Writers Wanted: Peaceful Souls Need Not Apply

I’ve made some changes in my life recently.   Mostly internal changes with how I view my world, but a few relationship changes as well.   I awake each morning with a greater sense of peace and retire each night, tired from physical labor and heat, grateful for my comfortable bed and happy to fall asleep quickly.

Which is wonderful, except for my writing…

When I’m happy and content, I don’t write as much…

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Nestled within my box of ‘Important Papers” is a 1984 Air Force Academy folder, gifted by a recruiter who was impressed by the fact I can do hundreds of basic math problems in 2 minutes.

It is faded and has two or three layers of tape across tears caused by the bulging contents.

My poetry.

Some was  neatly typed on an electric Smith Corona II and signed with a flourish at the bottom.

Someday, that signature might be worth something, ya know…

Others are written by hand, with the mess of shredded paper at the top, showing where the spiral rings of a stenographer’s pad was located.

Still others reside on yellow, legal-sized lined paper – borrowed from the pads my plumber dad always had stacks of for computing and calculating bids on.

I take them out every once in awhile and as I read, I’m transported to the time of unrequited love, yearnings and all manners of teen-aged mooning about.

I gave up writing poetry in my 20s as only a major, one-sided crush or devastating heartbreak from getting dumped could inspire me to write poetry.

And I just wasn’t that willing to live a life of continual drama for the satisfaction of claiming to be a poet…

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In that same box are several binders full of short stories, journals and partially completed novels.   There’s nothing especially useful about any of it, but since it all fits nicely in the box I would have to keep anyways for medical files and tax returns, I haven’t thrown any of them away…at least not yet.

I had reason to be in “The Box” this past week and realized much of my most prolific writing is done when I’m struggling.   When I’m not happy with the way things are going or am questioning the common wisdom of our culture.

I also tend to not talk as much when things are going well.

What’s the point?   Everything is going along smooth, so there’s really no need to ‘share’.

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And so, with my peaceful soul chugging along just dandy, the in-progress fictional novel is pulled to the top of the ‘Writing To Do’ list and I dive into a mystical kingdom of my own making …

It seems as if one of my characters is getting just a tad big for his britches, causing all kinds of rampant discontent and a war might be looming on the horizon…

Furiously, I start writing…