There once was a seed planted deep in the depths of my young mind by a wrinkly one whom I loved. She whispered and nurtured it throughout her days until she fell asleep and could no longer. At first, I thought it dead, but bit by bit it recovered from its dormant phase and sprouted ever so tiny tendrils of thoughts that stretched and wove from there to the paper.
Years flew by like a quick wind, sorely felt and never seen.
Once upon a pair of eyes found that tiny tidbit and coddled it. Those eyes saw something I didn't realize I put there and watered the seed a little more. The more water it received, the more it stirred and created until hundreds of tiny somethings flittered across my desk. With every kind eye, the seed mulled itself into a thousand bitty dandelion fluffs that then scattered themselves across every cranny of my inner being until it finally burst forth like its own being, leaving me surrendering and at its mercy.
I always thought childhood was the time for magic. It turns out magic matures as it's nurtured with age.
She's tiny with tight blonde curls that hug her pink, round cheeks, and she's petite, wearing a flowing white summer dress. Peach lipped, curt at times, with moods that change faster than Southern weather. She bounces between admiration and cursing. She's fiery like a dragon one minute and prim as a mint julep the next. I don't know what to make of her. I'm almost scared to be in her presence. I don't talk much for fear that she'll use something I say against me. What if she decides not to come back? How will I finish the next scene?
There she is, flitting through the room, her teeny wings beating so fast they're invisible.
I turn away and keep my eyes directed to the computer screen, trying desperately to never make eye contact.
She's silent, probably still brewing from our last encounter when I demanded too much, or so she said. I only wanted a few hundred more words. Was that too much to ask from the ONE who's supposed to give them?
My fingers hover over the keyboard, anticipating her words before they ever touch the air.
"Any day now," I sass, without thought and instantly regret it. I glance up, half expecting her to not be there and having left again before giving me anything. But she's sitting on my desk, her porcelain legs swinging daintily off the edge.
I hate when she's like this.
She lets out a long sigh and glances at me from the corner of her eye.
"What's in it for me?" she finally says, breaking the silence and my patience.
"This is your job. I'm starting to wonder what's in it for me!" I push the keyboard away and fold my arms across my chest. This is war. She knows it; I know it.
"Don't squish your face like that. You're getting hideous wrinkles," she says in a condescending, motherly tone.
I feel the anger rise and flush my cheeks. I imagine her spontaneously combusting. POOF.
"We don't have time for this, Poppy. I need to work. Now where were we? Maggie makes her way to the store where the shopkeeper tells her an intriguing bit of information that's pivotal to the plot..." I prompt, deciding to push away my frustration in hopes of salvaging the day.
"Tisk. Tisk. Tisk." A wicked smile stretches across her doll face. "I think, I'm tired. I'll be back later...sometime." She stands up, smooths the wrinkles from her dress, and prepares to fly off.
"Like when? Midnight? When I'm driving down the street? O, how about when I'm sleeping at 3am? No, no, no. You're not going anywhere, missy." Overwhelmed with animosity, I grab her tiny body in my fist.
"What are you doing?" she demands.
I'd never touched her before. I've always found her intimidating and domineering, but now, with her teeny body in my hand, I feel strong. I squeeze a little and feel her squirm in my fingers.
"Ow! You're hurting me!"
Now I am the one wickedly smiling. Something like rage creeps its way into my heart and wraps its evil intentions around the arteries, pumping it through my veins and into my mind.
"I don't need you," I tell her, finally realizing the truth that'd been there all along.
"Yes, you do. You can't write without me! You don't know what happens next!" Her pretty face turns desperate.
"Actually, I think I do." Scenes flash before me like a movie reel. My characters act out the elusive plot. I squeeze tighter. "I think we're done, Poppy."
"We're not! You can't!" she pleads.
I close my eyes and squeeze until I feel her go limp, and then squeeze even more until I feel nothing. I open my palm to see that it's empty. No trace of the the being who had taunted my life for all these years.
I focus on the scenes again. Maggie and the shopkeeper, the action, the dialogue. Without intention, my fingers dance across the keyboard forming words, sentences, paragraphs, PAGES without her!
When I think of Poppy now, I still find myself smiling. I'd believed a lie. I never needed to wait on her to give me the story. It was in me all along. All I needed to do was sit and type.
I'm glad I killed the imposter.
I'm joining the Currently crowd and posting a peek into my life. Many thanks to my writer friend, Jennie, for inspiring me to join in on the fun.
The weather! I don't know what it's like where you are, but spring has arrived at my house. The layers of yellow on my car prove it. There's something about the changing season, especially this one, that makes one feel like the leaf has finally made that turn everyone keeps talking about. There's a sense of renewal that's as thick as the future humidity (in the South). It smells a little like hope. The flowers are starting to bud, and the grass is struggling to find its green again. The whole world is awakening, and my heart skips in excitement for what this new season will bring.
I haven't finished it yet, but this book is making my evening walks an absolute joy! It's beautifully written. O the pretty words! With a mystery, an old house, and British charm, what could be better, really? Read it! Better yet, listen to it. (The accents, guys. Swoon!)
I've always loved Heartland. It's such a sweet family-friendly show that I never feel guilty indulging in. I've pretty much binged on it until there are no more episodes, and there are A LOT of episodes per season. Not complaining, though. In fact, give me more, please!
Go outside right now. If you look up and squint really hard, you'll see a pig with wings. Yes, my friends, pigs are flying. This girl--it's so hard to even say it--is now a belieber. "Love Yourself" won me over.
As I'm writing this, it's getting dark. It's my favorite time of day to do some front porch sittin'. I've always longed for a simple life. As a former country girl, I still enjoy the rocking chair on my porch, even if it's in a quaint historic neighborhood surrounded by people walking to our park down the street. We traded woods for sidewalks last year, and though we'll always love the quiet, dark nights filled with cricket songs and hooting owls, I rather love this new environment. Watching people walk along, their dogs in strollers and my neighbor's loud jazz music blaring in his car, I realize there's something special about the city too. Something natural and simple--connection. We may not speak directly, but we are daily exchanging something much more. We exchange moments of life. We co-exists peacefully. Community.
Life has a way of grabbing you by the throat randomly, like a stranger in the night. Just when you feel comfortable, settled, it turns on you like an angry rottweiler. (No offense to the breed; they're actually quite lovely.) You see where I'm going with this...
Life is a beast with fangs that isn't afraid to use them when it feels you need a reminder of how small you are in the world. I'm anticipating its release, which luckily for me, has a date. Hurry up mid-June!
I wish what all writers wish for, words. I need them, crave them, cannot have enough of them.
making me happy
I have the most amazing people in my life. My small group, spiritual leaders, friends, and family are what makes my world a beautiful place to live in. I also have an inspiring group of online friends who follow me, encourage me, and send me sweet notes that always come unexpectedly. They make me feel like what I do is important on days when I wonder if it is. If you're one of these people and reading this, thank you. I love you, deeply. Your kindness means everything. xoxo