Saturday, March 1, 2014

Highlights from a Creative Friday

Yesterday was a wonderful creative day, in between various work tasks and meetings that were delightful not horrible.

I had trouble sleeping because I had a writing project due.  So, I got up and typed the rough drafts of all the prayers for the month of April for the devotion book Bread for the Day.  I e-mailed them to myself and printed a copy.

I also finished the short story I'd been working on.  I wasn't sure how I was going to get my characters to the end, but it came easily.  Then I wasn't sure how to end the story, but inspiration bubbled up too.

Then I went to work.  Mid-morning, I went to the fiction meet-up with writer friends at work.  My writer friends really got my story.  They offered good suggestions.  I felt bad for my Hindu writer friend; we had trouble with her story and ran out of time.  Were we having trouble because we're not familiar with the Hindu story upon which her story is based?  The characters changed gender, which is an interesting challenge in terms of pronouns--but she handled the physical change with masterful description.  Were we having trouble because our friend has to make revisions based on what her editor wants?  That's unclear.

Then we were off to our delightful lunch meeting.  Instead of meeting in the conference room, our friend who lives nearby suggested that we come to her house.  We had a great selection of food from the Publix deli:  chicken salad, wheat berry salad, sesame noodle salad, fruit salad--plus amazing bread and dessert from Gran Forno bakery.  Yum.  We talked about technology and teaching.

We also talked about a colleague who has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  What will happen to her body of artistic work?  Will her husband promote her paintings after she's gone?  And then, thoughts of mortality for us all--what happens to our stuff, artistic and otherwise, when say our final good-byes?

After lunch, it was back to campus to deal with some work-related e-mails and transcript evaluations and strategizing.

In the late afternoon, I returned to my prayer manuscript.  I did final word counts, one last read-aloud, one last proofreading and correcting, and then I sent it off.

This morning, I'm full of gratitude.  I'm aware of the gift of time.  I'm also aware of having an editor who isn't difficult.  I got an e-mail that says that everything looks to be in order with my prayers.  Hurrah!  I have friends who are not so encouraged by their editors.  Of course, they are working on book-length manuscripts, and the editorial feedback should lead to a stronger work--or will it be a work completely different from what they wanted to create?

But more than that, I'm aware of the gift of friends.  It's been a difficult work week, with the bad health news of colleagues sinking in, with strange e-mails and difficult meetings.  But woven throughout the week, with the highpoint being yesterday, I've been aware again and again, that I'm working with good people who have compassionate hearts and bright intellects.

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