Monday, September 7, 2015

Why is it so Crowded in Here?

Ah September.
Do you remember...

Sorry. I can't help it. I here 'September' I hear 'September.

It has been an entire month since I have updated the Coast of Illinois. Probably not the smartest marketing plan for a blog but personally this was a wise decision. Nothing bad going on. I just needed a breather.

Don't get me wrong.
I love writing and I get a huge kick out of writing this blog and interacting with other bloggers out there in the world of cyberspace. But for all my enjoyment, every time I sat down at the computer I seemed to draw a blank.
Oh sure, there were plenty of ideas spinning around in my cranium. They just couldn't seem to circle the drain long enough to flow onto the computer page.

Every time I attempted to write and came up empty handed my internal editor, who sounds an awful lot like Ed Asner as Lou Grant would start up.
'What's the matter with you?'
'You can't come up with one lousy page?'
'Where's Sue Ann?'
This would activate my inner Mary Tyler Moore as Mary Richards and I would burst into mental tears at which point Lou would shout, 'Mary!!!' and Mary would plaintively cry, 'Misterrrrrr Graaaaaant!' At which point Marlo Thomas as That Girl would enter and begin to reprimand Lou, who would get in her face and just when it became certain that That Girl's questionable boyfriend Donald would show up but instead the mental door would open and Valerie Harper as Rhoda would enter, begging for help tying her super cool headscarf as she regaled the room with her latest dating antics, bringing everyone to question, not only her fashion sense but also her moral fiber. Eventually the whole crew would file out to the tune of the Dick Van Dyke show and I would be left exhausted and without a single word on the page.

I gave myself permission to take the month of August off.
Ridiculous, I know. Giving one permission to stop doing something which, at this point in my life, is essentially a hobby.
(Don't get me started on the heated discussion that transpires when I make that 'writing as hobby' mental comment. Let's just say there is an awful lot of Ernie challenging everyone to fight and then inviting the entire cast of my mental breakdown to Africa to shoot lions. At which point Marlo Thomas and Valerie Harper, as themselves, throw a monstrous shit fit and call in Betty White as both herself and Sue Ann to challenge Ernie to a duel....)

Anyway. You get the idea.

I spent the first four weeks of August fending off moments of guilt for temporarily abandoning something that I love. I slowly moved on and began channeling my creativity in other directions.

I cleaned out my fridge.
Lay your eyes on that baby! Makes me wish Shape magazine would call and do one of those 'what's in your fridge' stories on me. 

I reorganized my clothing drawers, after much discussion with a friend over the proper cosmic way to do so. 
Yes. Everyone of those t-shirts gives me joy. Don't judge.
I rediscovered sewing and made a skirt:
wrap skirt. couldn't be easier. unless you bought it already made.

And I created my interpretation of Marion Cotillard's dress in Midnight in Paris. (I also rediscovered why I quit sewing for myself after trying on said dress only to discover that, while I cast aside vanity and used the actual pattern measurements the dress is still a little too tight in the midsection. A problem which could be remedied by the use of a dressmaker's mannequin. However, owning a dressmaker's mannequin would result in hours of me running through the house in a panic in the middle of the night when I caught site of the 'stranger' standing in my sewing room trying on my clothes...) 
the movie dress is drop waist but I think I captured the overall feel - innocent yet sexy; classy yet trashy; delusional yet...oh wait, that's only me, not the movie character.

this is the back. in case you were wondering.

I attended two amazing concerts. (Blog post to follow.) I got to visit with my Great niece who is actually my GREAT niece! (No blog to follow. She wishes to maintain her privacy. One year olds. Really.)

 I read Stormy Weather and LuckyYou, both by Carl Hiaasen. (Hello NETFLIX? HERE is the material for the next NETFLIX original blockbuster series. Seriously. These are the most hilarious books I have read in a very long time.)
I also started reading ADangerous Summer by E. Hemingway, after watching the running of the bulls everyday for a week on the Esquire Chanel. (Not a big fan of the bullfight but I have to admit, the pageantry and tradition behind it is amazing as is the lifestyle of Hemingway and his crew.)

Sadly there was no sailing during my hiatus. Hot August weather does not lead to winds which play nice on the lakes in this area. (It does lead to an awesome album by NeilDiamond, but I already promised Earth Wind and Fire the video spot so you are going to have to take my word for it.) The lack of actual sailing did not stop me from studying sailing via my husband's ASA Cruising Handbook. It also didn't stop me from committing to making pirate shirts for our invasion of Jamaica later this year.
I can't seem to flip this the correct direction but I think you get the gist. There are four men and four women in our invasion. Oh, and I am nuts.
What happened next really surprised me. I was afraid that after a month away from writing anything longer than my Target Cartwheel list there would be nothing left to miss.
But, by the end of August, my head was spinning with new ideas which were just itching to fling themselves into the computer.
And let me tell you. It feels great.
I have plans for several blog posts stockpiled and notes to actually begin, for real, a novel I started years ago. I can't say, at this point if the novel will ever be complete or available on Amazon but it's September.
And as Earth Wind and Fire so eloquently put it:
Ba de ya, never was a cloudy day!!!


  1. I love this as I, too, have given myself permission to live for a bit and not blog about life!

    1. Isn't it freeing? But now my head is so clogged with words it is seeping into my dreams! Not a good thing.

  2. wow! a whole month off!! I'm impressed - I took a week off and had withdrawal symptoms. Obviously I need more hobbies to fill my down time! Welcome back to the blogosphere :)

    1. I know what you mean about the withdrawal. Writing is usually a wonderful relaxation activity for me - even when it is 'work'. I spent a good deal of my time wondering if I should continue.

  3. Sounds like you recharged and enjoyed your blog vacation. I am impressed with the sewing and of course the frig!

    1. Thanks Haralee. Don't be too impressed by the fridge - thankfully you couldn't smell the thing that caused my cleaning frenzy!

  4. What a great idea. I would LOVE to do that. And thanks for EARTH WIND and FIRE. Made my day. Now I'm even more curious about the dress. Going to check it out, love that film. Beth

    1. I really wanted to find a drop waist pattern and probably could have if I had been patient and used the internet instead of old school pattern books. And if you haven't seen Midnight in Paris - it is a MUST! Even if you are not a Woody Allen fan - it is a gem.

  5. I took some time off too for some soul searching and wrote about my discovery in my blog. Sometimes we just need a new look at things and then inspiration comes. Loved your character references from MTM! Look forward to reading more of your writings.

    1. Thank you Laurie. I always wonder if I am the only one who gets my random references!

  6. I'm so far behind on my blog reading but lucky for me I didn't miss this fabulous gem. Laughing my head off! Seriously, where else could I find a conversation about Mary Tyler Moore, pirates, That Girl, Shape Magazine, Rhoda's fabulous scarves, marauding mannequins and writer's block?!?! And where else would I have the pleasure of enjoying a piece by my favorite "stream of consciousness" writer. Finish that novel, girlfriend! I'll be first in line to buy a copy.


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