Here, I Write: Slice of Life 26/31 #sol16

slice of life

Here, I write. In the dining room, the heart of the house. The walls are the richest chocolate brown, but I’m thinking of repainting this summer. Maybe red. I love a red room. My office, the space I created for writing, is red. It’s upstairs on the very edge of the house. You get there by walking up a back staircase or walking through other bedrooms. It feels like a hidden room. I thought I was going to love working there, but I don’t. It’s too cold in winter and too hot in summer. It feels so far away from the rest of the house. I sit there and listen for my son’s voice, my husband’s voice, and wonder what I’m missing.

Here, I write. I try to ignore the clutter and the mess. Keeping the house neat is so important for my sanity, but something has happened in the last month, and I can’t seem to keep it neat. I know what has happened. My son has happened. He has been home from school recovering from his concussion; he has been sleeping downstairs in the living room; and now he’s being homeschooled. He has many more hours in the day at home to leave his things all over the place and not to pick them up. He has so many hours in the day when he’s projecting. Projects make clutter. And the time my husband and I used to spend cleaning and de-cluttering is now spent engaging and entertaining our son. I strategize new ways to manage the mess. I commit to ten minutes a day of de-cluttering. I wonder if I could let this one go.

Here, I write. There is a cat in my lap. There is always a cat. Usually it’s Frances, my morning cat, my afternoon cat, my all the time cat. She’s cat number six, and when my husband complains about six being too many, I always say, but what about Frances? Six is exactly the right number because Frances is number six and everyone loves Frances best. She is sweet but not cloying. Smart but not too clever for her own good. Interesting but not weird. She likes everyone but still has a way of making you feel special when she singles you out for attention.

Here, I write. I smell the last dregs of my coffee, and I think about making a second cup. I also smell dog, which is less pleasant. Roxy is my other constant morning companion. She curls up on the armchair, and I cover her with a blanket. It’s always a little bit too cold in this drafty old house. Roxy is an old dog now, eleven or twelve, and she smells like Doritos and bad breath, even when her mouth is closed. Her black face is now nearly white, her eyes are beginning to cloud. Her joints ache in the morning, and she walks stiffly outside and then comes back in for another nap.

Here, I write. I’m reading more than I write. I always do. It feels like a visit with dear friends. I bookmark several ideas I might return to later. I try to comment generously. So many new-to-me slicers. I remember how much comments meant to me when I was a new blogger. I think about how much they still mean to me. I remind myself to focus on the craft too, not just the content. It’s so easy to connect to the content. It takes more careful thought to attend to the craft.

Here, I write. It’s morning, and I’m the only one awake. I love my mornings, but I resist giving myself wholeheartedly to a piece of writing because I’ve got one ear out for interruptions. My son will wake and call me. Most mornings, he bellows. But sometimes, he calls softly, so softly his voice can’t be heard easily over the fans we use for white noise. As soon as he calls, I abandon the computer and race to the living room and throw the kind of fit I now specialize in, the kind of fit that starts his day off right. I’ve missed you so much! I will say. I don’t even know how I lived without you for these twelve hours! I’m so glad you’re awake! He will tell me to be quiet, tell me I’m weird, but there will be a smile on his lips. He will command me to read to him, and the rest of my day will start.

Here, I write.

Thanks to Michelle for inspiring the “Here, I write” repeating structure.

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17 thoughts on “Here, I Write: Slice of Life 26/31 #sol16

  1. I am only going to connect because this piece just made me feel “connecty” Frances has a lovely name. Love your “weird” mom overflowing love. Children and clutter go hand in hand. Off to pour myself a second cup of coffee so I can return for my SOL pieces and learning or at least lots of feeling 🙂

    • I have lots of “weird mom overflowing love.” That’s the one thing he can count out–and how very healing it is! I’m saving your slice to read later, LOL. You’re always either first or last on my list because your piece is always special.

  2. Dear Elisabeth,

    This is why I am here…

    “Here, I write. I’m reading more than I write. I always do. It feels like a visit with dear friends. I bookmark several ideas I might return to later. I try to comment generously. So many new-to-me slicers. I remember how much comments meant to me when I was a new blogger. I think about how much they still mean to me. I remind myself to focus on the craft too, not just the content. It’s so easy to connect to the content. It takes more careful thought to attend to the craft.”

    You left a comment, and you attended to the content and the craft, and it was the most perfect distraction at the most perfect moment. And one more thing, your first name is my mother’s name, and my middle name, and it is spelled just the same, with an “s” and not a “z” and that feels incredibly perfect at this moment. Please come visit my Day 25 post, in a little bit. I’ve interrupted the writing of it to visit you.

    Your “Here, I write.” slice is beautiful. The repetition brings the reader into different scenes and facets of your writing life. It is a beautiful way to capture your writer self. I loved getting a glimpse into your spaces and process. I, too, try to comment on craft, and am appreciative for your comment, and the specificity you offered. Your comment mattered more than you can know. I am returning to my post, which your comment gratefully interrupted.

    With gratitude,
    Dalila

  3. Such a treasuring of these early morning moments. Such vivid details! I feel like I am right there with you in your cold, drafty rooms, filled with so much love! I keep thinking I will try one of these writing formats, either this one or the before that one, but I haven’t done it yet.

  4. Pingback: A Comment Interrupts: I Am Trying Not to Be Sad | Write Aloud Here

  5. Your posts have inspired my own. Here’s another one. I love seeing your space, imagining your life surrounded by color and pets. I write in my kitchen, in the midst of all activity.

  6. This was beautiful, Elisabeth! I love the intimacy you shared about your writing process. I especially appreciated your insight about content v. craft. I often find myself worried so worried about the content that I actually focus more on craft, only to later realize that my sentences don’t actually mean anything no matter how nicely the words fits together. 🙂

  7. Elisabeth, it’s beautiful! I love how you lifted a little line and truly created your own unique slice. I love the daily glimpses of your life — the importance of your pets and family. Your writing and stories are crafted to such perfection and a soft, nurturing voice, I’m amazed and in awe of the beauty you share.

    I am so glad that here, you write.

  8. Pingback: Here I write #sol16 Day 27 | Midwestern Heart in Dixie

  9. I can clutter up a room in 2min!!!!!!!!! I dont know how I do it But I do… and I always wanted to be the woman who’s color coordinated clothes closet was organized by color and length, the girl who never had to look for her car keys under piles of half finished papers and piles of books, But I’m not. So I accepted that and it seems my clutter does not look so cluttered these days.

  10. Pingback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #imwayr 3/28/16 | the dirigible plum

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