IMG_1905November can be such a cruel month with its steely skies and chilly winds.  It is almost 9 am.  I am fed and medicated.  It is very grey.  Raindrops are on the window panes.  There is nothing cheerful and inviting about today.  If I am not careful, I could fall into its doldrums.

I’m on the tail end of my cold, just suffering its passage.  I’m giving myself a vigorous shake.  I know the thing not to do is tell someone to snap out of it. But that is precisely what I have to do.  I have to grab the tiger by the tail and give it a good yank.

Snap out of it! Drop it!  Get on with it!  Whatever it takes!  I’m sick of it.  I’m sick of being sick.  Boy, I make a lousy patient! The thing is I have lost my momentum and I’m pissed.

I still had high hopes and tons of energy when I came back from France.  I had such plans of finally getting life in order, write a book or two, make peace with every Tom, Dick and Jane.  I had all my bags unpacked, clothes laundered and put away.  I was ready to tackle the real stuff next.  You know what can happen to the best laid plans.  Kapow!  My cough got nastier.  And the rest was history.

IMG_1907So here I sit, tapping out my anguish.  Joyce Carol Oates’ Sourland is giving me ideas but no immediate relief.  If anything, it is adding to my distress with life.  Sourland is a collection of 16 short stories.  Six stories in, I am finding them gripping and mesmerizing.  They are poignant portraits of flawed human beings with flawed lives.  Ugh!  I want life the beautiful, princesses and fairy tales right now.  It is my cold, my illness speaking.  Don’t listen to it.

IMG_1904It’s sapping my energy.  I feel like I need to have a rest,  then take the beast out for her walk.  She is also feeling desolate this morning, needing her toys to cuddle with. A little fresh air and exercise would do us both good.  I will just have to bundle up a little.


The grey is more palatable being in it than watching it from indoors.  It is a relief to be in the great outdoors. The grey is not so oppressive.  It is drizzling just enough to get Sheba’s coat damp.  It is not too cold nor windy. We are alone on the streets on this Sunday morning.

The little exercise is refreshing.  I’m back here again.  I will put away my sick persona, pack up my cold symptoms and cast them out.  They are hampering me.  I don’t have it in me to write a 1600 words or even 1000 words a day. But I can still work on it. Perhaps I have enough in me to write my own poignant short story in November.   It’s not all or nothing. It’s one word at a time.  You don’t give up.  You don’t go back.  You don’t start from scratch.  You start from here.  I should listen to myself sometimes.


  1. I really love the last paragraph, Lily. This is the only way I’m able to keep writing: when I can, as many words as my head and spirit will permit. Chug on, sister. John

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