I had planned to spend my available hours today sitting at my table, laying out the story for my nanonovel, working logically through the plot with my action/reaction worksheets (from The Marshall Plan for Novel Writing by Evan Marshall), choosing names, writing character descriptions, backstories, but there’s been another force at work, a restlessness that’s drawn me to the shore, a need to be outside, walking beneath the tall pines with their lichen-covered branches, listening to the ocean beyond the dunes, the call of the willits, seagulls, the rhythm of the lapping waves near me, the distant foghorn.
Maybe it’s because we had a concert this afternoon, altering my usual Saturday routine, segmenting my quiet time. Maybe it’s the chill in the air that breathes of change, of winter. Maybe it’s the cloud-covered skies, feeling as though it should be raining. Maybe I’m just feeling sorry for myself because we won’t be going to Santa Barbara for the afternoon to celebrate my birthday this week as I’d hoped. We found out that family’s going to be in the area just for that day, so we’ll have to postpone the trip until the weekend, or later. Maybe it’s because another birthday is nearing, a time that tends to be one of mixed emotions, reflection, introspection.
Maybe it’s because of the nature of the story I’m writing. Am I resisting it? I have an awareness that it’s going to be a rough ride emotionally. Perhaps today I’ve been following an inner knowing that I need to prepare myself for the story, come to terms with it, the characters, their lives, my life, and that only then will the story be honest, with its shape, substance, flowing from that honesty.
Whatever the reason, the sea has once again shown itself to be a faithful companion, accommodating my need for quietness, solitude. Just there. Being quiet with me, easing my mind, strengthening my courage, comforting my fears, stilling this restlessness in my soul.