And so, she just started typing. As if she was trying to dig herself out of some hole that was filled with words, perhaps that she never said but had always wished she could. She typed and dug and typed and dug as if letter by letter, word by word she would finally uncover who she was—why she was . . . 

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Try Poetry

posted Feb 23, 2018, 7:50 AM by Colleen Getty   [ updated Feb 23, 2018, 7:56 AM ]

Have you tried poetry lately? If you don't like poetry—try it. It's good for you. Just one bite. You might like it. Poetry is like spinach and beans and kale with much less gas.

If you love poetry, like I do. If you haven't written a poem in a while, like I haven't. Write one. Just pick a time today, say 10:00 am or 1:12 pm or 7:08 pm. Put it in your calendar. Schedule a poem and you just might write one. Allot yourself 15 minutes for a "Poetry Meeting." Stand up or sit down. Stop what you're doing or continue to pretend you’re doing something important. Don't try to rhyme. Just write like nobody's reading.

Write a few thoughts on paper or type them into your phone--your computer--about your life at that very moment. Love it? Hate it? Sad about it? Excited about it? Not sure about it? Not sure about anything? What thought keeps popping up, worrying you, distracting you. Put it to rest with poetry. Walk through your thoughts and simply put them down. Don't think too much. Just splatter it down. Try to use primary colors. Keep things raw and perfectly ripe. Are those opposites? Work out the answer in a poem.

When your "meeting" is over—put it away. Polish it up later. Maybe schedule that "Polish Poetry Meeting" now too. Then put a poetry contest into your calendar. Enter one or two or all of them. Try it. Just try. Poetry! 

Link to poetry contest details on The Room to Write's website at:

(Warning: There are two different Naomi Cherkofsky poetry contests. Yes, it is very confusing, but feel free to enter both. The mailing addresses are different. So--pay close attention to submission details for each.:)

March 15

MA State Poetry Society

Gertrude Dole Memorial Award 

April 1

Hamilton-Wenham Library

Teen Poetry & Flash Fiction Contest 

April 1

North Shore Poets' Forum


April 15

MA State Poetry Society

Ambassador of Poetry Award  

June 30

MA State Poetry Society


Giving Birth to a Book

posted Jan 17, 2018, 8:10 AM by Colleen Getty   [ updated Jan 17, 2018, 8:17 AM ]

Have I really not wished any of you a Happy New Year yet? There was a big blur of turkeys and lights and cookies. Then I needed to stop eating chocolate and really focus. Remember focusing? Did we throw our focus in the same basement-bound box with our old Walkmans, Champion sweatshirts, Michael Bolton mullets and Keds? I realize focusing is not in vogue these days with all the wonderful distractions at our disposal, but I fastened my seat belt in the old way-back machine and put my head down to get ‘er done.

What exactly is “’er?” ‘Er is the story that I have been pregnant with for almost exactly two years. It was a good pregnancy, though. Not a smidge of morning sickness or people trying to touch my stomach unsolicited. Wow, that would have been awkward! The birth was actually easier than I thought it would be. After a long incubation, I could tell things were about to get real when I attended the SCBWI Encore conference in October, but I was ready. Two years is a long time to be holding something in—waiting for the moment when a healthy amount of motivation could be paired with children old enough to allow a few solid hours at a keyboard. 

I knew it was time to push when I attended SCBWI’s Agent/Editor Day at the beginning of November. Not long after that event it was Thanksgiving and so I had to tend to my family and the usual holiday hoopla causing me to break focus for several days and even weeks at a time. When I could steal a moment, I was heads down and writing, reading and rearranging. There was also a lot of reading my own writing aloud which I tried to do when nobody was home to get concerned and wonder who I was talking to. 

After the information and feedback I got at the two events I attended, I decided that the 1st person narrative needed to switch to 3rd person and that what had been my first chapter should be somewhere further into the book—oh, and the entire storyline needed a firm reworking. 

