Dad holding me when I was five.

I was away for awhile. My father’s health was failing rapidly, and I went to be with him when he died. Then I took a month off of writing. I am also a singer, and I found that my voice needed to come out in song to heal me before I could use it to write again. I have written only four thousand words this past week, but they have been good words.

Since I am working with a publishing company and editor already, I have kept the editing process a bit close. My book needed an adjustment to the story arc which resulted in a lot of additional words and several other changes. I’m using the same methods as before to smush loads of editing time into my hectic schedule (full time SAHM, part time opera singer with lots of fall performances, volunteering in church and community). I aim to write an hour or at least 1,000 words/day. When I am at about 3,000 words into a session, I stay up late to write to the end of the chapter. My chapters tend to be about 5,000 words long.

I have felt my grief soften in the face of the disciplines of singing and writing. Discipline is perhaps the most important part of writing. No matter one’s pace, committing to actually write each day is absolutely vital. I find myself seeing through more and more joyful windows into my memories of Dad. The words on the page reflect the clearing of my heart.

One day, we were driving down a dirt road towards our family’s hunting acres way out in the sticks. The car was small, an old Chevette, I think. At any rate, the herd of deer that leaped over us did not seem challenged by its size. To see from below the glorious power of so many running deer caught our breath away. We watched them gallop proud across a wide pasture and into the woods.

Writing lifts the shades to let me see afresh. It sharpens the gold of the evening sun across the autumn field, deepens the untamed expression of the bucks. My own heart grows fierce in the face of parting, stealing the joy from the gleam of deer in flight.

I snap my laptop closed each night and think of such scenes.