August 11, 2014

The Summer Series - Ericka Clay

I realized as I was preparing for this post this is not the first time Ericka Clay has been a guest here in my little corner of the blogsphere. In fact, she was one of my earliest guests, shortly after I began blogging in 2010. She was also one of the first writers I connected with when I got online. Her words spoke to me then, and continue to do so to this day.

Although it's been a long time since I attended a #wineparty on Twitter...

Ericka is a published author, founding editor of Tipsy Lit and proud mommy to a (wildly) active four-year-old girl. Her novel, Unkept, is due to be released in early 2015 by Bannerwing Books.

The Summer of Ava

I am a writer, but in another sense, I am writing. I mean no, I’m not writing this very second because I’m currently trying to find the head to this Barbie and my carpet feels squishy - soapy water perhaps? - and the dog is giving me that “Did you really have to have that baby?” stare again. But what I mean is that I AM writing.

I need it. It feeds me. It’s the reason I haven’t shown up pantless in a Target screaming for glittery eye shadow and boxed wine. Writing is the pen knife to my blocked airway, releasing a steady stream of thoughts and words and inner dark that floods the page so it no longer floods me, my tightly petaled mind.

So you can only imagine how this summer is killing me. My daughter is home and the writing? The writing is dead.

My daughter is bits of flickering light. She’s all elbows and knees and bobbing head and constant motion, and I’m turtle slow. I’m quiet. I like the way the pages sound, turning in my head.

My daughter will have none of that nonsense.

So this is my daily regimen: get up (or more accurately, allow myself to be forced awake, eyelids peeled back, a song about making a snowman launched in my general vicinity), make tea, listen to the squealings of a curious monkey on the television, look at my daughter’s face, hand her a plate of toast I’ve crafted into bears smothered in Earth Balance and syrup, work my muscles into a fury on our outdoor trampoline, sweat my skin moist under the park’s relentless sun, stand half naked around strangers while my daughter drowns me in the community kiddy pool, eat frozen yogurt until my gums freeze, more monkey, more squealing, hugs and kisses and glorious stories about a female piglet with attitude and then her eyes shut and I sit, numb and happy on the couch, relaxing those muscles, gliding tongue over those gums, and relishing the feel of living.

The writing is dead this summer. But the living? It just won’t quit.

And that’s what gets me. How I was too daft at the beginning of the summer to realize that without living there is no writing. That living, breathing and loving are so often sweeter than words.

Oh how I love this, Ericka! Especially as I prepare to SEND MY CHILD TO KINDERGARTEN IN ONE WEEK!!! (Ahem. Pardon me.) The writing is dead for me as well this time of year. That's why I began this series in the first place. But the living, I am happy to say, I have learned to appreciate and enjoy.

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