A Very Boring Life


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

A Very Boring Life

By Nandy Ekle

There was a time when, as a younger woman with three brilliant and combative children, I was convinced my life was boring. I was a stay-at-home mom who literally stayed at home, except when I was driving kids to school, driving to the grocery store, picking up kids from school, and driving kids to appointments.

It seemed like nothing exciting ever happened. To and from the schools, groceries, doctors, library, vacuuming the floor, scrubbing the floor, washing clothes, cooking dinner, bathing kids, and then putting them to bed. Then I would get up late at night/early morning, fight zombies, spiders, and various other monsters that bothered my children at night. The same old day started at 6:00 the next morning.

Yes, I really thought I had a boring life.

Then I watched a movie about my life. The main character was a secret agent for the government and his wife, a plain, average woman just like me, had no idea what he actually did. He had her convinced he sold insurance. She felt like she had a very boring life. Then she had lunch with another man and her husband sees her. So he sets up a little adventure for her.

Anyway, watching this movie taught me some things about myself. In all my cleaning and driving and nurturing, it turns out I am one of the most adventurous women in the world. I realized that not only was I a chef and chauffeur, I was also a referee, a doctor/nurse, “office” manager, banker, bookkeeper, and so on. But that’s old news. Every stay-at-home mom realizes these titles eventually.

The other thing I discovered was that our family was prone to experiences that are, um, unique. Like the time a lizard tail fell out of the dryer. Or the time my dog started barking hysterically at 3:00 in the morning. And how could I ever forget the cars that stopped working while driving down the highway or stopped at a red light. Or the plumbing that backed up. The creative scheduling and emergency shopping for school.

Now, as a mature woman whose children have grown up and flown away, I remember those boring days and think about the tons of stories I lived through.

Congratulations. You have just received a post card from the muse.

 

 

 

 

 

Calling the Doctor


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

Calling the Doctor

By Nandy Ekle

Entire new computer system. Tons of mandatory overtime. Drama going on all around me, in the work place, out of the work place. Chocolate therapy adds weight in places that I never wanted to see weight again. Retail therapy is expensive and piles up the bills. My gripe and scream fits do nothing but get me weird stares.

t’s times like these that I have to remember who and what I am. I am a writer. I’ve been a writer since I was old enough to hold a pencil. Reading stories and telling stories have always been as natural for me as breathing. Words are my toys, companions, my comfort.

When dark rainy days come along, the acceptable way to vent is to write it out. You don’t even have to have a starting place. Just put the pen on the paper–and I do mean pen and paper because the physicality of doing that also has its place–and start writing. Free writing is a prewriting exercise in which you just write the words that come into your head. Spelling and punctuation is absolutely not to be considered during this time.

Several things happen during this process. For one thing, you vent all the frustrations bottled up inside while dealing with unpleasant adventures flinging themselves at your face. Also the word veins in your imagination loosen up and allow a flood of wonderful words to come through. And sometimes the biggest surprise is what lives down under the sludge of a bad day is actually a superhero of a story that’s just been hiding and waiting to be written down.

So when you’re tired and unhappy, take out a pen and paper and try some free writing. The results are amazing.

Congratulations. You have just received a post card from the muse.

Visiting Old Friends


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

Visiting Old Friends

We had some really good times together. We laughed, we cried, we made mistakes and cured mistakes together. I listened when they cried and complained and they led me in directions I wasn’t sure I could go. I haven’t seen some of these friends in a while and getting back to them has been a wonderful experience.

These terrific friends of mine are the characters in my stories. I have spent a great deal of time with some of them, a little less time with some others, but every one of them has a huge spot in my imagination. Even after I write “The End” on a story, the characters live on in my head.

I like to visit these friends when I feel like I’m in a rut. Re-reading something I wrote a while back is like reading something brand new written by someone else. The theme is easier to see, as well as what works and what doesn’t. And the voices of the characters are more distinct.

Go back and read some of your earlier work and see what you learn from the characters and their stories. You will find a new way to relive an adventure with old friends.

Congratulations. You have just received a post card from the muse.

Nandy Ekle