I came to terms with the fact that dialogue is a tedious thing, but can be fun once you get going. The whole project was a mosaic. Broken piece by broken piece, things started to go together but then I doubted my efforts while I was looking so closely at what I was creating. The whole thing seemed like nothing more than a bunch of little, broken pieces. Then things started to take shape and an image started to emerge. I asked someone to take a look as self-doubt creeped in again and I was ready to scrap the whole thing. It was something as simple as “You should be proud of this. It's amazing! I can't wait to read how it ends. 
Keep going!” and so I did. Encouragement can go a long way in fueling the fire within.

One super annoying discovery I made was that I write in past tense. So, when I had finished everything I was left with a task even more tedious than following a conversation in your head and writing every word and every movement down. I had to change nearly every “was” to “is,” every “said” to “says,” every “looked” to “looks” and so on. That was not fun—I mean, that is not fun!

This is the longest project I have ever drafted. If nothing else, it was and hopefully continues to be a master class in writing a manuscript. I started to create natural sounding dialogue and allowed myself to relax into the characters enough so that I simply followed them instead of always leading them or trying to predict their every move. What else did I learn? I learned that sometimes you need to forget your blog and your newsletter for a few weeks so that you can give birth to something that you hope to be proud of some day. 

Labor takes all your focus and all your strength—especially when you have young children and a life beyond your current project. But, hopefully when you resurface cradling a new baby in your arms—even if that baby is unnaturally thin, frighteningly square and exactly 8 by 11 inches—everybody has already forgotten about the things you missed as you introduce them to the new story you brought into the world.

Comfortably Numb Christmas Time

posted Dec 20, 2017, 6:29 PM by Colleen Getty   [ updated Dec 20, 2017, 6:30 PM ]

The world is moving at a pace faster than any mere mortal can go. Stop trying to catch up. Slow your roll and be comfortable with your own pace. I am not a runner, but I know runners and even a non-runner has heard about the importance of pacing. In a marathon or any other crazy-long-run-I-will-never-ever-run, I have heard that runners just have to forget the runner who just flew by them. They have to put him out of their mind even though their instinct is to speed up—it is a race after all. But—it’s a long race and so a runner needs to plan ahead and to know their own limits. 

So, in the holiday race that is going on right now (on foot, in the car, in stores, at schools and everywhere) I just have to decide I’m going to be comfortable with seeing the bottom of a lot of people’s sneakers and their wagging ponytails. I may even sit down and take a few orange slices and a swig off that water bottle and watch a bunch of people run by. I’m beyond pacing at this point. I’d have to say I’m comfortably numb. I get it now. That line means so much more than I thought it did long ago.

I have a thought along the lines of, “Oh, I should get that or do that--” comes into my mind and then here’s where the comfortably numb part comes in: If I visualize what “getting that” or “doing that” may look like for me and if, in my imagination, I see myself exhausted or frustrated or short-tempered as a result I say, “Eh, forget it. Not worth it.” And it’s that easy. It’s kind of weird to me, but I almost feel a bit Zen about the whole thing. I’m doing what I can do and trying not to go haywire. I’m shooting for an attitude that leaves me feeling more like Pete the Cat and less like Angry Cat.

And so, I haven’t written a blog in a while and decided that I would write one tonight. This may not be the best blog I ever wrote, but I’m writing (and running) for myself—just strolling through my thoughts at the moment as I am fresh from my youngest son’s Christmas Concert where he danced like I’m pretty sure no donkey has ever danced before and I’m just going to savor that fun scene because that is definitely something worth remembering. 

Tomorrow I’ll think about my list again. Hopefully I’ll still be in this sort of laisser-faire state of mind. For the most part I’m just getting things off my list (a list that doesn’t totally exist, but that is sort of like the innards of a magic eight ball floating around in my ink-filled head). When things stop bobbing up then I’ll know my list is complete but in the meantime I am convinced I am in the eye of the holiday
storm because I’m rather calm about the whole thing. It is five days until Christmas and I just kicked off the bulk of my shopping four days ago at 8:30 pm. I have to say, I was tired, but it was a great time to go shopping because it’s so close to Christmas that the stores are open late plus there wasn’t any traffic and the lines were minimal.

