Friday, June 30, 2006

Roughing It

The title of this blog comes from a thread on a writer's board I frequent. I read it and thought I'd expound on my idea of "roughing it."

For me, roughing it isn't something as mundane as only having 4 television channels to watch, or using an inferior product...

My idea of "roughing it" is having my technological toys taken away. Since my first daughter was an infant, I've relied on microwave ovens to decrease the time I spend in the kitchen. The same with my dishwasher...though I could get away without one now, since hubby and I are more or less "empty-nesters".

But more than anything, I probably could not function and would be reduced to a quivering blob of protoplasm, curled up in a fetal position under the bedcovers, sucking my thumb and whimpering if my computer were taken away.

This little wonder has introduced me to new friends, given me a better way to express my creativity, and given me tools to do research, find recipes, catch up with old friends and learn new things.

This morning, I went downstairs and flipped on the lightswitch. Nothing happened. Then I remembered that last night the lights had flickered then gone out. Hubby had looked at the circuit breaker and declared it "DRT"--dead right there. That circuit not only controls the lights, but also the microwave.

Thankfully, the stove still worked and I was able to boil water in a pan to make tea. But it made me conscious of how much I rely on "things". What would I have done if the stove had been electric and on the same blown out circuit? (Probably jumped in my car and gone to Quik Trip for a caramel cappucino steamer, but that's another story).

I had a friend who shunned technology (except for her computer). She and her family live in a rustic house out in the boondocks of Northern California. She did not own a microwave. While she did own a television set, she only used it to play DVD's to entertain her kids. She had a treadle sewing machine which she used to make beautiful quilts. Eventually, I believe she even gave up the computer. This saddened me because I lost touch with her.

So, what is your idea of "roughing it"? What can't you live without?

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Why Write...Why Do Anything?

Last night was my last "Beyond Well Begun" writing class. I have to say, the last eight weeks have probably been some of the most productive of my writing life. I didn't get a tremendous amount written, but I learned so much from our instructor, Nancy Knight.

After reviewing all the subjects covered in class, Nancy asked us The Question: "Why do you write?"

Without exception we all answered pretty much the same way. We write because that's who we are...we are writers.

Even if (God forbid!) I never get published, or if I publish once and never again (one book wonder???) I would still write.

I write because I have so many stories to tell. And if my computer and Alphasmart were taken away from me, I'd use whatever pen or pencil was handy and write on notebook paper, napkins, paper towels...I'd even scratch my words into a piece of wood with a sharp knife if necessary--because I have to get the words out of my brain and make them solid.

Come to think of it....if I were REALLY desperate, I could learn intarsia knitting and knit my would be time consuming, but doable. :)

I know I'm drifting into silliness here, but my point is, when an artist of any kind has a statement to make, they find a way and nothing short of complete incapacitation or death will stop them.

And it always surprises me when someone admits that once upon a time they wrote a novel, shoved it under the bed and never wrote another word.

How can someone do that? And when they do, do they suffer in agony over the suppression of their creativity? Or do they not think of it ever again?