Follow your bliss

What seems like several months ago, I made the decision to not work so hard.  With the writing, of course, not that I bust my butt with housework.  (Note I never share any snaps of my shower.)  The house is clean; I’m the type that pulls out the big tidying guns when guests are coming.  But with writing, editing, formatting…  I’m a bit of an overachiever, or I just don’t like being bored.  (I wonder why I’m not that motivated when it comes to dusting, hmmm…)  Either way, I work, a lot.  When my husband leaves for the day, I sit down, cuppa in hand, and get right to whichever novel is waiting.

When my daughter got married last summer, I took off three weeks for the pre and post wedding festivities.  And other than dreaming about her wedding for what felt like weeks on end after it was done, I also noted how nice it was not to, ahem, write, edit, format.  That scared me at first; what the heck?  Then once I slipped back into the routine, which took no time at all, I started pondering why I was doing this, what it meant to me.  At the time I was switching to WordPress after years on Blogger, grappling with addressing mail to my daughter’s new last name, all sorts of changes.  But with the Alvin’s Farm series winding down, the end of summer and autumn went ahead at full speed.  Slowing down seemed ages away.

I took some time off for Christmas, but not until Christmas Eve, releasing The Timeless Nature of Patience that morning.  And by Boxing Day (26 December), well, I squeezed in a chapter on the novel I did finish on New Year’s Eve.  Then I hurt my back, maybe that was a warning; slow down woman!  I felt better the next morning, was completely back to normal on the second of January, prepping the latest project.  Penny Angel started with sixteen lengthy chapters, now has twenty-eight ranging from 2-4 K.  I began the actual edits yesterday, after listening to a plethora of tunes by The B-52s.  Today’s title is one of those songs, a whimsical instrumental with some lovely vocal effects by Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson.  I used that song, and others, to get into the editing mood.  And by around two that afternoon, with a long break for lunch (had to feed the hummingbirds), I was done for the day.

Often I talk about songs; music is the other half of my creative lifeblood.  I spent the afternoon folding towels (laundry doesn’t fall under the dreaded housework title, probably because I don’t own an iron) and listening to more from Kate and Cindy, Fred Schneider and Keith Strickland, and the late Ricky Wilson.  Ricky died in 1985 from AIDS-related illnesses, and the band didn’t learn he was sick until nearly the end of his life.  Not even his sister Cindy was aware; Kate Pierson said it was that he didn’t want them fussing over him.  I considered that as I stacked hand towels and washcloths; “Follow Your Bliss” is from Cosmic Thing, the first album made after Ricky died.

Cosmic Thing was released in 1989, four years after Bouncing off the Satellites, the last B-52s record Ricky Wilson contributed to.  He was thirty-two at his death, which now seems very young to me.   At the time, I was not even twenty, and by the time Cosmic Thing came out in 1989, I was a mother.   My eldest probably doesn’t know that album very well, not only because she was a baby, but that by the time she was cognizant of the music we listened to, I wasn’t playing much from The B-52s.  It was just a whim yesterday, picking that band, that one song.  But it stuck with me all day long.

Writing, blogging too, is my joy.  But it needs balance, maybe because I’m not as young as I used to be, or maybe I’m adopting my housework sucks mantra to other parts of my life.  Not that writing and editing are a drag, not at all, but time is precious, and precarious; the hummingbird outside my window flits, parks his tiny behind, slurps a little, then swoops off, all in seconds.  Just seconds but I watch as often as he dives in, for his minute presence is one of those little gifts.  Writing is a bigger treasure, but it’s not here and gone.  It’s not a hummingbird.

I knew 2013 was going to be a transforming year; no more Alvin, for which I am still a bit sad.  (Been reading Timeless Nature the last few days, finding a typo, man, they are impossible to fully remove!)  Penny Angel is also a great tale; once I finish this post, I’ll swoop in for a few chapters.  But my husband is off  work today, and once he sorts the budget, well, the day is ours.  Before, I would have kept my nose to the grindstone, or pressed against the monitor, but life is made up of so many pieces.  When he’s at work, or on one of his marathon walks, I have all the hours available to read over documents.  But my feet are plenty wet with indie publishing, goodness knows I have enough manuscripts in the hard drive to keep me busy for a decade or more.  Those are blessings too, they are.  Still, who can argue with the presence of a loved one, or the momentary gift of a rather aggressive, thinks he’s actually a Klingon hummingbird.