This world is a bit overwhelming right now with the orange hue things have taken on, but I’m trying to block most of it out and focus on my family and the short distance in front of me. That is humanly possible. Focusing on all that other stuff, well, it just isn’t. I’m waiting for people’s heads to explode or their eyes to pop out and hang from springs while making that “boing” noise from the cartoons. We’ve gotten ourselves in quite the tizzy lately and so I guess there are two roads in that forest that Robert Frost talked about and unfortunately most of us aren’t even looking at the road ahead, we’re just trusting the path to our GPS. 

In terms of today’s world you can either go the path that makes your head explode and your eyes go “boing” or you can take that less-traveled path and try to stay focused on the things not too much beyond your own nose. Stop trying to catch up to the bottoms of those sneakers in front of you and allow yourself to say “Eh, forget it. Not worth it. Nobody will even remember that.” and embrace the comfortably numb results.

(type)Writing Teens

posted Nov 15, 2017, 6:44 PM by Colleen Getty   [ updated Nov 16, 2017, 5:21 AM ]

The Youth Room to Write started about a month ago at the Wakefield Club for teens in grades 7 through 12. Things move slowly when creating a new group and it takes some time to see what works and what doesn't. It has been a professional challenge for me to transition from the structure and experience I had as a full-time 8th grade English Language Arts teacher to the much more agile nature of working in a Club in addition to only being there once a week with no requirement for the teens to participate—oh, and I am in direct competition with all the other fun activities going on at the Boys & Girls Club of Wakefield: floor hockey, basketball, F
oosball, video games, pool, just plain sitting and talking with friends, and you get the picture. It means I need to be creative and since I rarely shy away from a challenge: cue the typewriter.

I was wracking my brain recently for ways to get the teens who are in the group to stay in it and to try to win over one or two more to add to our group when I remembered a big, black, plastic, clunky suitcase-looking thing that my Uncle Skip gave to me—has to be over ten years ago now. Against all odds, I found it on the top shelf in a basement room that seemed to serve as some sort of purgatory for material objects before they were finally shown mercy and either donated or sent to a fate worse than death: a landfill.

I brought the big, dusty hunk home. It wobbled in the back seat of my car beneath my 4-year-old's feet as they dangled above it from his perch in his carseat. He was actually afraid to touch it even with his feet and claimed it was destroying the back of the car. He didn’t trust it and I can’t say I blamed him. This was a long shot. I got it home, dusted off the case and opened it up on my kitchen floor. My four children gathered around me wondering what this strange object could possibly be. It wreaked of mildew and still had a yellow, dehydrated sticker that read $3.00 stuck to it. The back said "Olympia International" and it was electric complete with a thick, black, three-pronged industrial-looking plug. I set it on the kitchen table and fired it up.
My kids were awestruck. I have to admit I was a little excited to use it myself and a lot excited to bring something back from the brink of non-existence to show some young people how things used to be done and miraculously still could be. I love mechanical things if for no other reason than because they can be fixed with two hands and some tinkering. No Apple Genius required. No wi-fi password needed. No software update to load before my kids could start punching away at the buttons and see things happening in real time, with real metal hitting a real ink ribbon and making letters right in front of them. They loved it. They argued about who got more time and how many more minutes before the next one had a turn. I didn’t need to worry that they’d hit the wrong key and buy a twelve dollar movie, or that they would catch an online virus, or stumble onto something inappropriate. No Russians could leak these documents. It was safe.

