As you can tell, it has been a while since I have added to this blog. I would love to pontificate about the daily challenges of being a wife, mother, employee, volunteer, and patient to justify why I have essentially stopped doing what I love. Alas, it would all be a lie. People make time for what is important to them. That means either I have made a decision that writing is no longer important to me or I disappeared in the Blip and just came back? (Watching way too much Marvel content) Or, maybe, it’s neither. Maybe I stopped writing because after pouring three years of my soul into a novel, it was rejected. Like a lot. By like a lot of people. Soul Crushing. So, I started spinning as my mind often does and decided that maybe I’m not any good at this. My cheerleaders did their song and dance of reminding me of all the pieces I have published and have won awards for, etc. That’s their job. They love me. If I just wrote for the people who love me, I’d be all good. Even now, I’m not sure where this is going. I’m sitting at the kitchen table with my college student writing while she does her homework because she wanted company. I envy the youth at her disposal. The time she has laid out in front of her to explore, learn, discover, and come to a decision on what her contribution to the world will be reminds me how close to the grave I actually am. Then she asks me a question about what she is learning and the burning envy flame dimms. I forget how little I actually knew in my youth. Next to me is the marked up manuscript that gasps for air and searches for new life like a diver running out air. I don’t know if I have it in me to rewrite this yet again. To be honest, I don’t even think that these characters want me to bother them. They’ve spent nearly 11 months on a dusty shelf in a copy store brown box marinating in their creator’s failure to give them a proper home on a shelf or on someone’s TBR list. Perhaps I should have stuck with journalism. No real creative struggles there. Ask questions, write down answers, and make it fit column size. Easy. This giving birth to characters and worlds is exhausting. Ok, it’s also exciting. I guess I’m not used to things being this hard for me.
Rewriting this story for the 50-11th time. Here is an excerpt from a confrontation between father and son. Occasionally I think I’ll drop bits on here. Let me know what ya think.
“Jacob. In my office. Now.”
“As soon as I take these invoices to accounting.” Jacob planned to put whatever conversation this was with his father off as long as possible.
“Now. Do you not know what now means, boy?”
“Ugh, yes, sir. Right now sir.”
“Close the door and lock it.”
“Yes, sir.” Jason lumbered by the door.
“Sit down.” Jason nodded toward a chair in front of his desk.
Jacob rolled his mind’s eye but did as he was told.
“Do you think I’m a fool?”
“Your actions dictate otherwise.”
“What actions would those be, sir?”
“Don’t play me. You know exactly what actions I am talking about.”
“That would be impossible, sir. I do so many things that meet with your disapproval, sir.”
“So, it’s your goal today to make my eyes roll clean outta my head. I need a drink dealing with you and your ungrateful siblings. The whole motley crew of you have lost your minds. I got Micah having babies with any tramp with a pulse. Angel getting her second divorce. Mandy thinks she is turning into a boy. God don’t make mistakes Jacob. Mandy is a girl and that’s that. Let me breathe. This is about you. You and that grown, excuse my language, ass, married harlot you carrying on with. Well, what do you have to say for yourself?”
“I…I’m not sure. Was that a question or….” Jacob could keep this going all day. He didn’t know how much his father knew, so he didn’t want to volunteer information.
“Cute. Don’t be cute. I’m disappointed in you son. When your momma told me about this little crush and flirtation between the two of you, I thought, well, it’s harmless enough. He knows better than to take up with a married lady over a decade older than him. He knows how important the reputation of the family is in the community. That’s why I sent you to Texas to look after your older brother and his issues. You are the calm one, Jacob. The level headed one. The one I never had to worry about. You disappoint me, son.”
Jacob thought he heard the old man’s voice crack. “Dad, I – ,” he started but was cut off by his father.
“You what? You thought you would just run around and be as trifling as your siblings or half this damn congregation? You what?”
“Out with it! You what? I’m waiting.” He continued while standing, hands angled on his hips, right foot tapping and temple veins bulging.
They both turned as the twisting of the door knob followed by short rapid succession knocking shattered the tension in the room like a priceless vase meeting with a reckless two year old.
“Jason? I need to speak with you.” The sound of his mother’s voice sounded like the sweet music of salvation. She had questioned him about Melanie but was at least tactful about it. Clearly his father’s approach was anything but.
Jacob looked at his father, then at the door. Before his father could stop him, he rose, opened the door, politely said excuse me and brushed past his mother. The hall of the administration building seem to grow longer and narrower with each step he took. The pious air choked out any reassuring breath he could find.
Son of a Preacher Man is the story of a May-December romance that shakes a congregation and a family to it’s core. Jacob Alexander falls for a much older, married woman, Melanie. The age difference along with her relationship status causes the unlikely couple trouble and drives a deeper wedge between Jacob and his family.
I am usually very good at getting a conversation started. The exception is when I have honestly don’t know how to begin, where to start or what to open with. Essentially, I got nothin’. All I know for sure is that what I am going through demands to be written about and explored. Any test of courage that requires sheer faith and fortitude to pull through, lends itself to the writing of epics. Epic poems generally begin with a quest. I don’t know if I would classify my impending journey as a quest. There are definitely heroic elements to this tale. Homer could not have imagined the twists and zags this journey will take the heroine on. As I stand at the precipice of an uphill climb on a downhill slope, I question the sanity of the attempt. The sanity of the first step. By definition, insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. What then, is doing a different thing and expecting the same result?