Saturday, May 27, 2006

But I don't write children's books...

After fending off a seeker of chaos and friction to enliven his relationship with his leader, I spent the next two days working on the PPRAA newsletter. I finished it last night about 7 PM and sent it out into the void. The printer emailed back and said the newsletter would be printed and ready for pickup on Tuesday, or possibly Wednesday, which means it will be in the hands of the club membership almost two weeks before the meeting. Am I good or what? I finally figured out a strategy that works.

As soon as I receive the articles, minutes, whatever I begin slotting them into their respective pages, pruning here, editing there, generally shifting, retooling and reformatting as I get the rest of the articles and news items, so that I don't have to spend an entire evening or day putting it all together. I use the template I set up and work from there. This month the results are obvious -- the newsletter is done well in advance of my personal deadline of the 1st of each month. That should keep my detractors and the whiners out of my hair. I refuse to think about what else they might use to cause me grief. I'm far too pleased with myself right now.

I talked to MJ last night and he was in rare form. At first he sounded like ten miles of really bad gravel back roads (he smokes -- not good for the voice) after a hard rain and a blizzard of epic proportions. As we talked, his voice smoothed out. I'm certain the laughter helped. He asked if we could just talk and not do the interview thing until Sunday after his recording session and I agreed. I enjoy talking with him and he said he enjoys talking with me.

The first night we started the interview he was being silly and asked me what I was wearing. I told him - nothing but a T-shirt. It was true. It's usually the case with me. I wear just enough to keep the neighbors from claiming indecent exposure when I walk by the undraped windows. I live alone and George, the resident ghost, doesn't mind. He sees me naked sweaty, wet and dry all the time and he hasn't complained once. The question has become a part of our conversation and the first question MJ asks when he calls -- to get it out of the way. Last night I turned the tables on him and asked what he was wearing. I actually heard him blush, but he told me anyway.

Over the past few weeks MJ and I have become friendly and we both look forward to our conversations. We talk about everything and anything. No subject is taboo, although I'm certain some people would consider some of the subject matter more than a little risque'. We don't care. We're both unconventional types. So, it was with a light sigh of regret we ended our call at 1 AM. He had to catch an early plane this morning and I suppose I needed the rest, although I didn't go to sleep right away. Too wound up.

Now that MJ and I have spent so much time getting to know one another I wonder what we'll do when we spend time together when he gets here next month. We'll have to come up with something, although watching Laura here and sharing a meal or two have been discussed. I guess we'll figure it out.

I'm in writing mode these days but I haven't given any serious thought to writing children's books -- until a couple days ago. Two stories have been circling my mind like hunting hawks intent on prey. One is a story about the three chiefs who guard the pass into Fraser Valley where I used to live. The three chiefs are three forms in bas relief on the mountain face that look like Indian chiefs to me and they look down over the pass into the valley. The other story is about wishes and who we see when we look in the mirror.

The odd thing about all this writing fervor is having images pop up in my mind's eye, illustrations for the books that would turn them from adult stories, or even YA, into children's stories. I have painted or drawn in years and I have never illustrated a book of any kind, but still the images persist and persist in taking on such specific color and form that I itch to capture them on paper. I have to do more research and put some tools together in order to do the work, but the feeling is strong that the story and the pictures go together and they need to come from me.

Then again, it could just be an attack of vanity.

I have a full weekend planned but the open windows with their breath of sunlit warmth and cool breezes that carry the voices and happiness of life outside these walls is overwhelmingly intoxicated. I have much to do this weekend but the subtle winds tickle the hair at the nape of my neck and urge me to come play, enticing me with the scent of food, the infectious laughter of people passing in the streets below and the promise of the raucous abandoned celebration of life and living. Children giggling and racing through the deep green of the grassy park, dancing to the music of approaching summer is nearly impossible to ignore and I would have to have a harpy's heart not to want to join the summery throng. Duty, discipline and work tap out a tattoo of responsibility and being an adult but it fades into the background as the swirling strains of a flute or calliope drift ever closer calling to the grasshopper in this determined ant. Curiosity taunts me and I feel my resolve weakening. I have all night when the summer sun and playful breezes have gone to sleep and the moon rises in a star spangled sky to work. Aaah, summer you are a cruel lover to tease me so.

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