I entered the Boys & Girls Club of Wakefield carrying what must have looked like a laptop from 1980 if there was such a thing. I walked into the Teen Room where there was a group video game going on. I started to doubt that my humble typewriter would draw anybody away from something that looked really fun even to me and they were playing as a group—my chances of sparking interest in writing were sinking by the minute. I carried on and set up shop. I took out the typewriter and plugged it in. Two girls were the first to notice and they came over. One said she had seen a typewriter before and the other had never even seen one in person. I 
fed some paper in and gave them a couple tips and they started typing. 

One was surprised to find that there was no delete button, but figured out through trial and error that if she pressed the “backspace” button and then held the “correction” button that you could type a darker letter over the mistake letter. The other girl said she enjoyed hearing the sound of the typing and loved the fact that the letters appeared right there in front of her on the paper. Forget virtual reality—reality seemed to be pretty amazing too.
In the end kids that would have scoffed at the idea of “writing” slowly trickled over to try out the typewriter, which meant they were writing on the typewriter. One young man wrote a short and humorous story while the others wrote journal-style about how they felt typing and what their experience was like. It all qualifies as writing in my book.

Who knew that taking kids off-line and back to simpler times would get them writing? I know now, and I’ll be sure to give that typewriter the second life that it was hoping for while it sat patiently waiting on a lonely basement shelf. 

If you have a typewriter that you’d like to see live out the rest of its years dazzling young writers, contact me. I’ll pick it up and put it to good use. If you know a young writer in grades 7 through 12 that would like to be part of our writing group join us Wednesdays at 4pm.

Professional (Arrested?) Development

posted Oct 24, 2017, 10:40 AM by Colleen Getty   [ updated Oct 24, 2017, 10:48 AM ]

This past weekend I had the privilege of taking part in some professional development. Thanks to SCBWI (which stands for Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) I was able to afford a full-day conference where I was in a room with a bunch of nerds who like words. Yes—finally! Sure, I have taken a writing class before, but I was in a college classroom not a hotel ballroom. I was paying hundreds of dollars, not fifty! I probably ate a drive-thru burger on my way to class, not a buffet lunch on a real dish at a table that wasn’t moving and where I didn’t have to work the blinker or windshield wipers. I must also mention that I did not have any children during college, which means being in a room where I could focus, listen and think all at once with an occasional opportunity to write—well, let’s just say it’s been a while and it felt quite luxurious.

I wrote this during the conference when I was told to focus on what I was feeling at that very moment: “This is bliss. This is me walking into the horizon that I’ve always wondered about and squinted toward assuming it was tomorrow and realizing that it is right now. This is tomorrow. How wonderful. How refreshing. Here I am sitting and thinking and writing. Sneakers and khakis. A ballroom—but no ballgown. Just how I like my ballrooms. People who love writing. People writing. Me. I’m one of those people. Writing and being told to write, not just squeezing it in. Not having to feel guilty. Writing for the sheer pleasure of it. Ahhhh . . . This is bliss.”

Can I call it “professional development” if I am not currently getting paid for the job I am doing? Sure, why not! What do writers have to do before they can call themselves writers? Write, I suppose. The irony is that so many writers hesitate to call themselves writers because they do not make a living doing it, but nearly every writer I meet (even the published ones) simply cannot make a living as a writer. Can we at least refer to ourselves as starving writers—at least visual artists get to call themselves artists if they haven’t sold a single piece of art and they stick the “starving” in the right place. I’m guessing that the fact that they are not eating means they are not selling art. I could be wrong. Yet, I feel like a phony calling myself a writer. It seems like such a slippery art form, which may just be what so many of us like about it.

Later in the conference, we were challenged to picture a scene with a character from something we are working on. I chose the YA novel I am chipping away at and by golly—I may just use this in it: “She took her seat, sliding in quietly and trying to blend into the old wood of the chair and the cold metal of the desk. That’s what she felt—where she felt she was—somewhere between worn wood and cold, cold metal. She didn’t seem to fit either and so she sat floating along and unidentifiable in the space in between.”

