Thursday, April 7, 2011
Posted by Robin
Come, take a shower with me.
I know, I know, we have just met. There are a few things you should know about me. I’m a mom of two preschoolers and am in the process of opening a family daycare in my home. I love to cook, coupon, and watch cheesy B horror movies and shows (think both 1960’s and 1990’s versions of Darkshadows. Sigh). I’ve always had writing in my life, and that’s perhaps because my Eastern European maiden name included 12 of the 26 letters of the alphabet. What my last name lacked, my maternal grandfather’s Polish name supplied. I started writing when I was four, reading a bit earlier than that. By eight, I had my first set of Shakespeare. It wasn’t the classics I’d devour, however. I was a goner for the teen horror/romance genre when I first read R. L. Stine’s Fear Street and Christopher Pike’s more “mature” works.
Now, about that shower…
I’m a busy woman. With two toddlers, starting a business, and dealing with the economy’s most recent hit to my life has left me little time to have “me” time—time that used to include writing, daydreaming, and world building. Don’t think I haven’t been through this stage before, however. As a teen, and the oldest of 5 kids, my responsibilities were oddly similar—I had 4 siblings to help care for, school, extracurricular activities and a 30 hour a week nanny stint on top of that. How in the hell did I get any writing done? Answer: I rarely slept, and when I desperately needed to get my stories to paper, I’d ditch my life and shimmy up an old apple tree that grew in the Catskill Mountain woods behind my house. Ahhh, privacy. Ahhh, peace. Ahhh, writing.
I still have my notebooks from that time; notebooks filled with romance, blood, gore, and happy endings. They smell like pine and hold the scent of the stream that ran near. I can still put myself in that tree, surrounded by fragrant apples in the fall, the leaves a perfume of sweet decay.
Flash forward a little of a decade later, and my tree is a memory, my ability to function on 4 hours of sleep is gone, and my then unappreciated ability to up and leave everyone to their own devices disappeared when Toddler Girl first cried out her lusty “feed me” call.
Which brings me to our date in the shower.
The shower has become “my tree”. At night, when everyone under 3 feet tall is in bed and Darling Husband is outside tending the garden, reading a book, or watching the news, I run to my shower, step beneath the hot spray and let my inner worlds free. It’s in my shower that I can be heard practicing dialogue. I’ve broken through writer’s block and patched up plot holes. In my shower, characters will come to me and tell me the story they want to be a part of. My shower is my muse’s playground and my sanctuary.
It isn’t time I don’t seem to have enough of, but hot water.