These Dear Days

It seems we’re in those dog days of summer when very little happens.  Over the past few days, I’ve started and stopped, posted and deleted at least three different blogs.  Failures … all of them!  Now here I am again at a blank screen.  I prefer this place.  A blank screen is comfortable.  There are no bothersome words to clutter up the joint.  My syntax is perfect; my punctuation is flawless.  With nothing to say, I could give the appearance of blissfulness.  Like floating on water.  Peaceful.  A summer flower in full bloom.

There are no mistakes when there are no words.

I could go this way easily, but remaining wordless might be more than my heart could handle.  After all, words got me here in the first place.  Breathing out, one sentence at a time, is how I manage to live from one day to the next.

There are glorious mistakes in the things I write.  Every word is a teachable moment.  Do I mean to say, these august days (as in the month), or do I mean to say, these august days (as in glorious)?  Honestly, I don’t know what I mean to say until the words move down my arms and through my fingers.  Poor Dan is often rendered apoplectic by the cavalier offerings I present to the writing world.  I don’t outline.  Never plan.  Plot structure?  What’s that?  Motivation?  My characters will let me know why they do what they do.  Often, I’m more surprised by what they do than anyone.

So, here’s where it gets tricky.  About this time each year … when the sun in Phoenix is relentless and I’m not sure I can take one more moment of this sand-filled, unforgiving desert … I slow down.  Like the brown-edged hibiscus in my yard, spinning out their final moments, I slow to a writing crawl.

Then, it rains.

Lovely, fat drops of rain just in time to revive the desert and keep it alive and thriving for another day.  I’m refreshed for one more moment.  My laptop hums under my fingers.  One red hibuscus decides to stand tall and I sit up in my chair.  I can do no less than that struggling plant.

I started this post with the statement that not much happens in these dog days of summer.  I lied.  Plenty happens.  Doctors pronounce verdicts over their patients.  Words continue to form in a writer’s mind.  Mistakes happen and then are corrected … mostly.  Written or not, words continue to spin.

And … hibiscus flowers stay one more day.


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