Emmie Mears
SFF. Queer AF.

Glass in a Minefield

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Glass in a Minefield

Today is sort of my day off.

And yet the words seem to be stuck somewhere, jammed in my knuckles on the way to the keyboard. I could make a list of everything that needs to be done yesterday. (Cou-this blog-gh.) Somehow I have an inkling that it would be less than helpful.

My normally underwhelming life has taken a turn for the over, between finances and bills that line up with not-so-polite sniffs and a week without income during my job switch. Okay, so I made $24. That’s barely half a tank of gas. Hovering just behind my right ear is the rewrite of my novel. I’d like to think the last few maundering weeks have been ideas stewing in my head like a crock pot full of glory, ready to serve themselves up into bestseller history the second the timer goes off.

Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland, Scottish castle

Move over, Jo Rowling. I claim this one. (Just kidding. Eilean Donan is way too public.)

No, chances are a few more rewrites and a lot more tooth gnashing stands between me and any real changes in my finances, though this new job will help significantly. So what do I do? Buckle in and dig down? Mix up some metaphors? Nope.

Lemon Blueberry Muffins, Blueberry muffins, baking

I turn to the dark side.

I make muffins.

Sure, they’re really good muffins. Lemon curd and blueberry. They’re delicious. I already ate four. But unfortunately for them, they aren’t that inspirational. They sure don’t help my behemoth of a project. Now it’s already 1:20, and I have to go to work and take a test on beer and food that I feel 72% sure I will fail (the food part, not the beer part — four days isn’t much to memorize a menu).

So why am I spending my evenings watching Veronica Mars again instead of working on my rewrite? Maybe it’s because every time I sit down to write, every sentence ends up punctuated with, “Buffy! Easy!” as the puppy makes the cat squeak or “Willow, down!” as the kitten sticks her face in my breakfast. By the time they settle down, the puppy needs to go outside (or has gone inside), and I can’t remember for the life of all things fuzzy what I was doing.

Nah. I could blame them, but they’re just being babies.

It’s my own fault I’ve been so lazy lately. There’s a word for it, and that word is discouragement. If I were to scrunch my eyes shut and stick out a finger, that finger would land on an innocuous little sticky note with four lowercase letters written on it.

Yeah, that's the one.

I think I haven’t felt like working on my rewrite because of fear. I’m afraid of the mountain of debt under the carpet of our apartment. I’m afraid that this gamble I’m taking of working as a server while I try to get my writing off the ground will just make me into a 30-year-old with no real “experience” in a traditional field. I’m afraid I won’t be able to provide for my family. Those are harsh fears, sharp and cold and sterile fears. They’re fears I don’t much know how to address or conquer.

It’s  not just about the writing. It’s the other things that squeeze in on me. Each distraction, each new envelope that comes in the mail is a reminder that we’re just sprinting to catch up. Each batch of muffins seems to be made of lead. As much as I would like to believe that getting this rewrite done will change something, that belief is as fragile as looping blown glass in a minefield, and as I dance around it, I wonder which step will create the booming symphony of that glass crashing into shards.

I think I turn to baking and cooking because I have to believe that something I make with my hands can sustain us. There’s a power in that belief that can turn blown glass to diamond hardness, if I only knew how to harness it.

So for now, I’ll drink my Thai tea, eat my muffins, and fixate on the irony of the mug I chose quite by accident.

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Author | Emmie Comments | 10 Date | April 22, 2012

comments

tmso

Pomodoro. Try it.

April 22, 2012 | 2:02 pm

    Emmie Mears

    What is it, and why do I think of tomatoes when I hear the name?

    April 22, 2012 | 2:04 pm

      Emmie Mears

      Ah, I answered my own question (the latter, anyway). “Pomidor” is tomato in Polish, and “pomodoro” is Italian for the same. Now I feel rather surreal.

      April 22, 2012 | 2:08 pm

      tmso

      Ha! Because they use a tomatoe as their logo/timer thingy. It’s a technique to help you focus on your tasks. You simply set a timer for 25 minutes and work work work on your tasks till the timer goes off. Set the timer for five minutes and get up and do something else, take a break. Repeat. There’s an app. Of course. It works for me.

      April 22, 2012 | 8:14 pm

    Daniel Swensen (@surlymuse)

    Good call. I love the Pomodoro technique and use it all the time.

    April 24, 2012 | 10:37 am

Kristin McFarland

I know how you feel. Sometimes I feel like my life is a perilously stacked house of cards, and if I make one wrong move, the whole thing will go tumbling.

Plus, I’m just so BUSY, all the time, but I never seem to get anything done. We should try our Google+ hangout sometime.

April 22, 2012 | 8:49 pm

Chris G.

Wait, wait, wait…muffins are the dark side? Hell. No wonder the dark side always winds.

…they probably have all the candy too, don’t they?

April 23, 2012 | 10:18 am

Chris G.

…and also, that should read “wins.” Fabulous typing fail.

April 23, 2012 | 10:19 am

Coleen Patrick

Fear and muffins..I’ve so been there.

April 23, 2012 | 4:19 pm

Daniel Swensen (@surlymuse)

“I think I turn to baking and cooking because I have to believe that something I make with my hands can sustain us. There’s a power in that belief that can turn blown glass to diamond hardness, if I only knew how to harness it.”

What a beautiful phrase.

April 24, 2012 | 10:38 am

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