ROW80, WIPpet Wednesday

Row80 Checkin and WIPpet Wednesday

My Row80 check-in is below, beginning with the blue RoW80 goals. My WIPpet Wednesday offering is below, beginning with the green WIPpet Wednesday.

For the past week, I have been a packing fool. Well, actually, a recycling, pay-it-forward fool. I have rid the house of enough paper to insulate a small house, given away enough too-small clothing to endow a village, and sent enough yarn to my niece to keep her knitting for a couple of years. How does it feel? Like the weight of twenty boxes of books have been lifted off my chest. I greatly appreciate all the advice I received on my last post to let go of things (I’m looking at you, Karen!) I do think I was ready for this divestment, because I am finding it easier to let go of things I have hung onto for years. I am finally looking at what works for me now, not what I wanted to have around me twenty years ago.  The treadle sewing machine?  It can delight someone else; my in-law’s bedroom furniture will be a perfect fit for someone else’s tastes more than mine. I am keeping small things–a few pieces of my mother’s jewelry, my father’s wedding band–evocative in ways that other things are not.

Although I have been madly uncluttering, my writing is not far from me. I feel I am creating space for it, in a way I have not been able for several years.  My younger son asked to have my writing desk, and I feel it offers us both a new start in the new house. I am looking forward to creating a space that will be calm, inviting, and inspiring.

For WIPpet Wednesday, I dusted off a piece that has been dormant for more than a year.  I have been trying to get into the head of my English war bride, not very successfully.  I’m still telling more than showing, I fear.  Here are 16 very rough sentences from a scene where the main characters have been dating for a few months.  John asks Helen about her plans for the future, after the war, and she responds with “a husband and children.”

Suddenly it felt as though my heart shifted, literally shifted place in my chest, as if someone had reached in and settled it more firmly in place. This man, this husband, this father of my children.  It rose up from someplace deep within me—my heart, my soul, I do not know, but I felt the surety of it, and it scared the hell out of me.  I wasn’t ready for this.  I started to shiver like I was in shock.  John folded me into his arms; I felt so protected, so safe, so loved.

“You’re cold,” he said.

“I’m not cold.”

“But you’re shaking.”

Yes, I was shaking, but I could not tell him why.  I could not even look at him, afraid that he would see my heart in my eyes, and somehow everything would change.  I wasn’t ready.

“You’re scared.”

Damn it all to hell.  There was nowhere to hide. “Yes, I am.”

So, RoW80 goals. I am in the boring part of the non-fiction piece, checking footnotes and  compiling. all the various files I have created through the years, so although it isn’t new writing it circles the writing and gives it space and context. I continue to be utterly horrible at check-ins. I first typed I didn’t know what the problem is, but I do. I am so busy with things that are not creative, but I suppose I should concentrate on how it is all clearing space for creativity. Even so, I struggle with feeling I don’t have much of interest to say.

Please go check out how all the other ROwers are doing here.

smaller EM


8 thoughts on “Row80 Checkin and WIPpet Wednesday”

  1. Personally, I found this very interesting. A breath of fresh air. I’m on a longer-term decluttering and divestment, with two kids making their way into adulthood, and no longer finding use for many of their once-treasured belongings.

    You are an inspiration. =)

    And that snippet. I felt with your potential bride, so I think there’s maybe some showing in there that you can’t recognize right now.

    Always a delight to see an update from you. May the divestment and creation swirl together and make wonderful things happen!

    1. Thank you, Shan! I was worried that all the craziness of preparing the current house to be shown and the move to the new one would stymie the muse, but it doesn’t seem so. And thank you for the critique.

  2. Happy news and space and… oh, the joys of an uplifted chest! 🙂

    Seriously though, it sounds like you are doing exactly what you need to be doing for yourself right now. Work isn’t always “fun”, even writing work. But you’re getting those steps down where you can. That’s really what matters.

    And making a personal space for your writing… yes, especially IN your life. Maybe not so much a physical space (I’ve found that it’s both a blessing and a curse to have one of those), but to have that commitment to the act of writing is a gift one can give one’s self too. Hopefully I’ve helped a little there.

    The WIPpet… it started a touch slow, but partly I think because It came in at what felt like an odd spot for me. But the end… it had the feels.

    1. You have helped immensely, Eden, by pushing for those few sentences from me when I don’t wanna! I’m definitely getting back to the need to write, and thinking of it as a gift is truly helpful. As for the WIPpet–I struggle with where to start, and when it comes out of the blue, rather than following along from week to week, it is doubly difficult to follow. I’m glad it got there in the end.

  3. Oh… yarn. I don’t knit, I crochet. I also just moved halfway across the country. I got rid of almost every unfinished project, and all but one little skein to keep me busy during the move.

    Then, after moving into our new place, I got the urge to crochet a shawl to go with my new dress. And of course I had to pick yarn that was $7 a skein! And worse… my clever plan to curve it in ever-increasing rows snowballed into a virtual spiral, requiring more and more yarn.

    Then I stopped.

    1. Ah. I have done exactly the same thing–started a “simple” project, only to have it morph into the Sta-Puft Man! Luckily, we are only moving five miles away–and unluckily, because it is easier to keep things in a “little” move. We moved from Florida to New York State 4 years ago, and didn’t use that chance to declutter, so I’m determined to do it now.

  4. Did I hear someone call out my name? My ears must’ve been burning. lol.

    Yay!!! I am so glad you feel such a huge relief girl. It’s hard, but once you start, it is such a game changer, isn’t it? I just love, love, love your attitude. You are going to absolutely love your new place. I am so excited for you.

    Here’s a little ditty that I thought you would get a kick out of. It’s an oldie but goodie, yet it makes me laugh every time.


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