Yeah, yeah, yeah, okay okay. So it’s been a while. Do you have any idea what I’ve had to do lately?
Twins’ graduation. College orientation with a writing retreat (personal) for me. Meeting Kaye Barley – an adventure all unto itself. Only trouble is she is no longer my-friend-Kaye-in-Boone-whom-I’ve-never-met. Graduation party. Fourth of July party. Daughters visiting with SOs in tow. Finishing final revisions on one ms (DONE). Adding another layer into another ms (still working). Cutting lines into concrete slab to make faux flagstone – it looks great, and I don’t care if you do laugh! Moving roses and other assorted flowers and shrubs. Work. Play. Run around. Hop up and down.
Okay, so I really don’t have more to do than some of you (LJ Sellers comes to mind. I don’t know anyone who works as hard as she seems to. Reading her statuses challenges me to do more.) I figured I owed it to all 7 of my readers – 7 is a lucky number, right? – to come back and add to Blackwater. Trouble is, my focus tonight is still diffused. Which, I guess, is better than defused.
I think it comes from living with so many people. I only partly refer to the live people I’m living with.
See, half of our kids are at home, the other three are permanently or almost permanently away. Two more join that status in August. But just because they are absent from the house doesn’t make them absent from your heart, or your brain. Trying to keep my arms wrapped around them long-distance means keeping my brain engaged in the important parts of their lives. I’m pleased to say our kids enjoy talking with us and letting us know what’s happening. I wouldn’t want it any other way. Such involvement, however, becomes entanglement, even with the best of intentions.
Then there are all those imaginary people crowding my brain, too. The lady doctor who returned home with her boats. The man who is dying of cancer but wants to save his town. The eccentric magnate who writes commercial jingles. The sisters in the aftermath of their mother’s funeral. The funeral director. The five sisters taking one last road trip. The writer with Alzheimer’s who is not ready to reveal it.
Not to mention the characters I read or watch on the screen. So many lives, real, unreal. There are times when I’m not sure whose life I’m actually living. Ever get up in the morning depressed because your friend is going through a rough patch, only to realize your ‘friend’ is a character in your own or someone else’s book? It’s disconcerting.
I find myself staring at my image in the mirror carrying on conversations (and I am so witty!) with people whose lives are manipulated by the whims of people no more God-like than I am (just more successful). I am, in fact, losing track of whose lives are real and whose are fiction. Who I know and who I make up. The fact that I know the people I make up more thoroughly than those who are real amplifies the issue.
So please, forgive me when I hide away and don’t post on my blog. I’ll return when I regain my focus. If I’m missing, I’m probably having animated dialogue with someone in the mirror, trying to remember where I know them from.