Conversation, Coffee and Affection

 morning.jpg

I named my Sunday morning ramble today. 🙂

This has been one of the best mornings I’ve had in a while.  I awakened to a lazy, longer than usual lie-about with a ceiling fan whirring above my head and birds singing outside the windows.  

The hubby, who owns a business that requires him to travel an hour to and from every single day–in addition to his regular work– didn’t book it out first thing this morning. 

We spent some time together since the kiddos are old enough to sleep late on weekends. 

We propped up our pajama-covered legs and shared conversation and coffee. 

Both of us are bad about cramming our lives too full of responsibility and we often forget that those quiet mornings sharing memories and holding hands make all the difference in a relationship.  

I can be excruciatingly honest when it comes to the good and bad of the writing life here on this blog.  I believe it’s good to share what life is like from one writer’s perspective because you never know when you’ll help another writer out there come across an “a ha” moment.  (And oh, I hope it’s faster than I did. )

Face it, we picked a somewhat lonely career.  I’ve always felt that if a new writer can see that even us old hats still struggle at times, they’ll feel a little better about their current situation and know it will pass.

But, I don’t share a lot of private, personal life stuff here because it’s… well… private.  <g> I will share that the hubby and I have had a really rough couple of years.  Not with each other, but in other areas of our life.  Things that have left deep bruises.  So we realized we’ve been cramming our schedules in an effort to not think. 

Yet, lately, we’ve noticed that we’re finding our life rhythm again.  I’m finally getting a handle on the new job and this week, I was actually able to work on the problems that cropped up in my “thought it was finished” manuscript.  Yes, I added more work that I’ll have to get into pretty fast since it’s already out and on one agent’s desk, but I feel good about it. 

And I was able to catch up my critique work with Rachel. 

I love my writing time and I love my critique time.  Rachel and I have the strangest critiquing partnership.  It can be rough and intense.  We work really hard on each other’s work, worry we overdid it when we upload it, find we both can have our egos bruised a bit, then we inevitably realize the other had some good ideas and that the extra work makes the books stronger and better in the long run.  It’s at times excruciating but then it grows into such energy and excitement, I’m fired up for the next round.  Sounds tough, I know, but I’ve watched our stories improve by leaps and bounds, so it’s obviously working.

This morning, I shared with the hubby that we both need to cut some things from our schedule.  I need solid time for writing and critiquing and he could use some free play time.

 evening-at-the-lake-017.jpg 

We also made a promise this morning to free up time for just us.  (Yes, that is a pic of us.) We used to love going for drives through new places or hunting antiques at weekend estate sales.  At one time, we did that every Sunday.  This morning, we realized it had been over a year.  Time flies, eh? 

So, after he left for that long, daily hike, I sat with my cooling coffee and thought about the writing.  I realized that one of the reasons my short story writing slowed was that I had been over-filling not only the schedule, but the noggin’. <g>

I’ve always been able to just lie on the floor with a notebook and feel short story ideas sparking from my fingertips.  No matter what other projects I have going.  I’ve always been able to grab onto a topic and dream up a great story for it.  I’ve had a topic from Heather for months and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve started and stopped and started over on that sucker.  It’s so out of character for me that I’ve been frustrated. 

Figured out why. 

What do writers need in order to produce?  In order to “feel” that all is right in their worlds?

 morning1.jpg

Time to dream.   

Everyone needs food, air, water and sleep–but we have this whole other need for a different sort of sustenance.  We have to feed our creative needs and then have an outlet for the results.  Otherwise, the ideas and dreams overpopulate the brain and send everything crashing to a halt. Or we fill the brain with so many regular life difficulties, we don’t leave room for creative movement. 

IDLE. TIME. IS. JUST. PLAIN. NECESSARY.

Without it, we aren’t creating.  And without creating, a writer isn’t fulfilled.  There is always this vague bit of something hovering around you–making the world feel a bit off. 

And the only time to get that idle time is to make it.  Cut something else out. 

And while you’re at it, leave time for the things that make life good. A dinner with friends.  A lazy afternoon with a book. 

Or better yet, a pajama-clad morning with hot coffee and someone you love.  🙂

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About Rinda Elliott

Writer.I love unusual stories and credit growing up in a family of curious life-lovers who moved all over the country. Books and movies full of fantasy, science fiction and romance kept us amused, especially in some of the stranger places. For years, I tried to separate my darker side with my humorous and romantic one. I published short fiction, but things really started happening when I gave in and mixed it up. When not lost in fiction, I love making wine, collecting music, gaming and spending time with my husband and two children. I’m represented by Miriam Kriss of the Irene Goodman Agency.
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17 Responses to Conversation, Coffee and Affection

  1. Today was the first day in months I made coffee in my own pot. My husband will actually be home almost a full month this time, I’m in shock. I’d been driving to Starbucks and eating out while he was gone as a way to fill my time and avoid the loneliness of my own kitchen, because he is the one who cooks for us. My schedule gets all screwed up when he leaves and then screwed up again when he returns, but I don’t care if I lose hours of sleep when he gets home, I need to be with him. Laughing, snuggling, and all the rest.

