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Posts Tagged ‘family farm’

Well, folks, it happened. The well of creativity overflowed. I’ve spent sleepless nights and groggy days in a state of writing bliss. I admit that while I was blogging about the certainty of eventual inspiration for my climax, I felt anything but certain. But it worked. My crazy, weird routine worked.

Talking with a fellow creative after church this morning, I found support for the need to throw out the rule book. But I liked his point. That we have to understand the rules’ purpose and give them a fair shot before we put them in the trash bin. If I needed confirmation that the Jessie Mae Writing Guidebook (I like that name better. I’m renaming it.) should find its way to the blogosphere, I have it.

But let’s backtrack a little. To Topsfield Maine, where I spent Thursday evening through Saturday. It houses the family farm, an hour north of Lincoln–a town whose recent addition of a Dunkin’ Donuts closes at the same time as its Walmart: 9:00 PM. Sharp.

Bye, bye civilization. But the stillness; the lack of wifi; and the nearness of the coffee pot… it was all what I needed to make my final push. My parents, my wonderful parents, asked me to do absolutely nothing the whole time. They brought me coffee and listened to my weird music and didn’t try suggesting I should sleep. My brother–who came up with his kids on Saturday–encouraged me just as fiercely. Each felt the surge of writing in me and respected it. I adore them all.

And so, a dozen cups of coffee and twenty thousand words later (I’m already fifteen thousand words over my hopeful end point), I find myself a mere few chapters from finishing. Will it happen today? I left my sister/her baby and even forewent my nephew’s second seventh birthday party (the second round of celebrating year 7) in the hopes that I will, indeed, finish. I claimed a table at Starbucks, bought some iced coffee, and plugged in The Piano Guys. Because this is routine and, if the last twenty thousand words have showed me anything, it is that the method in my madness works.

So let’s hope I finish soon, because you–and all my friends and family–probably won’t hear from me again until I do.

Blog Bonus Feature: My virtual notebook is chocked full of character facts and plot problems. It keeps me organized. Good solutions will earn a happy face. Bad solutions are getting a frowny face today.

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This weekend saw the celebration of the life of my sister. And what a wonderful celebration indeed! We partied according to our unique style, incorporating all the things we value–which means nephews and coffee and cooking and Hobby Lobby and on-sale clothes. And if that wasn’t enough to make the weekend wonderful (despite my muscle spasm which my physical therapist has already begun course-correcting), then Sunday should have been the frosting on my cupcake. The worship service followed by an afternoon of conversation, laughter, and (you guessed it) coffee. Yet, this was not all I was blessed with. The weekend extended for Columbus Day.

It was supposed to be another work day for my parents. My dad was going to get up early, go to the family farm in Topsfield, and bring home some wood. But, instead, he and my mom moved those labors to a different day. They stayed home. And it felt like we were back on vacation together once more.

At a little before 8 AM, I woke up from my Benadryl-induced stupor (for some magical reason it helped with my tight muscles) to the sound of my father’s laughter. It put me on the right side of the bed and I hurried downstairs to enjoy freshly-brewed coffee and warm cinnamon-buns and episodes of a television show that make us laugh. Then we ventured into the universe to have lunch together and to (be still my beating heart, my dad wanted to…) go shopping. It was a wondrous weekend. As I get back to real life, I am grateful for the strength and encouragement of family.

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I must admit. I had some less than romantic notions about what the family farm would be like. Growing up, every weekend we journeyed to Topsfield to the family farm where my grandparents lived. And every weekend, it was early mornings and cinnamon buns and housework and beautiful walks. A strange mix of comfortable and uncomfortable. But after the army of flies moved in one year, I moved out. I was hitting high school and given enough independence to say ‘No way’ to the family homestead.

When my grandfather passed earlier this year, the farm fell to my father. He and my mom have been lovingly restoring, cleaning, and bug-killing the old place. I had heard stories that it had improved, but I can’t say that I went with high hopes Friday. I vowed I would leave twenty-four hours after my arrival. Yet, silly me, I was proved wrong again. The farm has a fresh breath of life–without having lost its old character. I ended up staying two nights and waking up far too early Sunday so that I could drive back to Bangor and church. On the farm, between the movies and the coffee and the editing and the baking, it was not so unlike being at home. It mystified me. Still does.

I guess that goes to show that wherever you are, if you are with family, you are home.

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