A few months ago a friend asked me to help with a writing project. About a month before that, I agreed to work on a different project for my church. When I had time to write more consistently, ideas flowed more freely, but I’m like the science law about how once things stop they’re difficult to get moving again. This is the second day I’ve sat at my computer with nothing of worth to put towards my projects. I’ve played Candy Crush Saga, I’ve pinned on Pinterest, but I haven’t had the big breakthrough I really need to make any progress. In case anyone I owe a project is worried at this point, I will get there. I promise. This happens to me sometimes. I just need to get the blood flowing in my brain so the thoughts can get through. To prime the pump, I thought I’d share with you some of the things blocking my brain that aren’t helping me get any closer to my writing project goals.
1. The CBD Christian fiction catalog came in the mail a couple of weeks ago. Twenty of its eighty pages featured at least one novel about the Amish. Or Quakers. Or Mennonites. That’s a quarter of the catalog, friends. I know. I did the math. No less than two complete sections of the catalog featured nothing but books about Amish. Or Quakers. Or Mennonites. Forgive me for lumping those all together. I’m sure they are not exactly the same. But can we agree there are some similarities for the purpose of this discussion?
I have visited Amish and Quaker stores and enjoyed delicious meals at a Mennonite restaurant. I still could kick myself for not buying the most beautiful china cabinet I’ve ever seen that was skillfully crafted by the hands of a talented Quaker carpenter. The people I have met from those communities are beautiful and loving and I know they live rich, fulfilling lives. I understand and share a curiosity about how these people live such simple lives in our increasingly complicated world. I’m just not sure how authors are able to crank out any stories about these people that haven’t already been told.
To be fair, I’ve never read a book from this genre so maybe there’s a lot more to be written than I could imagine. But twenty pages?
When will we jump the Amish shark, do you think? I’m thinking if you see a new series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins about Mennonites, you’ll know the shark has been jumped. Or if Joel Osteen works an Amish story into his sermon. When Toby Mac starts rapping about Quakers, stick a fork in me and slather me in Amish butter, because I am done.
I wonder if the Amish, Quaker, and Mennonite ladies have twenty pages of books about Methodist soccer moms in their fiction catalogs. Or maybe they prefer the Baptist school teacher series. Makes you wonder….
2. Sus aka CarpoolQueen is getting a baby cat today. I think “kitten” is the politically correct term for those. My kids want a cat and I wouldn’t mind so much if it weren’t for the shedding. Our first practice child was a black Labrador retriever (I’ll never get back the five minutes I spent googling whether I should capitalize Labrador and Retriever or just one or neither. Sources differed in opinion, so I chose the answer I saw most from the more respected authorities that exist online.). He was the greatest dog ever. My one complaint was every day I swept enough dog hair to make my own litter of Labrador puppies. Every single day of my life. Kelly’s favorite thing to do when we got home from work was to turn on the overhead fan in the living room and watch all the hair scatter to the corners of the room. He thought this was more efficient than my method of sweeping because then he only had to vacuum the edges and corners. Hard to argue with that logic. Actually it’s not, I just got tired of arguing and he was helping me vacuum, so…
What were talking about again? Oh, yes. Cats. And Kelly actually makes a good segue because he hates cats. He’s going to be reading this, so let me rephrase that to say what he would actually say. He would say he doesn’t HATE cats. He just doesn’t understand why people have them because most of them don’t actually like people. He doesn’t understand why you would love and spend good money on food and care for a pile of fur that ignores when you call and looks at you as if you should apologize for your existence on the planet. Or he might say something like that.
Reminds me of my aunt. She won’t admit that she doesn’t like something. If you ever say, “Oh, I forgot. You don’t like ________” (fill in the blanks with whatever you’re discussing that she actually doesn’t like), she’ll immediately respond, “It’s not that I don’t like _________ (fill in the blanks with whatever you’re discussing that she actually doesn’t like), it’s just that….” and then she’ll proceed to tell you all the reasons she doesn’t like whatever she’s not going to tell you she doesn’t like.
“It’s not that I don’t like flavored coffee, it’s just that even the smell of it makes me want to hurl.”
“It’s not that I didn’t like the movie, it’s just that I felt like my eyes were bleeding at the end of it and I would much rather have spent those two hours of my life passing a large, pointy kidney stone.”
So it’s not that Kelly doesn’t like cats, it’s just that he doesn’t.
So, cats. Like I was saying, Sus (CarpoolQueen) and family are getting a cat today. When we were texting about it, I remembered a picture I took when my mom and brother were visiting. We were doing some sightseeing and stopped by a state park that we’d never visited. You may not know this, but Hawaii has a large, feral cat population. I’m not saying that the feral cats are all large, they come in different sizes, but the population itself is large. Hence the comma. We also have many chickens that roam anywhere they feel like roaming, but until we visited the park, I’d never seen the two populations converge. I actually didn’t think they would converge, because I wouldn’t think those two species would be able to play together nicely. But check this out:
It’s hard to tell, but there are chickens walking around with the cats. Like the lion laying down with the lamb, I guess. So if chickens and cats can coexist, shouldn’t the rest of us be able to get along? I’m looking at you, children of mine!
That was a long climb to get to the short slide of a story about Sus getting a kitten.
3. Speaking of children, I wish I had a dollar for every time I said, “Please stop that” throughout the day.
4. I’m firmly convinced that when Jesus comes back He will find me doing laundry. Because just like Taylor Swift and Jake Gyllenhaal are never ever getting back together (more time spent Googling who that song was about), I will never ever catch up on laundry.
5. It seems more appropriate to end on five than four, and because I know I’m a blessed mom with three amazing children even if I did give them grief a couple of times in this blog post:
So in the words of CarpoolQueen, the new kitten owner,
“Have a nice day!”
And in my words, “Panic not, R. This is all a good sign that the skits will be coming soon!”