I’m sitting outside our backdoor, where my landlords made a half-hearted attempt at laying a patio some thirty-years ago. It’s a pleasant space in the shade behind the house and between the cedars. I’m drinking a glass of wine, which I never, ever do alone, and reading while my dog sits at feet and whimpers now and then because she is bored. I’m trying to finish Master and Commander by Patrick O’Brian, and I have been trying to do that for nearly two months now. I can’t seem read more than a page or two at a sitting. I blame the vocabulary. I’m from Maryland. I grew up sailing on the bay. But I am so struggling with the esoteric sailing vocabulary of this book.
I’m finding it difficult to start this blog, which isn’t very promising. It’s just a question of time, isn’t it? When I was school-aged, I had this idea that money would be the biggest problem of adulthood. I thought bills would be the ultimate stress . But I have grown up, and what I really lack is time, not money. I get by on my little salary, which is fairly comfortable when combined with my husband’s. But it’s harder to combine our time banks. My commute is long. My working hours, while not extreme, are significant enough. And when I get home I like to give my time to T (the husband), my animals (one dog, two cats), and my health. I eke out an hour of writing time each morning. But that hour is precious and I don’t like to waste it writing blog-posts. Which, let’s be honest, are self-indulgent articles of opinion?
Despite all of this, I do want to participate. I have things to say. Conversations I’d like to have. That means eking out even just half-hour each evening and making it a habit. It means going easy on myself and not editing each post until it dies on the table. I hope you’ll forgive the typos (which do not reflect my editing standards at all). I’ve never been much of an evening writer, but I’ll try.
I’d like to use this space to discuss stories and books. I hate it when people ask me what I feel passionate about. It’s none of their business. But I’ll admit this anonymously: I’m passionate about stories; good ones that grab you by the shoulders and give you a good, hard shake.
That feels like such an inaccurate description of my love for good stories, but it's all I can do at 9 pm at night. Ready for bed, I guess, so I can wake up early and get cracking on my own stories. They’re getting better than they were a year before. The habit does help.