It seems it is not always enough to see yourself for what you want to be. You must look outside to others to see what they think you are. But, if you don’t even know what you are then how will they know?! Balderdash![1] I am a writer. I must be a writer. I went to a conference. I didn’t get kicked out. They didn’t ask to see some ID or my published poems, essays or books. They took me at my word. 

When will I?

[1] I was excited to use that word. I sat back and admired the boldness and refreshing quirkiness of balderdash. Only a crazy person would do that. A crazy person, or—a writer.

NaNoWriMo Newbies

posted Oct 14, 2017, 12:25 PM by Colleen Getty   [ updated Oct 14, 2017, 12:25 PM ]

Meet two friendly and talented writers 
named Satin and Lynne who are the "Municipal Liasons" (MLs) devoted to helping writers crank out those words during (as well as a bit before and after) the month of November: National Novel Writing Month which is shortened to NaNoWriMo (which is pronounced: Nah-No-Ryme-O). Love it!

These gals were at Hamilton-Wenham's NaNo Newbie: Introduction to National Novel Writing Month where I learned all there is to know about this motivational and inspirational way to try to write a novel in one month. There are all sorts of "rebellious" ways to participate if you are not starting a novel or would like to adapt the idea to illustration or poetry or editing a draft of something you already wrote--but it sounds like it may be worth going the purist route "start to finish" if you haven't tried it yet and if for no other reason than for the full NaNoWriMo experience.

As I participate in this myself and support it in any way I can, I will add to The Room to Write's NaNoWriMo page to keep you updated. For the best way to stay in touch with this wonderful group or a group closer to you, sign up at the official page: and see for yourself. There are forums, events and all sorts of tools to keep you on track.

Once you sign up you can look up the North Shore region or check them out by clicking here.

Good luck!

Get Out and Blog About--About What?!

posted Sep 27, 2017, 6:05 PM by Colleen Getty   [ updated Sep 27, 2017, 6:07 PM ]

The Sahara Desert stands between my last blog entry and this one (if I ever publish it—that is). The last blog entry is the poor slob schlepping across scorching sand and dodging very thirsty creatures. This blog entry that I am currently writing is that mirage on the horizon that looks like a big pool of water but could end up being nothing more than the heat and some earthly oils playing tricks. One big disappointment.

This blog posting was supposed to happen every two weeks. I even claimed it happened naturally a couple blog entries back, and if I could only get back on a schedule then—ZAMMO—my writing would fall in line and behave itself. So, why do I look at this text on this page and worry that as I get closer it will disappear, only to become the sand I fear it to be instead of the water I wish would materialize.

Well, a blog is happening this time. I am posting this no matter what. Since when did I become so finicky?

First, I wrote a blog entry about how we are all so much better off with some space and some time. I thought I would be so clever and tell the reader that, alas, I do not mean outer space or time travel—but just plain old, Jane old, clock-ticking time and elbow-flailing space. I even went into way too much detail about how much I loved the movie The Explorers secretly hoping a reader would look it up and fall in love with that movie and, shortly after seeing it, seek out a ride on a tilt-a-whirl and laugh and laugh and laugh. But no—I decided the whole thing was “too preachy.” Crumple. Toss.

Next, I found myself in the pew of a church at a funeral mass for a neighbor I knew, but perhaps not as well as I should have allowed myself to. Despite my somewhat distant relationship—I cried quite wholeheartedly during the eulogy. There! I had my next blog entry. I would write about one of my favorite genres: The Eulogy. I wanted to talk about how it is amazing how some well-written words can make you miss a person you were only superficially familiar with and wish you had gotten to know them better. But, I decided that was “too much of a bummer.” Crumple. Toss.