    Hope the rest of your day is a wonderful as your morning was. 🙂

  2. Michelle says:

    Thanks for the reminders. See . . . the two hours I spent in the dark waiting for my daughter to fall asleep last night was not wasted time. It may have felt like ten hours, but at least I had time to think. Sounds like you had a great morning!

  3. relliott4 says:

    Oh Michelle, I’ve had plenty a night watching over sleeping kids. 🙂

    The day is still going well as of now. Heather, my hubby used to travel and I hated it. But then, when he stayed home with me for over a year –I’m talking home all day and evening–I was desperate for him to go back to work. heh heh I needed that quiet, idle time to myself during the day.

    Glad yours will be home for a month. So… how did you get him to be the one to cook? You and Rachel both have somehow managed that.

    Course, I like to cook. A lot. Just not every night.

  4. I love this post. And I love the picture of you and your hubby. 😉

    And just for the record, I felt no ego-bruising on this latest round of critiques from you. I feel only inspiration. And gratitude. 😉

  5. Rinda says:

    I’m glad Rachel. You truly didn’t leave many problems for me to catch. 😉

  6. Carol says:

    Quiet time is good and essential and difficult to find between writing, working and life, but I’m working on it. A little harder now that I also have a contract and feel guilty if I’m not working at writing. But, when I can have coffee and journal a little, even if it’s only on the weekend, it works.

  7. Kelli says:

    As usual, Rinda, you beautifully hit the nail on the head. Since July, I’ve simply refused to go home and work some nights. Instead, I pick up a novel, even if it’s one I’ve read many times before, and enjoy an evening reading. Sometimes I will still go to the computer to put together a handout for my class, but I’ve decided I need the downtime – especially teaching 7 classes this semester. I wanted to cry Thursday night. I was up here with 2 other colleagues working. At 6:30, Christian yelled from his office – “We are going home, now!” I’d been on campus since 6:30 am. As I drove home, I thought, ‘Yay! It’s Thursday. Only one more day to the weekend.” Then I remembered I had the 8-hour World Lit class on Saturday. I felt my soul slump. But I went home, watched some baseball while reading a new thriller by Lisa Jackson, and relaxed. Though Saturday was long, it was also fun. The students are great.

    Now, if I can only find time to write!! Hmm. You’ve heard that one from me before, haven’t you. It’s like my life mantra now. ;-(

  8. Oh, Rinda, I’m very glad you two had that time together. You’re right. We cram so much busyness into our lives, we don’t spend time with the ones who are precious to us. Lately, I’ve realized being with those I love is a treasure not to be wasted. Sometimes, it’s a hard world. Only love makes it bearable. (Can’t tell I’m a romantic, can you?)

  9. Ken says:

    Rinda,
    Sounds nice. Nice, but tough. I mean, having someone there for you is what it’s all about. I have my family which is great, but I’m envious of you having someone like your husband. I wouldn’t trade my family for the world, however I still want that special somebody. That wife to share this adventure we call life.

    You make writing sound even more fun, however the trade offs or compromises to make stories interesting are sometimes hard.

  10. Ken says:

    How’s your Apex story coming along? I’m half the way there, but it needs tons of work.

  11. Ken says:

    No matter what. You need that time to dream. For what are we without dreams?

  12. relliott4 says:

    Ken, my Apex story isn’t happening yet. This post was partly due to that. I’ve never hit a blank on short stories and especially not ones centered around my favorite writing topic. I hope an idea sprouts soon. It should.

    Writing is fun and it can be hard. But I’ve learned that most anything worthwhile takes effort and difficult times. 🙂

    Hi Kelli! I’ve been thinking about you!

    Hi Carol and Sarah, I’m behind on my comments. I left my laptop at the office today and am just now rushing through my email and blog messages. Yeah, Sarah, you are most definitely a romantic. 🙂

  13. Celise says:

    Wow. That was a great post. And so true. Idle time is just plain necessary. I like that. I could see that on a shirt. 🙂

  14. Rinda says:

    It would be the perfect Sunday T-shirt, Celise.

  15. Michele says:

    your breakfast picture is making me hungry!
    The Talisman kept making me fall asleep, so I had to stop reading after page 10. I am now reading The girl who loved Tom Gordon.

  16. Katrina David says:

    I feel a little out of place commenting here, seeing as everyone before me seem to be people you know. However, your post showed up on my blog and I was intrigued by the title, mainly because I’ve had this yearning desire for coffee (well more like a latte) and conversation – good conversation.

    Anyway, when you wrote…

    “What do writers need in order to produce? In order to “feel” that all is right in their worlds?

    Time to dream.”

    That is EXACTLY how I’ve been feeling lately. A lot of the time when I’m writing, dreaming, soaking in creative juices (writing towards my dream)…it’s when everything begins to make a little more sense. It’s just nice to read (hear) someone else write (say) it.

    So, thanks for that!

  17. relliott4 says:

    I met a lot of these people on this blog, so feel comfortable to comment. 🙂

    And I’m glad you did because I needed to read this post again as an important reminder to myself, too. Thanks for that.

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