Repost from one of my old blogs. Originally posted on July 17, 2019.
In 2019 I participated in an online writing workshop with Amherst Writer’s and Artists. One of these days I will be able to afford to take the certification classes to run my own workshops. We would get a starting line and then run with it.
This is one of the prompts we were given.
It takes a while for our experience to sift through our consciousness…
Like when I gave birth to my son and experienced post-partum depression. All you know is the moment. It makes perfect sense tat the time. The, a few years later, you see the pictures. Read the words you wrote. Remember some of what you said or why you make certain decisions and you realize how things truly were.
It made sense to me to be overprotective. It made sense to me to not ever let him out of my sight. Now, 14 years later, that very first year is a blur. I have little memory of our first year together as mother and son, as a family other than it being hard, that it was too much. That I wanted to leave.
I don’t have the same problem with my daughter. I knew how hard it had been the firs time. I sought help, got better. I remember. I will always regret not getting help with my son. Then again, I do remember trying. I remember telling the doctor and being told I had to go elsewhere for help. I remember being devastated.
The funny thing is how trauma sifts through the filter of time. How a young love was toxic, but realized too late. How stubbornness was really helplessness. How things were much worse than they seemed.
The good thing is how it allows you to forgive yourself. To not make the same mistakes. To learn and do better. Maya Angelou once said, “When you know better, you do better.” It is in the distance that we learn.
So, I didn’t win NaNoWriMo, but to be fair that is a pretty tough challenge. Especially if you are coming out of the gate from finishing an MFA and having to write your novel thesis like a bat out of hell.
That novel will never see the light of day. I needed to write it, but the farther I am away from it, the more I realize that it was meant to be only what it was and not published.
Enter the new WIP. Science fiction about people in space. I thought I would share a line or two of the 20k I have done (I have written more, but some of it I am not sure were to put and some if it is for another book in the series this should be so…anyway).
It’s a letter from my MC’s dad to her after his death.
My dearest Jewel.
How I have loved to watch you grow into the bright young woman you are. Your mother would have been so proud of you and all you have accomplished. You have her grace, you know? She always said you got your smarts from me, but you have her grace. She was a free spirit as well. She seemed as if she would float on the surface of the world, much like you do.
Do you remember the ship you wanted to build when you were a little girl? You said you wanted to live in space and always had the most wonderful ideas of how to get there. I never wanted to hold you back and so let your mind run with all the wonderful ideas. I remember working long into the nigh with you on your ship design. Your mother would often scold me to make you go to bed. I knew better. You could never sleep if you had an idea in your head. You called it Lotus after the flowers the Buddhist monks had in their temple on the Daikini. The ones that grew in the mud.
Well, my dearest treasure, I have started it for you. It took some work to get some of the algorithms right, but I think I may have worked it out how the engine will work with the solar sails. The skeleton of the thing is done, she just needs a little clothing and a crew smart enough to keep her disciplined.
I am afraid that I will not be able to see you finish it. I wanted to present you with what I had done on your birthday, but the physicians seem to think I do not have that long. So, I have no choice but to write this letter to you and give you my blessing. Your design is brilliant and I have no doubt that she will take you far.
Go sparkle and shine among the stars, my Jewel.
My love, always