Most recently, I stopped to think about writing and soaked into the feeling of comfort and promise that a blank page gives a gal like me. I love words. I love writing. I wanted to just gush about what it feels like to look at a blank page. It doesn’t get better than a blank page. It’s clean. It’s crisp. It’s all of those cliché descriptive words that seem to all start with the letter “c.” I thought to myself, “Well, there’s no better way to fill a blank page than talking about the beauty of a blank page.” That doesn’t make me lame, does it? Well, I don’t care. Then, before I could get ahold of a blank page, I gave into the lazy lounge lizard call of the television and that comfy chair and realized I was “too tired.” Crumple—O.k. I didn’t do any writing and I am not at a desk writing things down and tossing them in a trash can, but I wanted you to picture that and so I wrote it. Toss.

Anyway, September has been carrying on at a blurry pace. What’s that saying: I can’t see the forest for the trees. And that’s a shame because this is a beautiful time for trees in New England. I finally stepped off the beach, but now I am on a train that is going way too fast. My flip-flops are gone. They didn’t stand a chance. I think they got sucked under the train while I was waiting for it to arrive and standing too close to that yellow line. My sunglasses are scratched and I can’t find them anyway. There’s another pair, sure, but they look too much like my mom’s glasses and so I only wear them when I have to. In the past month I have been to three wakes and three funerals for five different people. That’s too many. Flip flops seem so far away now. I could barely see out of my eyes at one point last week because I was so tired. I couldn’t see out my eyes, people!

Perhaps October will slow down a little. If you don’t hear from me in two weeks peak your head in and make sure I didn’t fall asleep on the train. I’d hate to miss my stop.

Hot dog! I just wrote a blog.

Sand: An Ode in Prose and Poetry

posted Aug 10, 2017, 7:54 PM by Colleen Getty   [ updated Aug 11, 2017, 5:06 PM ]

Disclaimer: This entry is not a typical blog entry as I understand them to be or, at the very least, have formatted my own to be. This is me with my feet in the sand and my imagination off for a ramble down in that sweet spot where waves meet sandy shore. I thought I would pay tribute to sand--yes, the stuff we love to hate. It's not so bad after all. You just need to surrender to it. Don't overthink things. The prose is from the point of view of a character I am creating for a story and the second is a poem I wrote just for the fun of it:

Love Like Sand
Here’s the thing about Love. She lives in the crevices of your life where a person usually finds sand. She is sand. She levels him and makes him look whole, but when a person looks closely at him—deep down into his eyes they find tiny grains of her—not him. Sure, he’s there, but the part that is him is white lined paper—it is the brown paper bag. The tiny shards of her are what shines and catch attention. 

If you were reading a magazine you would just fly through until you caught a glimpse of handwritten words and scribbles and more words scrawled sideways across the unoccupied expanse of a page that was intended to give the eyes a break from too many words and offer beauty through its simplicity. Instead she is there. She can’t help but fill simple spaces. She is sand. She spills down the page. She is not supposed to be there. But, she is and you cannot look away. You cannot turn the page. 

Sand, Sun, Sky

Sun lays long across sand.
Seagulls soar—seek refuse, find it.
Dinner, dessert, bedtime, playtime—
all one big sandy dance.
Shivering, splashing, smiling until dimples can’t help themselves.
Everything dissolves
in waves
in warmth.
Voices, gulls echo, mingle, sing.
Not a shod foot in sight.
Just skin and freckles—colorful umbrellas,
but—it’s not raining.
Not a cloud in the sky,
just whispers of white smeared into blue
fading, faintly falling
from the end of the Earth
on through to
the other side.

Stay Disciplined. Become Inspired.

posted Jul 20, 2017, 12:38 PM by Colleen Getty   [ updated Jul 20, 2017, 12:43 PM ]

I recently read a quote about discipline being more important than inspiration. I have to admit I always thought inspiration set my pen in motion, but when I really look at my past writing motivation and discipline seem to be the real force behind most of it. The motivation to write has sometimes come from an instructor telling the class to write about a certain subject, for a certain purpose and for a certain length of time. Within those somewhat vague parameters I usually struck upon something in my reading, research or circumstances that provided what felt like inspiration, but it had not been inspiration that started the whole process. It had been outside motivation. Every assignment drags a deadline along behind it requiring discipline to get the assignment done.

