On Not Writing and Monarch Butterflies

I know. I broke faith with you.  Instead of pushing through the deep valley of Nothing Good To Say these past few weeks, and writing about it, I just… didn’t. I did TRY to write, but it was all so very whiny and complain-y and that is sooooo boring. I know this because I’ve lived through having 3 teenagers. Side note, my British cousins say “whingy”, for this same affliction.  I like that more.  Whiny is like a dog whimpering because you forgot to feed it, whereas whingy sounds like an old door that creaks every time you open it.  Annoying vs. something you might be moved to feel sorry for.  For everyone’s sake, backing away from this public journey, and keeping my bleak thoughts chained in a dark corner where they could brood and scratch epithets on the dungeon wall was a clear best choice.

Usually when I go “inner” like this, I have a writing project starting to swirl and form like a galaxy that is still far, far away.  Being quiet and letting fragments of ideas float up is an exercise in patience, but its part of the creativity deal.  That’s half the equation for my wading back into this weekly blog.  The other half was the realization, “Hey, maybe I’m not half bad at this,” which was prompted by the news that two theatres are looking to produce “Like Kissing Moonlight”.  That’s my wonderful laughter-through-tears mashup of Chekhov’s “Three Sisters” and “Cherry Orchard” set in modern-day Appalachia. My newest play, a fun murder mystery in the vein of “Death Trap” or “Sleuth” is also nearly done. I love the phase of writing I am in with that one. The hair-pulling, grinding agony part of creation is done and now I am in the delicious slashing of at least 10% of the sucker. I love cutting.  And! A screenplay I wrote a couple of years ago is getting serious attention from…  Someone Rather Important.  That’s all I will say on any of that, as excess talk can juju up good news when you’re a writer.  Call me superstitious, I don’t mind. I just know not to flap my gums overmuch. If anything happens in these next few months I will tell you. Scout’s Honor.

Speaking of a few months, we’re closing in on the 1st anniversary of The Fire. I chalk up some of my inner Quasimodo feelings to this pending event and have been looking for ways to mitigate it.  My Mom’s Garden Club** met yesterday, and a sheet was passed around to help plant milkweed in a Monarch Butterfly habitat at the local grade school on March 3rd, which is the exact date of The Fire.  I signed up immediately. It’s an antidote of sorts – doing something worthwhile to balance out the destruction of that night.  I can help the remaining 10% of Monarchs left in the world have a snacking place.  It’s a shocking statistic, isn’t it?  According to the etymologist who came to speak to the Garden Club, in the past 30 years, we’ve killed off 90% of the Monarchs.  That makes me sad. I hope they can make a comeback, like the Grizzly Bear or Przewalski’s Horse.  And no, I’d never heard of Przewalski’s Horse either, but came across it when I was looking up animals which are no longer on the endangered list. They’re adorable and extra furry and live in Asia.  They are the only true wild horse known in the world today. I love little facts like that.  Watch, it’ll swirl up in my next play.

** I felt quite out of place sitting with the perfectly coiffed and size zero bedecked women at the Garden Club.  Additionally, I was blindsided and informed that as a new member (and here I thought I was just bringing Mom), I am required to create a flower display for the “Mini Flower Show” that is coming up in March. I was given a large, detailed packet on how to do it correctly, so my initial thought to go to a florist and have them do it is out.

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