Well, yesterday stank.
Everything was perfectly peachy. I wrote 1,800 words on my Work in Progress and was feeling so good about it that I decided to hop in the car and run get the caramel apple lollipops Monkey’s been begging for.
And then I got an email that shot the peach right out of me. I’m not going to go into details, but I will say that it was another cruel blow to my staggering writer’s ego.
Picture Katniss, starving and wounded in the arena. Then shoot her.
I had myself a pity party without any refreshments because I’m on a stupid diet. Why can’t bad news come when I’m not dieting? Oh, because I’m on a diet eleven out of twelve months in the year.
I was grouchy with my kids, the dog, my husband and may have even yelled at Roger the box turtle.
But this morning, just before dawn, I hit the real low point.
I dreamed I was unclogging a toilet. And it wasn’t even our toilet. It was somebody else’s toilet. And it was bad. We’re talking bean burrito bad.
When I woke up I decided God must’ve sent the dream because He knew I wouldn’t have gotten out of bed otherwise. Then I speculated on whether He was trying to tell me that I’m called to be a plumber, not a writer.
I told one of my writing buddies, Mild-Mannered Missionary Mary, about the dream. Mary is writing a book about a woman who interprets dreams so she decided to give mine a go, because fiction authors become experts in whatever topic they’re currently writing about. Anyway, Mary said, “Evangeline, I came up with two possible interpretations for your dream. 1. Your life is full of crap. 2. You’re feeling stuck and you need to let things move along, so to speak.”
Profound words of wisdom.
Thank God I’m surrounded by awesome people like Mary, my husband, mom, and writer friends who don’t run when the mess of my life overflows.
You know, let’s be honest. It flat out stinks. But like another sweet writer friend said, “Take some time to mourn and be angry. Then pull yourself up by the bootstraps, when you’re ready and not before.”
And that’s what I intend to do.
In the meantime, if you’re in need of plumbing services, look me up under Evangeline Knows Poo.
UPDATE: Mary wrote the following gem just to cheer me up. Be sure to check out her thoughts at the end (hee hee) on how unclogging a toilet is a metaphor for the writing life.
How to Unclog a Toilet:
For those stuck with the job
1. Realize that this is going to stink. There just isn’t any way around this.
2. Stop complaining that you are not the one who created this mess.
3. Accept the fact that closing and permanently sealing off the door with Caution tape is not an option.
4. Tools. Make sure you have tools. Believe me, without them, this only becomes a way crappier job.
5. Turn on the bathroom fan and take a deep breath. It could be your last good one for a while.
6. Open the door and step into the room. Yup, there is no plunger handle long enough to avoid that one.
7. Lift the lid. (Keep holding that deep breath.)
8. The plunger must be placed and aligned directly onto the “obstruction” for best performance. Not looking will only prolong the matter.
9. The harder you work, the quicker things will, uh… move along.
10. Try to flush. When the water rises to the top, pull the handle up and in no uncertain terms yell at the toilet to stop. (Mine always listens.)
11. Repeat Steps #8-10 until successful or it is necessary to call the plumber. In which case, you will be thrilled that a human exists to do such vile things.
12. From here on after promise to flush responsibly so things move along as they should.
Please note, any comparison to the actual life of an on-the-verge-of-being-published author, is purely intentional. Sometimes we get stuck with… well, let’s just be honest, crap. We don’t want to deal with it, we don’t want to talk about it, we don’t even want to look at it. But, it won’t solve itself. Bravery is required on our behalf. Armed with the tools of our craft, we can and must work hard until we are successful or call in a writing surgeon. Either way, walking away is not an option. Just as a toilet is designed to… make things go away. Far, far away. It’s only when it doesn’t do its job that things go awry. Even so, writers write. Sometimes we get stuck. But, repeating the process is not just the wise choice, it’s the only choice.