Posted by: Elizabeth Anne Mitchell | April 22, 2012

Check-in April 22 Tending the Sparks

Today is Earth Day. Here in upstate New York, it is cool, breezy, and has been raining quite hard all day. The postage-stamp sized garden I’ve planted in front of the house needs the rain, so I am not really complaining. In addition, western New York is getting snow, so I REALLY cannot complain.

So, what has been going on since Wednesday? Not enough of some things and too much of others. My sons have asked to come to live with us two weeks earlier than originally planned. While I am flattered, it does mean that I have exactly two weekend days after today to get things ready, rather than six. Eek! On the whole, I’m pleased. They understand that they will not walk into a perfect house (ha! Like they ever did that!), and will have to pitch in to help move furniture, organize the garage and sort things out.

As for my test mile, I’ve been working on the academic article, so that has been a good thing. I have been gratified that creative ideas have not taken offense to being shelved, but continue to fall like sparks in a dark night. I wrap them in straw, blow on them gently and put them into a fire pit. I visit and warm my hands on them while they wait for me.

What I have learned:  My process seems to be working for me. I’m gratified that my creative ideas have not abandoned me, even when I have felt that I have abandoned them.

 Further, I need to stay connected with the ROW80 and my other creative communities. I’ve been away from Twitter and everyone’s blogs more than I would like recently. I need to make time for that interaction, because it is important for my well-being.

 As part of this community support, please encourage the other ROWers here.

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Responses

  1. The Test Mile is a great tool for seeing how much we can do, isn’t it? And it’s always great to know the writing will always be there, even if we can’t be for a while. Good luck this week!

  2. I love that you are tending your sparks. Not only will they be there, well cared for and warming you up while you tend to the business stuff, and it will likely also freshen the academic writing.

    I don’t have a garden, yet – but I have happy chives, oregano, strawberries, garlic, asparagus, paperwhites, lilacs, grape hyacinths, and johhny jump-ups.

    The tulips, hollyhocks,irises, hostas, tiger lilies, and mystery yellow flowers are on deck, waiting their turn….

    Maybe I do have a garden, after all! =)

  3. “Tending to your sparks” is such a lovely, evocative metaphor, and definitely captures a lot of what I’ve been feeling with my own writing. I had all of these lofty ambitions to write something like 1500 words a day, but I think I need to take things down a peg or two and aim for a smaller test mile, that way I’m at least getting *something* done. Have a wonderful week, my friend!

  4. Lovely – tending your sparks. Really like the visual that presents. Glad your process is working for you. I’m still working on my test mile. Need to find some writing prompts for sparks while editing. Realized I could use them to write about my current characters and it might just add fuel to the story. Your sparks are spreading. 🙂 Definitely get your boys to help do some of the work. No sense in you doing it all.


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