Monday, February 4, 2013

Lessons From the Groundhog

As we rang in the New Year with eyes propped open, waiting for the ball to drop on Time's Square, Mike and I discussed our New Year's resolutions and promptly went to bed. Yep. Wild party at my house. I am not getting any younger, and every year I make the same lame promises to myself to exercise more, drink less, and write another book. If you have read my books, you know how I do enjoy my wine, and you have possibly read about my past cycling adventures. At least I can say I am holding true to my writing. And who has time to exercise when you work full time and write part time? Writing is a sacrificial habit; the houseplants die, the dust piles up and the tennis shoes sit by the door yet one more day. And suddenly New Year's is over and I realize it is Groundhog Day.

Sadly, the new year also brought the passing of Mike's mother, something we thought we were prepared for, but we were never ready to let her go. Then again, those we truly love never really leave us. Pat-Pat, as she was known by her grandchildren, family, and all who came to know and love her, left us celebrating her life with a grand entrance into Heaven, amidst a spectacular thunder snow, the likes of which I haven't seen in about 33 years, since Jockey's Ridge got 22 inches in 1980. It must have been some welcome party going on up there that night; one which the Flinn family won't ever forget.

So, naturally, as our sadness and readjustment has left us somewhat suspended in time on these gray and dreary days in January, I sit wondering, where did the month go? I might as well have been the groundhog myself, hibernating in a hole somewhere, waiting to stick my head out, in search of a little sunshine and a welcome surprise around the corner called Spring. I know it will be here in six weeks or less. I just wasn't expecting winter to be such a blur.

I have taken some of this reflective time to sit at my keyboard, beginning a new friendship with brand new characters. We are somewhat shy with each other at first, as can be expected. It will take us a while before we can really let our hair down with one another and discover the interesting souls we are deep within these new pages. Like the groundhog, my new characters are taking a risk and sticking their heads out, a little at a time. We will get to know each other over time, and in the end we will be sad when we eventually part ways. Unless there is a sequel. :)