This morning I woke up with a poem by Byron in my head. Which when recited aloud as my husband woke up caused him to say “That is not Shakespeare. Are you all right?”
Well, yeah, I think I’m all right. I just feel suddenly very old. But honestly, that might be me being mawkish because what we just did would have beat the living tar out of me even at 30. In fact, it did. And what I propose to do would have been insane, even then. And yet it must be done, and I am not willing to indulge my body in its crotchets.
To be clear, house-hunting is a difficult thing, and it tires you out beyond all reasonable expectation. (And I’m not even sure why, honestly.) I found out on our last bout that 3 houses wiped me out for a couple of days. No, I do not understand why. Yes, I’d be amenable to guesses or explanations. I’ve talked to other people and the tiring seems to be universal, but no one tells me why. House hunting after a couple of days drive, and then driving all over between far flung locations, and seeing a minimum of 5 houses a day while sleeping on a strange mattress was…. uh.
The weird thing is I didn’t feel the tiredness while it was happening. I realized I was tired on the way up. I was not doing my share of driving, because my glasses hadn’t come in, and seriously, my depth perception was terrible. So I had no idea where I was on the road. So, I’d planned to give a friend a detailed critique I’d promised her. And I found I couldn’t read or think, so I ended up working on a crochet curtain, which only involved counting.
Now we’re facing getting this house ready to go up by July 1st but realistically, more like June 20th. And there’s so much to do, and the last two days have been consumed with things like “Wow the house is a nineties time capsule and I never even thought about it, because, who cares, but…”
BUT I still have my real work to do, including the now overdue next Barbarella script. And during the drive up I finally figured out who done it in the cursed book, which is good, because I’d been interrupted so much I lost the thread, and you can’t do that in a mystery, even an sf one. So I need to close that off finally.
So, let’s say falling asleep on my face at around 12 pm is not helping. And then I turn mawkish and go “I am getting old”.
But again, I’m not even sure that’s true. You know, the last interstate move wiped me out for three months, and I was then but 30 years old.
Hey, at least now, I have a full grown son, for now still with us, who is willing to help with the massive task of culling, sorting and getting things painted and staged. For a change, this is the hyper organized son, so he has lists and is driving this. I am, as always, the creative and “let’s tell a story with staging” person.
Thinking about that there is a symmetry to this, under the idea (innate to all writers) that my life is a book the Author is writing. We lived in another state before having children, moved to Colorado to be parents and raise the boys. And we’re now moving away to the next phase of our lives. For now with a son, (We moved to CO with a son too) but expecting him to fly in free in tops three years (yes, there are reasons. No. No one’s business.)
And what comes next? Well, I know what my upbringing and culture tell me to expect next. I remember very quiet houses, where people slowly faded away, livened only by occasional visits from the outside.
I don’t think that’s what’s ahead for us.
Why not? Well, mostly because our work, what we are for isn’t done. And I’m not saying this because I feel we’re either of us terribly important, more like we always felt we were here to do some things. In my case, write books (the blog was mission creep. I don’t know why. But I was obviously given it as a task.) In Dan’s case writing and music, and who knows what the mission creep will be.
Well, with one thing and another, mostly two things — the sons — we have barely started. So we’re not going to hide in a corner and fade away.
Yes, I do realize that our vigor/health is likely to continue decaying, but I intend to walk a lot, and go back on the diet again, because this weight is not acceptable. And slow the decaying. At any rate, my health has always been such a mess that old age holds few terrors. And the auto-immune seems to slow down at low altitude.
Today it occurred to me that I don’t — literally — know what comes next on the personal end. Oh, we’ll have the kids. We intend to drive the (mumble) hours from the new place and kidnap son and dil for dinner once a month or so. And for now younger son is with us, but should he move away, we fully intend to inflict ourselves on him often enough to enjoy his company, while hopefully not making him feel he can’t fly free. And we have a ton of friends, but they’re on line, mostly.
I mean, we had a group of friends when we were childless, which faded away before we moved. Then we had friends as parents. Our group in Colorado has dwindled and our lives rarely allow us to see them.
Will there be friends in the new place? Or will we be the old people who die in the house and get eaten by cats without anyone knowing? Yes, that does worry me somewhat.
On the other hand–
On the other hand, for a little while at least, we’ll be the old people writing madly and (in my case. At least until husband has knee replacement which the lockdown stopped) taking walks all over, and driving off to explore little museums and such.
It’s a new beginning. A beginning for what I don’t know, but a new one.
Right now, I have a cursed book — and a script — to finish today. And then a lot of time of packing and culling and….
Oh, and Byron’s poem that started this is below, but read past it, because there’s something a lot of you need at the end.
So, we’ll go no more a roving
So late into the night,
Though the heart be still as loving,
And the moon be still as bright.
For the sword outwears its sheath,
And the soul wears out the breast,
And the heart must pause to breathe,
And love itself have rest.
Though the night was made for loving,
And the day returns too soon,
Yet we’ll go no more a roving
By the light of the moon.
NOW ON A DIFFERENT NOTE, Y’ALL NEED THIS. DEAR LORD, Y’ALL NEED THIS.
M. C. A. Hogarth, a frequent commenter here, dropped something about how she loved blurbs, and I asked her for a guest post, because mine SUCK. And yours (I have read them on promo posts, remember?) might at times manage to be worse. Which is REALLY hard.
In fairness to all of us, traditional publishing is also horrendous at this.
Anyway, Jaguar (M. C. A. Hogarth) wrote me a guest post. Which made me realize how I’m even worse than I thought at blurbs. But also gave me hope, because she gives a formula, which makes it easier. I’ll confess my problems with blurbs come in part from dad’s family culture of “We’re too upscale to sell anything” and partly because it feels like bragging, which is a cardinal sin for the culture I was raised in.
Yes, I’m aware it’s stupid.
Anyway, I put the post in MGC where it’s center-mass for the readers, but I know many of you NEED THIS. So you should head over and do it.
And my task list just grew a “write new blurbs for everything.” subheading.
An excerpt below:
I love blurb writing.
I know, it sounds crazy. But blurbs, like movie trailers with those fantastic voiceovers, are a mini-genre of their own, one short enough that you can practice and improve quickly. The dividends of these efforts are great… a good blurb attracts the right kind of readers to your book (the primary reason, certainly). But learning to blurb also makes you sensitive to what makes your story special, and it’s fun… a chance to make your art sound as exciting to strangers as you feel it is to yourself. Since so many of you here are writers, I thought I’d offer some thoughts on how to tackle this marketing mini-genre.