Sunday, November 22, 2009
Gold washes everything it touches and the blue is that heartbreaking color that echoes deep inside. A wash of white clouds like ghosts drift by barely moving, a moment frozen in time, except for the busy squirrels running races across the pointed tops of the palisade fence next door. The bare coiled bulb of the energy efficient light is the only thing that mars the serene perfection outside the window, making the dream less real. The moments tick by.
It's one of those Sundays when I'd rather hole up with a book and not face the laundry or the trash or work, but those are the chores that define my life most days and I wonder when I can give up the rat race and plunge into a life of research and writing that has nothing to do with the wage slavery that has kept my head enough above water so I don't drown. I can never give up, but I can have plans, and I do.
I read a post about Nora Roberts and her non-literary ventures and that is what I think all successful writers should do -- branch out. Nora owns a gallery, B&B and bookstore in the little town near where she lives. She's not sitting on her laurels or thinking about all the money she's earned that she'll never live long enough to spend. Instead, she's putting a lot back into the community and giving other writers and artists places for their voices to be heard. That's the kind of legacy to leave, not just collected literary works, but a living legacy that keeps living long after the writer is gone. I've known a few writers like that.
Andre Norton had her genre library and her door was open to everyone, fans and writers alike. Marion Zimmer Bradley put out a monthly magazine and helped discover some of the leading writers in fantasy and science fiction. Andre did the same thing, what the industry called her charity cases, but those charity cases include Susan Shwartz, Mercedes Lackey, and C. J. Cherryh, among many others. It was important to give something back, and for those writers and a handful of others, they gave back a lot, nurtured budding careers and helped writers find their niche and voices.
As we move into the season of giving, I am reminded that I need to give more, but not to the point that there is nothing left for me. It does no one any good if I am dissatisfied with my own output because I have given so much to others. Balance must be maintained and balance is hard sometimes, like this morning when all I want to do is wallow in words and images and books.
The faint wash of ghost clouds has almost moved out of sight and the sky is once again deep Colorado blue, a color promises bright sunshine and fresh air and possibilities. I want to be out there, and I will be, but the chores must come first. I'll hold the image in check, a bonus for getting the work done first, a reward for tasks accomplished and balance achieved. It is one of those mornings.