Dear You Guys,
How are you? I’m fine. The other day my husband told me our sink smelled like pee.
What do you mean? Like pee pee?
He said, Yes, like pee pee.
Like human pee?
Yes, human pee.
This was disgusting and made me feel sick and mad at him because he had to be exaggerating and who did he think he was accusing my kitchen of being pee-y?
I went in there. The smell was overwhelming.
Gross, I said.
I know, he said. And I’ve been trying to find what it is for like a half hour.
I took another deep breath. It was disgusting.
I’ll find it, I said.
Good luck, he said.
So I started my search. I picked up the rag. Gross but not pee-y. I tried the disposal. Nothing. I checked under the sink. Nope. On and on I looked, the half an avocado, the sponge, the bananas, the dish soap. Nothing. I scrubbed down the countertop, the sink, the faucet, all of it. The smell was still there.
Finally, I took a step back and looked at the big picture. Something. I was missing something. Pee doesn’t just spontaneously combust onto the scene.
Then I saw it.
I saw it there plain as day
And it broke my heart.
I had received bulbs for Christmas. I was excited for a lot of reasons. I have always dreamed of having plants in my house. Plants that live. I like the idea of fresh flowers. But even more than that, I love the fact that bulbs hold something secret in them, they transform. Bulbs=Potential.
The day after I got them I read the directions, carefully prepared the soil, and planted away. After two weeks they started to grow. I have to admit I was a little shocked. I knew that growing, turning into a flower, all that stuff was the plan, but it was crazy that it was actually happening.
Look at my flowers, guys, I’d say.
Cam and my three year old and one year old would gather around in the kitchen.
Do you see how tall the are?
And they were tall.
Yeah, three year old said.
Mommy did that, I said.
Wow, he said.
The other two were eating mini spooners and ignoring me.
And life went on.
I never thought about those fllowers except for almost all the time. Were they okay? Did they have enough water? What did “keep moist but not wet” mean?
Then one day, one dark cold January day, my flowers bloomed. It was a Christmas miracle.
And then they smelled like pee.
I am now going to relate this experience to my writing.
Like when I was so excited about this book I’m working on. Only an idea at first, but a big fat bulb of an idea. I could envision in my head how beautiful it was going to be. Thick and long and luscious but complicated. Oh so complicated.
I did all the steps, I prepared, I thought things through, I started writing, carefully writing, and things were looking good.
The novel was growing.
I had actually stuck to some of my new years goals and I was seeing results.
And just when I thought, oh my beautiful flower of a novel, the unexpected happened.
Carol talks about icky middles. Today I am talking about pee middles. The problem with me is, I feel like if I can just push through, just endure the smell, the blooms will get the chance to fully open.
Don’t they smell better once they are fully open?
But maybe they don’t. Maybe I should stop now and throw the flower away. Should I throw the flowers away? How do you know when you should throw flowers away? And do you throw away something beautiful even if it stinks just a little?
Do you ever have a book in your head, people you love, a story you want to tell and you work and you work and you work and you feel like you’re almost there and then all the sudden you start smelling pee? You think, I can’t do this. It’s falling apart and maybe it really is falling apart. Maybe it will always smell like that. You think maybe I should throw this away. Should I throw this away?
I am writing in circles.
What I’m trying to say is writing is hard. There are so many moments of self-doubt. So many complications. So many things to think about.
Hard but exciting.
Exciting because you are creating. You are turning an idea into something real. You are making potential a reality. That’s what art is, right? Potentialities? Things becoming? Something small, an inkling really, turning into something tangible? A flower that wasn’t there before? A pee flower that smells up your whole kitchen that wasn’t there before? Who wouldn’t want to be a writer?
I need to not write these blog posts late at night.