Saturday, May 19, 2012

Head up! Eyes forward!

I love writing, even on the bad days. The things that keep me from writing are what make me truly crazy! A friend calls them Life Rolls. LRs come in all sizes, big and small, trivial and overwhelming. This spring has had its full share and variety of same.

Some LRs are pretty easy, just distracting. I just finished reading all of Jane Austen’s books at the same time my wife plugged the last hole in our Jane Austen movie collection. We now have every version of every one. We’re dying to curl up on the couch together and have a filmfest that lasts near enough a month of evenings.

Okay, so life gets busy and those get sidelined, for now. After all, I do have a novel deadline and a dream of writing for a living. The only way that happens is spending time in the chair practicing my story-telling craft.
Other LRs are a little more challenging. A huge project hit my desk in March. High profile, high hours, short timeline. There’s a reason these are given to me, I’m good at them and enjoy them. I shrug, my novel deadline can afford to lose a month. I write a little, but this is a pretty substantial LR.

The tricky bit about LRs is you can’t predict them. I did so well on that project that they promoted me to take over a department in trouble, in deep trouble. Let’s just say that since April we’ve taken off Mother’s Day. We’re starting to climb out now, but we’re a pivotal operation in the corporate operation and we’ve had to really pull together. The new team has been awesome, but the hours and the work have been mind-bending. Suddenly my novel deadline isn’t so comfortably far off. So, I get up an hour earlier than my normally early alarm clock to get in some writing.

I think that it’s how I address the rolls that life is always spinning out that defines me. My wife and I live about 15 minutes from one of the nation’s international test rose gardens. We wandered the rows of roses that don’t even have a name yet, they’re just test numbers being grown to see if they grow uniquely and true to their form. I watch all of these bushes leafing forth to welcome in the sun, hinting at buds in a thousand shades, and I’m filled with hope, not caring that they are yet nameless.

That’s how I try to step forward. I don’t understand people who let life roll them over. A life roll is merely life. Another chance to standup, brush myself off and see how I can possibly bloom more than before. 

That’s how I want to have my characters step forward. Head high. Eyes forward.

Happy May!
ML Buchman


  1. I definitely understand the LRs and the waking up early. It's pretty much a given that the week I really need to get a lot of work done the babysitter doesn't show, my daughter gets sick, and the house springs a plumbing leak. But you make it work, right?

  2. What better way to shake off the stress of a life roll than to walk through a rose garden. I'd say you are blessed.

  3. Shana, Exactly, you make it work. By keeping an eye on what's important and keeping your head up to let the rest of it slide by as well as you can.

    Amelia, if you're ever in the Rose City (Portland, OR), the international test rose garden is an absolute must, and, if you like living dangerously, right along with Powell's books. :)