I am not talking about the first book, or the second book, I’m writing; I’m talking about the book pictured above on my nightstand. This summer has been an adventure for me, and it is not been a pleasant adventure. It started out with a phone call from my mom, stating that my dad had had a massive heart attack. The phone calls following that one phone call had confirmed that my dad had lost his battle with heart disease, diabetes, and obesity that had plagued him since he was in his forties. After that, the summer was a blur. I went from one thing to another kind of in a zombie state.
While I was in Orlando burying my dad, I restarted my second novel, I had been working on it kind of half assed all spring. The first novel, I put down on the desk, and I have not touched it. I became obsessed with finishing the second novel. When I got home from Orlando, I struggled with everything. I struggled to get up in the morning, I struggled with meaning in my life, and I struggled with some of the decisions I had made. I started to even resent some of those decisions, and I felt completely powerless.
In July, my husband told me that he was going TDY the first week of August to fly, and then he was going to say good-bye to one of the Technical Sergeants working in the squadron that was leaving Oklahoma City to greener pastures, and he said that we were going to come with. He took us to Shreveport, and we spent the days he was flying going bowling, at the SciPort, and then we went swimming at the base pool. Before the bowling alley opened the first morning we were Shreveport, I decided to make a Target Run.
Growing up in Minneapolis, I have a love-passionate love for Target. Needless to say that at most bases south of the Midwest the Targets are scant and rare. You have to travel quite a distance to get to our favorite store. There is a Target right outside of the base at Shreveport, so the kids and I ventured to Target. I walked the aisles. I didn’t know why I wanted to go Target in the first place. Ryan shares my love for Target, perhaps we ventured there to get him a shirt, which we did. I promised Sophie a toy of equal value to his shirt. She picked out one of those old school 1980s coloring relief fashion designer toys. I remember owning one as a child. She was absolutely enamored with it. I walked through the grocery section, looking for Boom Chicka Pop White Cheddar Popcorn (my weakness), and snagging a few boxes of fruit snacks. I then remembered I needed to pick up a gift card for someone, so we ventured to the gift section.
Target has a new aisle of dorky little gifts. I remembered that I had bought a gag gift for the Holiday Party last year there. It was a coffee mug that changes when you put hot water in it. When the hot water hits the mug, a Great White Shark appears to be eating swimmers. I saw that mug, and laughed at it. Then the book caught my eye. I picked it up, and turned it over in my hands. Shrugging I put it back down. My daughter asked me about it, and I think I told her that it was a journal of some kind. She shrugged too. Ryan picked it up and put it in the basket. I picked it up again, I think I was frowning, and I paged through it. Something told me I should grab it. I don’t know why. It was the only book like it in the whole aisle. I picked up a few blank journals. I usually buy a journal and only half way fill it. I put the journals down, and picked up the book. I paged through it. I put it back in the basket, shrugging again.
I checked out. I thought about sending it to my mom. It would be something she would appreciate. It sat at the bottom of my backpack. We got back from our road trip. It took me several days to unpack. The book was left untouched. School was starting in a few days, my husband was preparing for yet another TDY, and I was back to struggling, resenting, and trying to adapt to my new normal (my parents and I are close, so this is tough loss for me). I set the book on my nightstand, waiting for the perfect time to send it to my mom. The time never came. I will probably send it to her untouched, as I flipped through it, I decided that it was the perfect blog fodder. The writing prompts are genius. So for the next 642 days, I will be writing between 500-1200 words on the topics in the book. Perhaps it will help me break the writer’s apathy I have (I don’t really call it writer’s block, as there is no block, namely it’s 100% apathy)…