Monday, December 6, 2010

lost the plot

I feel like at least once a week, an apology blog comes up on my Reader. You know the drill: "Wow, I can't believe it's been xx days since I've posted last. I've been busy, the weather is cold, I have a social life, blah. I'm definitely going to start writing more." I think we all just have to put some kind of anonymous external pressure on ourselves to write, and then some of us (like me, the kind who did the same thing with schoolwork) use that as a reason NOT to write. I'm writing in my head, all the time. But since the wedding especially, I'm trying to apply a structure to the blog that doesn't exist, and, in the case of my cooking blog that I haven't even started yet, have all my ideas in place ahead of time. That isn't a blog, it's a novel. I'm not writing a novel; I'm never going to write a novel. I just need to keep coming back to this place.

So why haven't I been transcribing the wedding details, the honeymoon tales, the cooking triumphs? I am addicted to word puzzles. I've loved to do them since I was a kid, and it was always especially a treat for vacation travel. I'd pick out a fat paper book of Penny Press Word Games and work through it over the course of a trip, or during school breaks. Over the last few years, though, it's become my default before-bed activity, cutting heavily (okay, almost entirely) into my book reading. I occasionally justify the timewasting on these puzzles as a way to ward off early Alzheimer's. I've heard and read that keeping the brain nimble with word games can help prevent the disease from taking hold, but the truth is, it didn't help my Grandma, who worked crosswords religiously with her morning toast and coffee, and of course she is the reason I am morbidly obsessed with my own failing memory. I really just do these puzzles because I like them. It's quick, gratifying work, suits my diminishing attention span and somehow seems to actually take less brain energy than simply reading. I particularly love the puzzles like Places Please and Fill-Ins, the ones that are the written word equivalent of packing a suitcase (this fits here, this fits there, done!).

So there's my apology blog. I'm not writing on Sundays. I'm doing logic problems. And baking peanut butter cookies. And wrapping Mischa up in blankets with me on the couch. It's wintertime in the Gray household, complete with logs burning merrily in the fireplace, a new 12-quart stock pot purchased specifically for a big batch of chicken and dumplings, and plenty of quiet and peace in the company of my handsome and funny husband. Okay then, I'm not really apologizing. I'll just get there, and I'll keep trying.


99waysoflookingatabreakup said...

This might be my favorite apology post ever, or my favorite post you've ever written. It speaks to so, so many more things that what's on the surface. Love it.

Vickie said...

Julia Child said, "Never apologize" -- no story before its time. Loved this post, too. Cozy. XOXO

Carolyn said...

Dude, you are spot on as to why I will do three posts in one day and then none for a month. I get in this rut and think that there has to be substance or a million photos and links and bells and whistles...when really all we need to do is just write what is on our minds. May many blog posts be in your future!!