Over at Twitter yesterday, I posted this thought: “If you don’t want to do anything on your to-do list, maybe you need a different to-do list.” I confess that I’ve been feeling that way a few days lately myself. Maybe it’s the sudden onset of spring here, which has turned my yard, in one week, from a few tentative shoots to a total riot of flowers. The cherry trees blossomed completely yesterday. The magnolia started yesterday as well and will be in full bloom tomorrow. Such beauty outside kills all motivation to do anything that doesn’t really need to be done. But as I mused on Twitter, maybe that’s not such a bad lens to view life through anyway.
What I am enjoying doing right now is editing my novel draft. I’m even looking forward to some long train and plane rides coming up in order to have time to edit it more. This book has taken shape over the past decade. I completed a draft of a novella about 8 years ago that I called The Cortlandt Boys. It was about a small high school that wins the boys’ state basketball championship. Ten years later, the boys from that team are still living in the reflected glory from that time, until a mysterious discovery, from around the time of the championship, starts yanking their lives into the present tense.
Nothing much happened with the book. I had an agent try to sell it as a YA novel, and it got some serious consideration, but then some places passed. I’m kind of glad that happened now, though, because I realized later I was only seeing part of the story, and the characters and plot weren’t fully developed. I moved the story to a small town in Pennsylvania (hey, that’s where I live now!) and I made it a 3 part tale. There is the championship game, which happens in 1993. Then there is the mystery 10 years later, which happens in 2003, and then there is a third part, which happens in 2013-2014, with the characters 20 years removed from their high school days. Their daily lives still reflect the fall out from the mystery from ten years before, but as their own children hit high school, and as they start to take over the institutions of their town, there is more the question of what it means to live a good life when the biggest thing to ever happen to you happened so young. Or, we learn, perhaps it is not the biggest thing. Life has a way of throwing such curve balls at you (or whatever the basketball equivalent is of that metaphor).
There’s also scrapbooking in here now. An institution called the American Folk Arts Museum. A religious camp for teens, a right-wing radio host, a girl who sings psalms and owns a rifle named Daisy, and some questionable love affairs. I’m enjoying reading it myself, so hopefully other folks will too, someday soon.
My other Thursday thoughts: We are saying goodbye to the high chair, pictured alongside this post. Back in New York, my husband and I ate at a bar-height table that fit well in the curved window of our apartment. When we had our now 5-year-old, he needed a high chair that fit the bar height table, and this beauty from Bloom did the job. It’s lasted through three children, though it’s been frightfully hard to clean. That’s why — now that our 18-month-old has aged into a booster seat — we’re getting rid of it. Still, despite the gunk, I’m a little sad to see it go.
I’ll be traveling next week and will be posting a few guest posts on the blog. I hope you enjoy the new perspectives and topics!
What parts of your to-do list are you enjoying right now? What are you looking to chuck?