Thank you for awaiting my return … I needed some time off because I was experiencing a deep and lingering sadness over the passing of my father.
Recently I watched BBC’s Larkrise to Candleford television series, and there is a line one character says in speaking of his worries over someone’s health, and he recalls the passing of his own mother. He says something along the lines of, “I know what it is like to have the sunshine go out of life,” … something like that.
I found that to be just what I was feeling about my father. He was a major part of my life, always had been. His mission in life was very important to me, one I embraced from an early age. We did many, many things together over the span of quite a few years. We shared so many dreams of things to do in the future — and we tended to share those dreams every day as we spoke on the phone, shared emails, and considered the future — too much for it all to vanish without a great deal of sorrow and a feeling as if the sunshine had gone out.
Of course, I do know he is not the only source of sunshine in my life and I know logically, analytically I cannot allow sorrow to rule the day or become what my life is about. That would not be right, and I know it … like I said, logically.
But, sorrow is sorrow. It isn’t something you can just will yourself to no longer feel.
What I was able to do, however, was to just tell myself one day that it was time to create joy again, to feel joy and to make life. My family and friends are depending on me to shine a light toward joy, to continue to be, I suppose, a source of sunshine just as my father was and to shine brightly because people need that in their lives. We all need that from each other, don’t we.
So, I am back to shining. I allow myself to grieve when I feel the need, but I push on through and get back to experiencing the joy of life, the joy of creating, all the smiles that go along with that.
Speaking of joy, we had a completely beautiful winter, with snow falls that were more pristine than I recall them being other years. There is something extra special about a heavy snow that falls windless, leaving every limb and needle of trees and shrubs bowing down under the load of a perfect clump of snow. This year’s snowfall more often than not did just that, and the snow was deep and smooth and all together lovely.
It is always pleasant and a little bit thrilling to get close to the return of spring, of sunshine and warmth, youthful yellow-green sprouting of leaves, the first little flowers coming up close to the ground. I do love that thrill, but I also would not mind having one more good snow storm this month as a final farewell to this year’s perfect winter.
Snow, do you hear me? I am calling.
Sidebar: I wrote this post yesterday at about 3:30 in the morning. It ended up snowing all day long. There wasn’t any real accumulation, but still. It snowed. All day long. Hmm, I suppose the snow did hear me calling. Thank you, snow.
Meanwhile, what have I been up to other than what I have described above?
I have continued on with the writing of my novel, and am finding the process of creating a novel to be one that is full of surprises and amazing experiences. First of all, there is the planning and I completely loved the planning stage.
I had to work out how the story was going to end, and from there work my way backward through it to figure out the plot line. At times I went back to the start, and moved forward then I went again to the end and worked my way back some more. Along the way, I inevitably worked out more of the details of the characters and got to know them better.
I love this process because you start out with an idea, a very rough concept that is sort of a story in a bubble in your mind (I say “you” and “your” — but it is “I” and “my”). I assume other writers have the same thing that goes on with them, it feels as if it would be this way naturally not just for me.
Anyway, in the beginning there is the rough idea and in a way it is the whole story in one fell swoop, in a bubble in my mind. There are not, at that point, details and though I can feel the story there, and it feels complete in that bubble, the truth is it is germinating or something. I think that is the way of it, it is like a living thing that is complete but hasn’t fully developed yet — just like a chick in an egg or a human baby right after conception. The body hasn’t grown, the limbs have not fully emerged, the personality has not revealed itself, and the details of the life that will be lived are not filled in — yet, the life is there as a whole thing in a bubble.
As I go along, working on the plan and characters, one of the characters will reveal herself or himself to me and I will think, “Oh, I get it … that’s why you are that way. I see now,” and things about the story or the characters unfold to me. It isn’t like I sit there and have to think hard to make things up, I just set my mind in the direction of my story or one of the characters and the details sort of materialize into existence.
I know I am creating it, and I am responsible for the direction of the story, the intent, etc. but it isn’t anything I am having to force or push this way or that. I just open myself up to it and it comes out and the things that open up to me this way about the story or the characters tends to be the really good stuff, like the gold that is found in a rich vein in a mountain.
Some of the process is work, some of it is play, and I love every bit of it. My only regret is that I cannot devote more hours in a day to the creating of my story.
Concurrent with writing the story, I am developing knitting patterns to go along with it, because the main characters are involved together in a knitting group and there are aspects of their relationship to each other as friends who knit that are key to the story. There will be at least one pattern per character that I will release so that people can, if they choose, knit similar items and perhaps feel an extra connection with the characters because of being able to share in their reality in this way. I think this is an interesting opportunity for me as a writer, and for my knitting readers.
So far, I have designed a pair of leg warmers (I have to knit the second one still), a cowl (in the photo at the top of this post), a hat, and a neck warmer. The cowl, hat, and neck warmer are a coordinated set that have been a complete pleasure to knit using the Fisherman’s Rib stitch pattern — something I think you will all love very much.
My four year old grand daughter got hold of my cowl one day and put it on and lo, and behold if it didn’t look like a wonderful little cape on her. It fit her perfectly, hugged her shoulders and draped just right. I plan on putting it out there as a versatile piece that could be a cozy little self-wrapping cape for a little girl or a cowl for a lady. My daughter fell in love with it both when she saw me model it and when she saw her little one wearing it and asked that I knit them a matching set to wear together next winter.
The patterns from the story will be released about the same time as the book, which I aim to have ready and published electronically for Kindle and other eBook readers by early October of this year. Some of the patterns will be free, some will be paid and all will have a special connection to the story line and the characters involved in the story.
I am up early this morning; it is just now only 4:45 a.m., so I have been up quite some time. I’m going to end off here and wish you a fine day.
Thank you for reading.
I will make every attempt to write more regularly once again, and to continue to add my bit to the shining of the sun in life each and every day.
A bit more of good news and joy: my mother will come to visit with us for the entire month of April. It will be so good to see her again, and to see her here. My son will also arrive in April, so we will have a full house and plenty of opportunities to create and share joy.
Joy to you, and joy to the world.