Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Dialing and Redialing

Today is Sign Up Day for Lifetime Friends of The Clearing, so I have been dialing and redialing since 8 AM and finally got through (but I think I'm getting a blister on my button-pushing finger). Of course, some... some... someone got first dibs on the sole single room allocated to the class I signed up for (Women's Writing Retreat), so I had to agree to a double, but I have every hope that my wishes will prevail and I'll get a single room. I told Tammy I'll even take #2 which is the smallest and darkest room; I'm not proud. Last night I thought about getting up at the crack of dawn and driving up there to be on the porch and register in person at the stroke of 8, but decided against it. Next time I'm going to listen to my gut.

I need to renew my commitment to writing, to making time for it, and pushing myself to do the hard work of it. I've got a severe case of the mid-winter blahs and doing anything is an uphill battle these days. This time of year I'm all about the path of least resistance. Today is about veering off that path and stomping my footprints in the untouched snow in a different direction. I think I'll go to the office store and get a presentation board and use Post-Its to plot out the scenes of my novel and find a place to add some tension, a little frustration, conflict even. All part of my "no more Mrs. Nice Guy" resolution of a few weeks ago.

February 15--Loiza, Puerto Rico. Raul and Perez ran down through the palms,dodging rocks and vines that threatened to trip them up. Their breath came in chest-heaving gasps and sweat rolled down their faces. The day looked deceptively peaceful, the sky was a clear blue dotted with puffy, white clouds and the blue green sea lapped softly against the yellow sand, but under the trees and in the hills behind them there was no peace. Raul had been a farmer content to till his small plot in the valley over the first rank of hills less than a month ago. he had worked hard to grow a little sugar cane to sell at the mill, with a pig to slaughter at the end of the year, and a few chickens for eggs and Sunday supper clucking in the yard of his small house. Then Perez showed up in the cantina in the village with a pocket full of seeds and stories of men who would pay big money for the buds of the hemp he could grow. Greed and liquor clouded Raul's mind and he agreed to help Perez make his plan into reality. At first things went well, life stayed quiet in Raul's little valley, then as harvest time approached, hard-eyed men with fists to match showed up. The government agents weren't far behind and now Raul and Perez were on the run. As they stumbled out onto the sand of the narrow beach they realized that they had nearly run out of island too.

Well, this is fun. Is there a boat out there in the shallows to take them away? Will they be caught, men with guns in front and the sea at their backs? Beats me. Another one that needs coming back to.

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