Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Overcoming Inertia

Once I told a colleague that I usually got food for the cat while swishing mouthwash around in my mouth because who wants to just stand there for sixty seconds. She howled with laughter. “You of all people would not want to waste sixty seconds.” And that’s been the pattern of my life—maybe a little shy of OCD but not much. I’ve always kept busy.

Lately I’ve been troubled by a lack of energy, an unwillingness to do simple chores around the house, though I’m perfectly content to follow odd leads, read long e-mails, etc. at my computer. Is it the much-dreaded computer addiction? Is inertia a sign of aging? What happened to my ambition? It’s been worse, of course, since my swollen foot. I’ve written enough about that to last a lifetime, but I will say it’s better today—not perfect, but I’m wearing shoes and making a conscious effort to walk normally.

This morning I decided my project would be to dig in to the reader’s “points to ponder” in “Murder at Peacock Mansion”—they were all valid points that added depth to the manuscript, like a reference to Miss Havisham or the subtle difference between using “handgun” and “pistol.” Ten minutes later I’d taken care of all of them, so I decided I would read through the manuscript one more time before sending it to the editor.

About noon, while I ate lunch, I took a break and turned to the novel I’m currently reading. Didn’t take me long to decide my own manuscript was more interesting—is that ego or what?—and go back to editing. It’s amazing what you find even though you’ve read the darn thing countless times. Today I found a woman had two children on one page, one a bit later, and then four. Now she only has one—a spoiled diva of a young woman. I found on my own places where I could add a little depth of character, a little more sense of place—and I was having fun doing it.

Tonight I’m through—my mysteries are fairly short—and pleased with the result. One place I need to go back and tweet and then it goes to the editor. So maybe I’m past inertia. I also did two loads of laundry, tried on a new shirt I’d ordered and decided to keep it (it lay on the bedroom chair for several days), and managed to keep up with the kitchen—not hard when I’m home alone all day and a friend brings supper. But I’m going to keep working on this inertia thing—there are always little things to be done: the dishwasher should be run—it smells musty which may signal the end of my not using the hot-dry cycle; there’s a blue canvas bag on the dining room floor that belongs to a friend but needs to be safely stored for her; a few clean clothes to hang in my closet. Little stuff like that I once would never have overlooked and now I do. I have decided to tackle a bit of it each day.

Sweet dreams, friends.






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