So, I've talked about why I write and what I write.
Now, I'd like to talk about how I write.
Or, more specifically, how I came about actively pursuing the dream of writing.
I've always been an avid reader, and I read rather quickly, with excellent retention.
Which makes book buying expensive when one factors in the amount of time it takes me to read a book.
Let's go back to 1990, when I was pregnant with the first of our four children. All was fine up until late October, when I got very tired. I wasn't due til December 22nd, which means I had about 8 weeks to go.
I went to my check-up, and was stunned to find out my blood pressure was WAY up.
The doctor hmm'ed and said. "Go home. Rest. NO sodium."
I rested, went back a few days later. And it was worse.
"Go home. Rest. Stay in bed."
"Stay in bed?"
"Yes, you're now officially on bed rest. I sure hope you like reading, watching TV and reading. Oh, and by the way, you cannot be alone. Not for one minute. Don't even lock the bathroom door."
I had toxemia. And I had it bad.
Well, there went all the fun plans.
So, on certain days of the work week, my husband John would drop me off at my parent's house. While there, they and my Mom's Hearing Ear Dog, a white poodle named Lambchop, would take care of me.
The other days, my best friend Robyn Peters would arrive before John left for work, and would take care of me until he came home.
Yes, I did A LOT of reading. And talking. And napping.
Robyn helped with my Christmas baking. Ha! "Helped". She did it all.
I did the sprinkles.
John and I would share the books I'd gotten from the church library.
He'd say "you could write better than that."
I love him, but he was nuts. He said that a lot.
Not that he was nuts, but that I could write.
Fast forward to December, 2011.
I had come to the Rubicon of my deeply hidden dream. I decided if I was to ever take the leap to write, it was going to have to be soon. I was 48, and not getting any younger. Also, my days of Momming littles was over.
So, I began.
It was Christmas holidays, all the kids were off school. Which meant they all slept in. So, beginning on the 26th, I stayed up late into the wee hours, writing.
A few nights after I started, I tiptoed into our room at about 2:30am.
It was pitch dark. John was asleep.
Since I was still in jeans and a sweater, I needed to get into my pajamas and slip into bed without waking him up...
I closed the door as quiet as a mouse.
I took a step.
I took another.
One more step.
"Do you mind telling me WHAT you're doing on Facebook in the middle of the night?"
He was furious.
Not slightly annoyed.
Not kind of mad.
He was seething.
I could hear how his anger shaped the fury of his...his...not his question, but...his inquisition.
Pain was already involved.
What was his wife doing online late at night?
"I'm...uhh...not on Facebook..."
My heart was about to burst.
"Oh really? Then what exactly are you doing?"
It was pitch black in that room.
And that was just his voice.
Jennifer, you are so stupid...
I heard him take a breath.
"WELL, IT'S ABOUT TIME!!! WAY TO GO, HONEY!!!"
Have you ever had a moment when you could just about feel that most important someone set your wings into your back, and tell you it's time to fly?
When I get tired of what it actually takes to write a book, and the feathers fall and I need encouragement? There he is, my husband of 26 years, smiling up at me. "Fly. Just fly. You can do this."
In my second book, I ask a question about love. The question was gifted to me by my dear friend and Navajo mentor, Theodore Charles.
"Which wing is more important to the bird?"