As I am starting to realize more and more, art is not just the byproduct of some romantic and ideal notion that we all have of a painter in an attic studio with light filtering in just so and cobwebs draped in the eaves—never getting tangled in hair or floating down and getting stuck in the paint. Real art being created is not a writer sitting in a coffee shop or quaint pub, smoking cigarettes and wearing a scarf as he sits without a care and scribbles something poetic on a crisp page that has no cross-outs or misspellings. Art is not a potter at the wheel and music playing in the background while the clay displays perfect symmetry and its clean lines just spin and spin and spin. Nothing explodes in that kiln. Nothing breaks in that studio because it is not real, but imagined.

Things do break and smear and get crumpled up and thrown away when real people are creating real art. For a painter, a writer, a potter or an artist of any sort to be productive there must be discipline. There must be habit. There must not be any giving up or giving in or surrendering to frustration because there will surely be frustration and you can bet on disappointment. A mere mortal simply cannot continue after disappointment without discipline. Art must not stop. The process must be moving constantly. Not everything will be perfect. Not everything will be a pleasure to create. The ink must keep flowing out of the pen. If it stops, concentration is lost, and focus is shifted it is very difficult to get back into a groove.

It has been over a month since I wrote a blog entry which, up until now, had fallen into a natural two-week rhythm. I didn’t even really have to think about it. I would get the feeling that I hadn’t written or polished or published in my blog and so—low and behold—it would usually be about two weeks since I had last produced a piece. What changed? Why has it been over a month since my last entry?

School is out. My family’s schedule changed. Habits changed. Schedules went out the window. My discipline gave way to the siren songs of summer vacation. It was certainly not inspiration that went missing. I just came back from the Canadian province of Alberta where there is a healthy dose of inspiration from every vantage point. If you ever want to feel like a great photographer—go to Alberta. But, clean your camera lens first! You simply cannot take a bad photo there. And, since a picture is worth a thousand words—words should have been dripping from my pen. Not so. Despite having Rocky Mountains, turquoise lakes, glaciers, fields of gold and beautiful horses to inspire me—I barely wrote a word the entire two weeks. Apparently discipline had taken a vacation as well.
I started one journal entry and was interrupted only to restart it a few minutes later in a different location and finally abandoned it halfway down the page. There was so much going on to write about but just no time set aside within which to write. No space was made. I was traveling with my husband and four young children while joining up with extended family and a sea of cousins along the journey. Quiet time alone was simply non-existent. I was there to visit and experience, not to sit quietly alone.

Sometimes we sit and wait for inspiration to wash over us. 

We don’t want to write about nothing. We are convinced that our role is a somewhat passive one and so we will just wait until we think of something worthwhile. I can tell you, that approach is all wrong. If you find yourself with the time to sit and write—just do it. Even if it is about trivialities. Even if you would rather do anything else. Even if you are feeling hopelessly uninspired. Through the discipline of writing constantly and habitually, you will stumble across something inspirational along the way. Inspiration will find us eventually, but not without the steady hands of motivation and discipline holding candles aloft as a guiding light.

Wednesday is the New Friday

posted Jun 8, 2017, 11:18 AM by Colleen Getty   [ updated Jun 8, 2017, 11:18 AM ]

My middle-age memory is not always so impressive, but I can almost remember a time when Friday was the most exciting day of the week. Work on Fridays was checkered with intervals of making plans and getting ready for the fun that would happen that evening and that would sometimes carry on for most of the weekend. The feeling was akin to Fred Flintstone hearing that whistle blow, grabbing his prehistoric lunch box and sliding down the neck of that amazingly amicable dinosaur. Ironically many of those Fridays involved getting all dolled up to go out and socialize with the possibility of meeting the man of my dreams—which inevitably leads us directly to some very different Fridays in the future.

