Sleepless and Sad

My sadness about the Virginia Tech massacre is keeping me up tonight. And today (now yesterday), I couldn’t focus on writing. Every time I sat down at the computer, my mind wandered. I’m grieving about those kids, the teachers, the parents…and the creative writing student who has become the main character of all the newspaper stories. It’s hard for me to focus on my story right now or wrap my mind around the problems of my own main character, with this still fresh in my mind.

As understandable as this creative inertia may be, it’s not insignificant. In the past, grief has taken away my urge to write creatively for years on end. And while today I know that I will find my way back to writing my book in a day or two, at the moment, I am suspended between unfolding stories: the story I never wanted to have to read and the one I have been writing every day for months. I must have told myself a hundred times today to just sit down and write, because I’m a book author now. It’s my job to write.

So, here I am. A sleepless and sad book author. Sitting down and writing.

Little League Lucky Charms

My son plays Little League baseball. He is already wildly superstitious at age nine. For luck, he wears socks in mismatched colors or a cheap necklace or an unwashed baseball cap. Sometimes, he wears them all at once. Whatever he does, it seems to work well for him. He gets big hits, makes great plays, pitches good games.

Out in the bleachers, I wish I had a lucky charm to help me through the baseball season. Like every parent in the bleachers, all I want is for my son to be successful, but baseball is no picnic in that department. Failure is a much more likely outcome than success, even when you’re one of the best. Batting .300 means getting an out seven out of ten at-bats. By the end of the season, I’m wiped out.

The other day, my son asked me, “Mom, is it possible to bat 1.000?”

I replied in a kindly tone, “No, buddy. That would mean for a whole season you’d never make an out hitting. It would mean you’d have to be perfect.”

He thought about it a moment. Then he nodded and said matter-of-factly, “That sounds hard, but I bet I could do it.”

Man, I need one of those lucky charms really bad.