Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Start

Sheila awoke with a start.  "It must be windy tonight," she thought.  The windows in the old house were rattling and Sheila felt the draft hitting the back of her neck.  Snuggling into the comforter, she tried to warm up, hoping to go back to sleep quickly.  Once awakened, it was hard for her to return to a state of deep sleep.  Often she would lie awake, thinking about all the things that she needed to get done.

"The taomaster," she thought now, sighing heavily.  He was the one pushing her, causing her no insignificant amount of worry and stress.  Once that thought sprung up, it was hard to relax again. Sheila tossed and turned, still hoping that the warmth would take over and she might drift back into her dreamless sleep.  

Glancing at the clock yet again, Sheila realized that it was hopeless.  "I might as well get up and be productive," she thought.  It was "being productive" that was the cause of her angst.  She liked to blame the taomaster, but in reality Sheila was the cause of her pressure.  She had accepted the challenge, and now she felt a sense of honor was on the line. Yes, she would have to produce; her self-esteem relied upon that decision.  Too often she had wavered and not finished her chosen project.  Somehow, this felt like a turning point.  Understanding that did not ease the pressure.

"If only I had a good idea," Sheila thought to herself, knowing that it wasn't really about ideas.  Rather, it was about action.  Taking action: not always a strong suit for her.  

The truth was that Sheila saw herself as an idea person, one to come up with the right ideas to get a project off the ground.  Once begun, Sheila would often opt out--moving on to the next thing that caught her interest.  As a result, she never felt the satisfaction that comes with the completion of a project. Looking back, her entire life seemed as if it were unfinished--a tangled bundle of loose ends just hanging there, going nowhere.

"Jack of all trades, master of none," Sheila thought, pulling herself out of bed.

She wandered into the kitchen, opening the refrigerator just out of habit.  She wasn't really hungry, just procrastinating.  "Anything to avoid writing," she sighed again.  Putting the tea kettle on, she booted up the computer, waiting for the blank page to once again stare her in the face.  

"Okay, Sheila.  You can do this--just start!"  She stared back at the screen, waiting for inspiration to take over.  The teakettle whistled, and she began to steep the tea.  The effects of the hot tea, along with the drone of the computer and the sheer whiteness of the page, began to calm her.  She found herself relaxing, dozing even.  Before she knew it, Sheila had fallen fast asleep.  It was then that the dream, the story, began to take shape.

Who's to say that one person's dreams are more real or more important than another's?

to be continued...


Tao Master said...

You are wrong if you think you can't do this ! Your start was great, even better than excellent. If you weren't such a good worker (unlike myself) finishing would be easy. All you would have to do is replace your solitaire screen with your Novella writing screen. (I used to sneak solitaire programs onto my terminal so I could retain my sanity) I assume now that every office worker has a solitaire game or two on their computer (one that can be disguised when a boss walks by) BUt I know you and You are a good worker so that means you have no such game on your computer (and if do have such a game it is collecting dust) So the morale of the story is : your novells will be harder to do because you are a good person not because writing comes hard to you (it does not).
I love your start and it makes much more sense than most things I write so I am jealous - by the way did you know I have copywrited the name Sheila and Taomaster - you'll be hearing from my lawyers (if I can find them that is).
Keep going

Lin said...

It is a fine start. It's good to do the dream thing that way you can go in any direction with your story. Don't worry about the timeline--all that pressure may just stifle you in the end. Even if the challenge just gets you motivated or inspired to write a novel it is all good. I know you have it in you, you just have to be ready to do it in your own time!