Temble, my lovelies. Tremble, for I’m back. Ever since my last post a year ago almost to the day, a lot has happened.
I’ve learned to knit. I’ve travelled to Japan. My spouse has been very, very ill. I’ve grown my hair. My books have started to appear in iTunes. My cover designs are doing dementedly well, for reasons I still can’t explain. It’s been a busy, busy year.
But no writing.
I’ve always told myself I’d never be too busy for writing. Well, it’s happened. I have been. Plus, to be completly honest, writing is hard, and I had been doing it for many, many years. Nights at the computer, days spent on too little sleep, getting stuff lost and walking around yawning and making no sense (or less than usual, eh). I was tired in every sense and every way. After a while, it became easier to just not write. No more. I want to write again. My hands get itchy every time I put my fingers to the keyboard, even if it’s to write a quick email. So two weeks ago, I made a decision to come back to my first love. And wouldn’t you know that I sat there, afraid and nervous and completely rusted, and stared intently at the blank screen for a good half hour. Page blanche is never something I struggled with. But that first time two weeks ago was the hardest. My best friend said don’t try to plot or make sense, just write. Write anything. Write the first thing that pops into your mind. So I wrote this (unedited, rough and scruffy, but there you have it):
Tufts of grass flew behind her heels as she jumped over the rocks and roots. Treetops seemed to meet above the trail. Like gnarled hands steepled in prayer. Above, clouds rolled on, oblivious to the events below. She had been running for what felt like years. Maybe it had just been minutes. Branches whipped her across the face, caught in the sleeves of her open jacket. She had half a mind of just tossing the damn thing but thought better of it. She would need it that night. As she had the night before.
Always look back. Never stop running.
The sound of water gurgling proved too much to resist and she angled her shoulders to the right, let gravity partially support her as she stumbled-jogged down a slight decline. Pushing through thick undergrowth, she reached the river edge. More like a brook. Ten feet wide, if that. But the current looked strong and the water clear. She gratefully sank to her knees and cupped her hands. Ice-cold water burned her lips and stung like an electrical shock to the gums. But it felt so good. She drank until her belly ached, then drank some more. It had been the first source of trusty-looking water she had come across since…
Don’t think about him.
Wiping her hands on her jeans, she put the river to her left and resumed a slow, careful trot along its soft, sandy edge. No use getting hurt or doing something stupid. A large fallen tree required that she slow down a bit, taking measured steps to avoid dangerous and sharp stumps. She already sported a collection of bruises and cuts from various run-ins with trees and other obstacles. Plus the marks he had left. Those were more than contusions though. They said mental wounds never really went away. She rubbed hair out of her face. While she had been with him, her hair had grown past her shoulders. She wondered if her friends would recognize her. The thought made her smile. She missed them all so much. Tears stung her eyes. Focus. Just keep running. That river ought to lead somewhere.
Maybe this is going somewhere. Maybe this is the first zombie-shuffle of a story. Or maybe it’s just so I re-learn all my tricks (folks say you never forget to bike once you’ve learned…yeah, maybe, but you fall on your face a lot the first few times you come back to it). I’m at that stage. Falling on my face.