Posted Sun, 12/30/07
If I don't keep myself busy, I tend to think about Foofer constantly. This always leads to tears and upset, for which I know there is no cure. However, I've discovered if I involve myself totally into my work it takes away some of the painful edges and allows me to breathe for a few hours.
Collective Obsessions is a huge project that has been in my lap for a long time, as anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis is aware of. I've been easily avoiding the editing process in recent months, always with an excuse at the ready: being uprooted from one house to another and having to travel across country with all of my belongings; getting settled into said house and attempting to start a new life, a better life; and finally, dealing with the devastating blow of losing my darling Foofer. I don't use Foofer as an excuse per say because his death has changed my life in the worst way possible, and it will never be the same again. This begs the personal question: where do I even begin to start over?
The answer has been staring me in the face my entire life: get on with the business of writing. That choice may limit my happiness on a personal-relationship level, but at this point in my life the doldrums of marriage or even the prospect of a grand love affair is far down on my list of priorities.
Over the last several days I have submerged myself into Collective Obsessions – while continuing to write Mind Sweeper in between bouts of editing – and the process has somehow renewed my vigor, my interest in writing itself. There are so many details to track when dealing with a large story that covers a long time span that I simply don't have the wherewithal to worry about life's unpleasant interruptions at the moment.
To be honest, my writing suffered a major setback during the five-and-a-half years I lived in Washington, despite the excitement of my first and second publishing contracts. This was because my home-life situation was miserable and untenable. Being around another person who is negative most of the time is a serious drain on the psyche; it depletes inspiration and gradually relegates positive thought and action into the proverbial trash heap. Now that I'm away from that impossible situation I'm able to cast a truly positive light into my life. My inspiration has returned and the future finally looks brighter. Life would be near-perfect only if I had Foofer with me, alive and well.
Yesterday I spent nearly ten hours editing Collective Obsessions, completing more than two hundred pages. That's quite a bit for one day. By nightfall my eyes were red-rimmed and my head ached, but I was satisfied with what I had accomplished. After touching Foofer's collar – which is now hanging from my bedpost – I was able to sleep fairly well, with Rainee glued to my side. For the first time in a long time, I stayed in bed until just after six-thirty this morning.
I'm sure I’ll return to my typical four-in-the-morning routine, but for now the rest is very much appreciated.