half of it written, so I’m not in terrible shape. I’m just scared of this one.

On the other hand, it turns out I LOVE filming. I got to be on my very very first film set this past week, and many things went wrong, and we were there until 2am, and it was the most fun I’ve had artistically in months. Hoping to do more of that.

And I got certified in Dancing Mindfulness, and it was magical, magical, magical. I was going to devote a whole blog post back in February to how magical it was, but I hesitated, and then life happened, and I never got back to it, but one of these days…..

And, just in the last two weeks, I’ve slowed down. It took six months of sabbatical before my engine started to idle, but I suddenly realized I was tired. Deep tired. Bone tired. Which I guess is why I needed to take a sabbatical anyway, but I was so excited about being married and having a sabbatical and having space in my life to finally do all those projects I’ve been dreaming of for years and years, I honestly didn’t let myself feel it. Part of that was healthy, I think – it was like I’d been holding my breath for ten years, and I finally got to exhale, and so naturally, that’s what I did. That’s what one and a half novels and 16 short stories and a play and a film and Dancing Mindfulness are – one giant exhale.

But then I got to the end of the exhale, and thought, “Hm. I’m tired. Maybe in addition to breathing, I could rest, also. Cuz, you know, I’m on freakin’ sabbatical – if ever there was a time when I could lay on the couch and watch “How I Met Your Mother” seasons all day if I wanted to, this is it.”

So that’s what I’ve been doing. I just finished Season 4, Episode 2 last night. 🙂 I feel like the sabbatical is in transition right now. Some interesting things have been coming up in the relative quiet of the past couple of weeks, which I hope to get around to documenting here, but, you know, I’m on sabbatical….. so if I feel like not posting……I won’t.  😀

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Sabbatical Update

  1. So awesome to see you that Friday…Be blessed by rest….

  2. roger flyer

    A few years ago, I was surprised by a little epiphany (or possibly a theophany) the acronym RAM. Rest. Abide. Move. I wrote quite a bit about it at the time and shared it with others leading retreats. Thought I’d write a book. Haven’t. I believe RAM is the most healthful (and Godly) way to live.
    We rest first, then abide in this res, then move in the finished work of Christ.
    Kudos to you and your work. Maybe a nap is in order.

    • RAM. You know, generally, I’m annoyed by acronyms, but I think I’m going to be telling everyone about this one. I absolutely believe you’re right. In fact, one of the maybe-blog posts I’ve been thinking of posting is about how essential I’ve found it to keep a Sabbath even when I’m on sabbatical, which is supposedly all-Sabbath. Also, yes, I need to learn to like naps. I’ve never liked naps because I always thought I was missing out on something. In my head, I understand why naps are holy, but I don’t think I’ve fully convinced myself yet. I take naps, and then I feel anxious about “all the time I lost.” How twisted is that?

  3. roger flyer

    You are very young. You have so much to do! Phillip Roth (who is probably 80+) the novelist, says that now that he is retired (After how many great books?) his greatest joy is to take off all his clothes, climb into his bed and take a 40 minute nap in the afternoon. Could be the only joy-meh- of old age. but he seemed pretty upbeat and happy in the interview.

  4. Your voice sounds strong and healthy. Alive. 🙂

    Sandy and I are going to a writers’ retreat in the Blue Ridge Mountains next weekend… thought of you when we registered. Remember talking one morning about the writers’ group in Elmhurst? I never did make it. Ah well.

    I look forward to reading about the interesting things that are bubbling up… if you feel like posting! 🙂

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