Low and behold, one of those fun-filled nights I did indeed meet the man of my dreams. Slowly the Fridays of my youth gave way to a bouncing baby girl, which was a dream come true. I suppose with less need for dreams—there followed less time for sleep or at least the kind I used to be able to devote myself fully to. Fridays morphed from being the threshold between work and play into the baton-pass between laps and laps of going and going and going some more. It turns out that misery does love company and so while some saints, martyrs and liars will disagree that bringing a baby into the world is at once amazing and quite surprisingly the most difficult experience of our lives—I can only use my own experience as a reference and will respectfully disagree with others who remember only sunshine and rainbows. And so I was happy to have my husband join in the misery and a sprinkling of precious moments each weekend.

A near-complete handful of children later, my brain and body pretty much shut down by Friday. I made the mistake of signing one of my girls up for something fun one year that met weekly on Fridays at about dinner time. Wow—what a mistake that was. I could not think of anything more taxing than raising four very young children all week just to wrap up the week by having to venture out of the house each Friday during rush hour to find parking and then do it again 45 minutes later when all I wanted was to sit and settle in. Never again.

Eventually I learned to adjust to my evolving—perhaps dissolving—body and mind knowing that Fridays were my weakest point and that no matter how much fun my kids may have—I had to first apply the oxygen mask to myself before I could possibly be of any value to them. Picture that movie where Tom Hanks washes up on an island and a soccer ball becomes his new bestie—that was me every Friday as I would wash up from the weekday ocean with barely enough energy to crawl up onto each sandy, dry weekend.[1]

So, how am I doing these days? It is about a decade after I gave birth to our first child. The learning curve was pretty steep with that first new life we brought into the world. I am no longer a near-constant presence on the couch nursing and we have even made it out of the life-sized maze of diapers in their various sizes and “pull-up” evil disguises. So, aren’t things getting less exhausting? Well, here is where things get wonky.

My kids are all “in school.” Ok, a couple are only in for three hours at a time and not every day—so, yes, barely the time for a shower, a cup of tea and a phone call. Phone calls? Forget those. You will chat with your old Friday Friends about once every month or two if you’re lucky and if one of you is really ambitious—which, if that friend also has kids chances are they are ambitious, but neither of you is a miracle worker.

So, kids are “in school” as barely true as that statement may be. I think to myself, “I have a few ‘extra’ hours,” which I don’t but I tell myself that, and so “I want to start to do some things I have put on hold.” I start to do those things and, being the type of person I have been for some time now, I will do those things in a way that holds me more accountable than I am prepared to be, therefore forcing me to commit to my goals. Now I—possibly you can relate to this—am between two worlds and that is challenging in a good way, exciting in a refreshing way and—well—exhausting in an eye-twitching and information-falling-out-of-my-ears way.

By the time Wednesday comes along I am convinced it must be Friday because my mind and body are breaking down like they used to do on Fridays. I check my calendar: it’s Wednesday. This can’t be! Ahh . . . but it is. Wednesday has become the new Friday (the new one—remember—not the old one that was the prelude to youthful abandon) and I am just going to have to find a floating crate or kick my feet and work that doggy paddle like nobody’s business until that island of sandy respite can be seen on the actual calendar-verified Friday.

Have a good weekend, whenever it arrives and remember: T.G.I.--something or other.

[1] After writing the first draft of this blog entry, I reflected and thought how I couldn’t—and still can’t—remember the title of the movie that I am referencing here with Tom Hanks and his soccer ball bestie. Then, I thought of how I should note that it made sense that I couldn’t remember the title because it is Friday and therefore my body and mind are no longer working at full strength. What was really funny was that indeed it was not Friday, but still Thursday, further exemplifying how Wednesday truly has become—at least at this present moment in my life—the new Friday and that even after very consciously writing about this whole phenomenon on a Thursday I was, only moments later, convinced it was at last Friday. Alas, it is not. Ugghh!

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