Today I’m going to follow my bliss, wherever it might lead.  And if by God’s grace, and sense of humour, I find myself cleaning the shower, so be it.  Stranger things have happened; I am an indie novelist, you know.

(And now that I’ve mastered adding music to a post, expect further tunes down the road, heh heh heh…)

About Anna Scott Graham

I'm an independent poet and novelist in addition to sharing my life with a wonderful man, various kids, several hummingbirds, and a plethora of plants inside and out. View all posts by Anna Scott Graham

23 responses to “Follow your bliss

  • charlottecarrendar

    I hope you will be happy that I have nominated you for The Beautiful Blogger Award. The rules that come with the award are:
    1. Post the award on your page.
    2. Link back the person who nominated you.
    3. Tell seven facts about yourself.
    4. Nominate seven bloggers and let them know they have been nominated.
    My reasons for nominating the seven blogs are listed in my post. http://charlottecarrendar.com/2013/01/07/a-very-proud-spider-the-beautiful-bloggers-award-nomination/

  • change it up editing

    I think you have it just right: find your bliss where and when you can–and that’s often very different from where and when others find theirs. Found you through Jill’s nomination–and you absolutely deserve it! I can’t wait to read more of your writing! –Candace

  • Jill Weatherholt

    Oh, how I miss my hummingbirds during the winter months. Happy New Year, Anna! I’ve nominated you for an award: http://jillweatherholt.wordpress.com/2013/01/05/blogging-buds

  • lisalday111711

    You are living the dream that I have had for as long as I can remember. Maybe one day I will have the fortitude to try it….soon. As far as hummingbirds on Catalina I was known as the hummingbird whisperer. I had to fill two huge hummingbird feeders twice a day and went through a lot of sugar. I had so many at any given time tourist would walk by my house and just stop to take a ton pf pictures. They were little Allen Hummingbirds and they became my friends
    Lisa

    • Anna Scott Graham

      I had never seen a hummingbird until we came back from Britain, and they are the most engaging creatures to watch; their size impresses, so does their tenacity. I see them right out my window where I sit to write, like some blessing every time one approaches. :)

  • wordsurfer

    I so enjoy reading your posts. And I think it’s really cool that you have a hummingbird that comes to visit your window! We just have a blackbird claiming our garden as his territory. Although in the spring, we’re back to dragonflies, and that’s pretty cool. …. where was I? … Ah yes, the music. Interesting. I never knew they made that kinda sound, because the only song I knew was the one that everyone knows (Love Shack) and that’s very different. I liked this. It’s soothing, a Sunday morning tune, I think.

    • Anna Scott Graham

      I enjoy reading your posts too! I had never seen hummingbirds until one visited a few years back. We bought a feeder, and now they’re here year-round. :)

      “Follow Your Bliss is definitely a Sunday morning song; calm and hopeful, also upbeat, very quietly inspiring. They have some fab tunes.

  • diannegray

    I love this ‘bliss’ post, Anna!

    There are so many things that are constantly thrown at us to distract us from the bliss – it’s very illusive.

    (PS – I find typos in so many books and magazines that it really worries me about how many must be in my books!)

    • Anna Scott Graham

      Thanks Dianne. I should put a post-it note on my monitor that says BLISS. Truly, if I just open my eyes, it’s everywhere I go.

      Like typos, I think! :) I just smiled, and rolled my eyes. Always one (sometimes two) slips in a book. Keeps me humble, that’s for sure! :)

  • MrsSmithsJourney

    “Follow your bliss!” Excellent!
    I must be on a similar track, as far as work goes. Two days ago, I had an epiphany: “Since working like a dog is not getting me what I want (i.e happy children, strong family relationships, etc…), then WHY am I working like a dog?” Now, I am reassessing everything I do and trying to find the value in it. I am interested to see where this ends up. :o)

    Blessings to you!

    • Anna Scott Graham

      I find life a funny little struggle at times; I know I’m blessed, but why do I (still) get so cranky over silly things? I want to appreciate these gifts, not lose sight of how valuable and precious they are.

      Blessings to you too!

      • Jill Weatherholt

        My heart is breaking for RG3. I’m almost ashamed to call myself a fan. He should have been pulled from the game earlier. This is one game for the team, for RG3, it’s his future. He could be doing permanent damage.

      • Anna Scott Graham

        We agree; he should have left at halftime, but having watched plenty of Shanahan in Denver, sometimes not all the best decisions are made. I’ll be praying for RGIII to heal quickly and fully; he’s such a tremendously talented young man!

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