May 7, 2011

Oops! I forgot to blog for eight months.

Where to begin? Last we chatted, I was embracing the chaos of living in The Cave. I had resolved to get back to writing. I was experimenting with a "no expectations" relationship. That seems like ages ago, as almost everything in my life has changed. To whit: I failed, on all three fronts.

The live-in-the-moment relationship seemed like a good idea at the time, and it was fun while it lasted. Then the unthinkable happened: love. I won't say we "fell in love," because that makes it sound so easy, or even romantic. No, we fought it, clawing as we were dragged into what we both claimed we didn't want — a serious relationship. It wasn't pretty and it sure as hell wasn't the stuff romantic comedies are made of. (Or was it?) But once we realized there was nothing to be done about it, there we were. I let him into Grace's world, finally, and they began to create their own relationship. Grace adored him immediately. And his patience, kindness, and willingness to work with us through what was a particularly challenging phase in Gigi's life sealed the deal.

My stint in The Cave came to an abrupt end when we experienced the fifth flood in less than a year. My resolve, and quite a few of my beloved books, were unsalvageable. The timing seemed right, so boyfriend and I found a lovely house together and took another giant, scary leap. We crammed all our stuff — belongings, humans, the dog, emotions, fears — into what has become not just a home, but a sanctuary. Grace loves living here with both of us, and is thriving under this new blanket of security and ordinary... family-ness. She can finally have friends over without feeling self-conscious about living in a basement. WE can have friends over and sit comfortably around the dining room table, or hang out in the huge kitchen. Oh — how can I forget this? — we have a dishwasher!

The third failure doesn't have a happy ending. I haven't made as much progress on my novel as I hoped. Despite the encouragement of my writing group, and the luxury of several writing retreats, I remain stuck somewhere between chapters six and seven. I expected to be finished with Mommune by the end of 2010, but I now realize I will be lucky to complete it by the end of this year. Happiness in life, love and family has brought a certain complacency which allows me to neglect what I always counted on to make me happy, regardless of what was going on around me: writing. Since boyfriend is also a writer, we both struggle with the self-discipline needed to get shit done. So we have made a pact: structure our days to accommodate three (maybe four?) hours dedicated to writing.

If that piece of the puzzle falls into place, I will have little left to complain about. Plenty of other things have happened during the last eight months, however. If I choose to continue blogging, what should I talk about? Suggestions welcome!

At the beach during our latest writing retreat.