I'm kind of obsessed with my husband. I do things separately from him, not only because I know it's not healthy to be joined at the hip, but also because I do want to. If he's gonna be at home, I want to be home. If he's not at home, I'm glad he's out doing fun things and enjoying life, but I miss him. If I go to bed, I want him to go to bed too, and if I'm up I want him to be up too. Creepy? Maybe, but I can't help it. He's not like me. He likes to be with me, but not the way I need to be with him, and that's fine. This works because I don't take it personally if he doesn't miss me during the two hours I'm out running errands, and I give him his space. Sometimes he does have to tell me to back up off him, especially when he shaves, and he's just so cute. Heart eye emoji. I have to remind myself that I'm not his blanket, I'm his wife! I'm not here to smother him, and I think we have a pretty nice balance of togetherness and space.
He is a welcome distraction. My favorite distraction, but a distraction nonetheless through no fault of his own, so when I found out he was leaving I did something I've always wanted to do. I enrolled in a writing class at a community college. Monday nights from 7:00-9:55pm from mid January through May is a big time commitment. I did two semesters of two classes per semester a few years ago, and it kicked my butt. I don't know how full time workers/students do it, but I hoped this would be different because it's only one class and it's something I'm truly passionate about. I was right. I love it. My teacher Tammy is a real live author. She has eleven published books, an agent, an editor and everything. I value her insight so much, because she's successfully done it herself. The assigned books are two really helpful books on writing and a short fiction novel that I would be interested in reading anyway. I'm learning a lot from her lectures, and we do group work shopping afterwards. Not my favorite part, because it is hard for me to share my writing, but it's good for me, and I know I need to do it. Monday's are so long, Tuesday morning comes way too fast, but being passionate about the class makes it worth it.
Some of you know that I'm writing a novel. Well, I guess you could say I wrote it. It was done, until I fell down the rabbit hole of editing, which never seemed to end. Then when that was done, I walked away from it unsure of what my next step would be, if anything. Then I decided to to sign up for a writing class, and editing mode has transitioned back to writing mode. I'm learning all of these fun things about Premise, inciting incident, and plot structure. All of these elements are key factors in novel writing and things that readers want to see. Some I had, others I didn't, and still others were there, but not fully formed. Taking a hard look at my novel through the technical lens of what a novel is supposed to have has been really eye opening. It's inspired me to make a lot of changes and I've even come up with a title. I've been using a working title that I didn't like, but I finally have one that feels right. The changes I've made led to a lot of edits, which led to having new material to write. I am grateful not to be at ground zero, but I had a really hard time motivating myself to create new words. My novel is done! Why am I still messing with this thing?
Perhaps it would have been a good idea to take the writing class before I got the bright idea to write a novel, but sometimes the timing on things don't make all the sense in the world. I wanted to write a novel, so I wrote one. If I had waited until I'd taken a proper writing class, who knows if or when it would have ever gotten written. The flip side of that is, I've probably done a lot of extra work on it than I would have because I went into it blindly. I just started writing. I didn't even have an outline, and here I am five years later still hammering away at it. The thing is though, that I don't really care. Sure, I would like closure on this novel, but maybe it's just meant to be a fun hobby. I love writing for the sake of writing and I'm not doing it just to get published. I mean, it would be nice, and it has been really hard at times, but I can honestly say I have enjoyed the entire process so far. All the hours spent searching for words that won't come, cutting and pasting, and adding and moving things around has been so much fun. I think that's how I win no matter what happens in the end. I love what I'm doing and sometimes that's enough.
My husband did not get deployed, although it is still a possibility that he will. I'm so annoyed at how they played with my emotions, but something good did come out of it. He's still here. Thrilled about that, and I'm in writing class. I'd like to think I would have done it anyway, at some point, but it was the push I needed to quit beating around the bush.
And with that, I will leave you with another excerpt from my novel. I'm getting really brave, because I shared a different one on Instagram @MahoganyDrive. It's actually my favorite one, and very meaningful to me because I wrote it before I started working on my novel. I love that I was able to use it. The only other bit I've shared is on the blog here.