Breaking the Rules (now what have I done?)

The end of April has come and gone and spurned May, like a little hellion what with tornadoes and dead terrorists honchos who’s name rhyme with “Obama” (hurrah on that last one). I sat and watched a week’s worth of these reports a bit like Amelie.   In the beginning of the film, Amelie (if for some reason you haven’t seen it, and I don’t think there is a reason not to) is a child who has been given a camera for her birthday instead of a baby brother. At first, she is so excited with the gift. She runs around her neighborhood capturing pictures of everything she loves.

Then one day, she takes a picture and two cars crash in front of her. Some jackass walks up to little Amelie and says, “Now look what you’ve done.” Poor wee thing takes this immediately to heart and runs home to turn on the tv. News story after news story reports various tragedies all over the world, which makes sense to Amelie, because she’s been taking pictures for a while now. She’s sitting on the sofa, huge remote clutched in both tiny hands, eyes enormous with shock and guilt, and shoulders slumped with the weight of what she thinks she’s done.

That’s how badly I was feeling about missing my April 30th book deadline.

I began thinking over all of the OTHER things I did with April, and I began to wonder if those had caused the problem…and if, generally speaking, the reach of inconsistency is broader than we think. The Butterfly Effect, basically.

The same question popped into my mind today as I put 25lbs of organic carrots into my trunk for juicing, and then drove across the street to grab a Rita’s (Ice. Custard. Happiness.) gelati before heading home. Am I toying with some master design when I slap convention and order in the face like that?

To encourage myself, I’m writing out the top five things I DID do with April, which did not include meeting my own deadline. In no particular order, they are:

1. Worked. I mean, it does take time, and this girl has got bills to pay.
2. Wrestled with life and relationship decisions. Since this is essentially what my book is about, I guess I was bound to start thinking about the topic sometime or other. Why not now, just as my deadline is RIGHT there? This ended up involving much brooding, listening to sad cd’s I haven’t seen since high school, and the inevitable late night, wine-infused, teary chats with my pillow.

3.  Juiced. Now, detoxing is a once a year thing for me, but just as the Lord has promised not to flood the entire Earth again, family and friends (especially Stephanie, who has yet to really forgive me for biting her head off for something trivial four years ago) have made me swear never to only juice, so it’s been one meal a day for me, and a second meal of only raw fruit and veggies, which has kept me balanced and from picking fights at random.

4. Started a new business.

5. Painted my toes, which is no minor thing after keeping tootsies corralled in the cave of close-toed shoes for a season. Cramped and with no sunlight, we all know the sort of disrepair that can occur and the undoing of that requires time, tools, and  muscle. I managed, however, and am proud to say I’ve been clomping about in espadrilles for weeks now.

All of this to say, it’s been a productive and distracting month, but I did write. And there are a mere 1,500 words left to be put down, so off I go…



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7 responses to “Breaking the Rules (now what have I done?)

  1. Nathan Gray

    Let me first say that this is in fact not a comment on the above post. Instead, I’ve come to this page following a lengthy search in order to post this comment on a page where I’ve not already posted other comments as well. You know, if you comment too many times on the same page, people begin to call you names.
    At least I think so.
    Should you like to contact me, my email is

  2. scribblesinnotebooks

    Can you please do a post that is nothing but movie quotes all smooshed together?

  3. theredbench

    Hey… good luck on your book. I too am an aspiring writer. 🙂
    I love the movie Amelie as well !! Thanks for bring it up, I think I will watch it again soon.

    • Thank you for the well wishes, and bests to you as you put the pen to the page. Happy to find another Amelie fan. Such a lovely film with so many poignant moments. Don’t be the girl in the painting. Live! (meaning don’t just aspire…write!)

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