Posted by: Elizabeth Anne Mitchell | August 10, 2014

Tackling the Augean Stables

It is going to be 87 F degrees today, so I will offer a contrast that may help me accept the discomfort.

Feb15 snow 2This is a picture from my backdoor last February 15th.  It was one of those beautiful sunny days that often follow snow and wind.  Okay, now that I’ve cooled off, I can think again.

Although I do not recommend taking on huge cleaning projects in 80+ degree weather, I have been anxious to set up my office, which I ceded to my son two years ago.  I don’t know about y’all, but I find cleaning like following Ariadne’s thread. One thing leads to twenty others that should be done as well. In order to move my desk out of the master bedroom, I needed to rearrange the bed and dresser in my son’s room, which made my husband look covetously at the dresser, which meant cleaning out our closet, finally packing away the winter clothes, bagging the too-small clothes that we refuse to save in hope, laundering the (without hyperbole) twenty-something unmatched socks that were under aforementioned son’s bed and dresser, and a thorough scouring of both bedrooms.  Augean stables?  Definitely a bit cleaner, but just as big a job.

Thankfully, although my head still spins when I pick something off the floor, or stand up too fast, the vertigo is not interfering overmuch these days. My hay fever is epic, so colleagues at the day job stay several feet from me, disbelieving my protests that I’m not contagious.

I’ve given up on PT, sadly, but the bright side of the coin is that I’m usually writing during the time I would have been at PT.  I am still meditating and still doing baby yoga. The biggest change is the buzz of writing, constantly on a sub-channel of my brain.  It’s been such a long time since I’ve felt that, I am fiercely joyous. I have stopped playing computer games, I have pared my “must-see” TV down to a minimum, and I keep thinking about characters and plots during the boring parts of day job meetings.

So far, it is all disorganized: snippets of ideas, things to look into, possible character backgrounds. I get discouraged, to be honest, but I have to remind myself to look back at the wasteland of the last few years, and see the change. When I’m not writing, I want to write.  I don’t care that most of it will be subsumed into back story and never see the light of day.  I still want to take my muse out for a welcome home dinner.

Thank you to all my ROW80 friends for sticking with me.  Please join me in visiting and encouraging them here.

smaller EM

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Responses

  1. I hope you’re writing down all of this stuff that you think of during meetings. I got some of my best thinking done in half-dark rooms while one manager after another droned on to accompany his PowerPoint presentation. Kept me from going to sleep, and I looked like I was taking notes.

    May your writing keep buzzing along!

    • Thanks, John. I love the idea of taking notes during PowerPoints–and here I thought librarians had invented the “read from the PowerPoint” meeting. Writing is so much more productive than my instinctive response: “Hey, I learned to read a few decades ago. Could we move on??” Playing Angry Birds gets one in trouble, too. 😦

      May you have a wonderful buzzing rest of the week, too!

  2. That’s the way with big cleaning projects. One thing leads to another….

    Yes, definitely write down those ideas like John said. I’ve failed to do that in the past and lost the thread. 😦

    • Why is it, Lauralynn? But you’re right, cleaning is like pulling that loose thread, and then all of a sudden, the whole dang hem comes out!

      I used to think I could remember my story ideas, and maybe in my twenties, I could. Now I can’t walk from the living room to the kitchen and remember what I went there to do! Ideas and connections are still popping–nothing has coalesced into sentences and paragraphs yet, but I’m so excited to have words streaming through me, I wouldn’t dream of complaining yet!

  3. My husband doesn’t get why I dread cleaning thing so… For him, it’s “this needs doing: toss anything that doesn’t belong in this place in a box and deal with it later”. For me? It’s involved him losing things on me for months or once even having a bag of peaches rot over books and clothing because he just tossed said box in the hall and forgot it there for weeks.

    I’ve learned it’s best to follow him around when he’s gets the cleaning bug, exhausting as that can be. I also dread leaving the house for any amount of time to visit friends or family for the same reason.

    But… at least you have your office back, right?

    And the ideas…. yes. Definitely the ideas. Write them down, definitely. Even if they never come to fruition…. (though they will in some form). Besides, backstory is hugely important. It almost always shows when there isn’t enough.


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