Monday, April 16, 2018

Cutting Away the Dead Wood, in Life and Writing

Writing has been a bit hard to do these days, with grad school, work, and life going on full throttle, with a few unexpected headaches and obstacles thrown down for extra measure.

I am not superwoman. I get that, but I want to at least have the attitude, the kind of attitude that sees an obstacle and cuts through it without worry or frustrated angst. You know the moment when the superhero sees the problem, pauses just long enough to find their enemy's weakness, and then takes action within seconds - that's the kind of attitude I want to have.

Yesterday, a tree fell down in our driveway. It's been so rainy that the roots under some of the trees are in watery mud. Old trees with muddy roots are not stable entities. Despite living just two miles from a library, movie theater, and eight coffee shops, plus a shopping area for those less caffeinated, we live down a gravel driveway and are surrounded by trees and fields. I normally love our little nature sanctuary in the crossroads of suburban and rural life, but I don't love some of the obstacles that sometimes come up (or down).

My husband saw the obstacle, got out the chainsaw and his truck and started cutting wood. (He has the superhero attitude down.)

I saw the obstacle, covered my face with my hands and said, "oh, dear God, not again." (We dealt with a similar fallen tree in October.) Then, I got my work gloves on and went to drag branches out of the main driveway so we could out. I got dirt, mud, moss, and tree bits in my hair, on my clothes, and my work gloves were dripping with muck by the time we finished.
Then, I cleaned up and went to worship, which helped my attitude immensely.

We did conquer the obstacle, or at least clear a path through it so we could continue life, but . . . there's still a mess in the front yard, which poses an ongoing obstacle of more yard work.

I have to admit, with the rain pelting down again this morning, that the last thing I want to do is clear more branches, but I know I need to do that so I can see the front yard again.

In my writing life, I've had to clear some branches from my messy drafts of The Greenling, and I just woke up this morning and realized that I need to cut away some more dead wood. I don't really want to, but I know I need to so I can see the characters and the plot more clearly.

I need to put on my work gloves and a superhero attitude this morning.

What are you up to this morning?



In other life news: It's my dad's 80th birthday today! He's always been my favorite real-life superhero.

And, my oldest daughter was one of 200 student researchers featured in a newspaper article yesterday. You can read the full article here: Montana Student Researchers Apply Lessons to Real World Problems

The pic is a screenshot from the newspaper article. In the article, she has a brief quote about women in engineering.










13 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Congratulations to your daughter and father!
There's nothing great about the great outdoors. It just means yard work.

Maurice Mitchell said...

Glad no one got hurt when the tree fell down. If you can see the characters and the plot more clearly then cut away Tyrean.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Alex - Thanks! I really like the outdoors, but I'm not sure I want it in my yard ... :)

Maurice - Thanks! Thankfully, most of the trees that are in danger aren't near the house.
And, thanks for the encouragement!

CWMartin said...

Congrats and birthday blessings all around!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

A tree on your driveway means life stops while you take care of it.

Congrats to your daughter.

Tyrean Martinson said...

CW - Thanks!

Diane - Thank you! Yes, except we don't stop well ...

Natalie Aguirre said...

Happy Birthday to your dad and congrats to your daughter. Yes, we must be superheros in life sometimes even when our writing suffers. Today my mom and I had to stay on hold with Social Security Administration for an hour to get her address and bank account info changed for when she moves here next week. She doesn't know how to use a computer and she doesn't remember her credit info enough to open an online account. So glad that is off my to-do list for her.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Natalie - that sounds like a tough call, but I'm glad you made it through it!

Lynn La Vita said...

We don't have fallen trees to deal with, but we sure have our share of dealing with mother nature. Especially during hurricane season. Lightning can wipe out electronics, high winds and rain can do a lot of damage, too.

Oh, I should mention we live on a boat in Mexico. I know all about a superhero attitude. Great advice. I'm sorry for the muddy mess, but I sure enjoyed reading your story.

Thank you for reading and commenting on my Guest Post (Alex’s site). It’s good to meet you!

Lynn La Vita said...

We don't have fallen trees to deal with, but we sure have our share of dealing with mother nature. Especially during hurricane season. Lightning can wipe out electronics, high winds and rain can do a lot of damage, too.

Oh, I should mention we live on a boat in Mexico. I know all about a superhero attitude. Great advice. I'm sorry for the muddy mess, but I sure enjoyed reading your story.

Thank you for reading and commenting on my Guest Post (Alex’s site). It’s good to meet you!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Happy Birthday to your dad! And congrats to your daughter. That's a proud momma moment!!

I totally understand the sighs in life. We are getting rain too. And twice in a month, our sump pump failed, so we've had a pool in our basement. So, I sigh, grab the shop vac and get to cleaning, but I'd rather be writing. So, maybe that is the good thing about tedious clean-up, it inspires us to get to wish we were doing something else!

H.R. Sinclair, Southpaw said...

Ack! But you are a superwoman--you took that moment, then sprang into action. Let's hope you don't have to use them again soon. At least, not to clear downed trees. Just in writing.

Congrats to you daughter! Very cool.

The Cynical Sailor said...

Happy birthday to your dad and congrats to your daughter!

I'm amazed at all that you do (wife, mom, writer, teacher etc.), so you seem like a superwoman to me. Hang in there. :-)