Posted by: jeannineatkins | January 18, 2011

Treasure Hunts

The snow is falling gorgeously, the birds are busy at the feeder. It’s a perfect day for writing, but maybe it’s the way weather limits choice that make me itchy. Sometimes sitting down and dedicating the day to words feels hard. When that happens, I often think of writers behind me and beside me. I know the task wasn’t easy for writers whose work I love, and I feel strengthened by writers who report on their blogs ambitions to rough out a chapter a day through the month or turn off the internet and stride toward a deadline. Other times it’s sheer willfulness that gets me back to work. I tell myself I’m going to finish whether or not anyone else in the world cares.

But fluffy white flakes fall outside and I’m cozy in here, and not in the mood for lectures. So, always grateful for company, what’s getting me to stay in my chair is the thought of writing as a treasure hunt.

I remember long games of peek-a-boo with babies who seemed astonished every time they dropped their small hands to see your face. Those babies got a little older, and could be entertained with treasure hunts. It didn’t matter what the treasures were. The looking in dim corners and under beds and boxes was the fun. With just a bit of mixing things up, old toys or folded paper clues could look astonishing.

That’s what I’m hoping to have here today at my computer. I’ve got a lot of images and lines to work with. I’ll scramble and unscramble, hide and seek. And if the day goes well, I hope to surprise myself and grin like a kid at something old yet new. I didn’t realize how shiny it always was.

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Responses

  1. Good morning, Jeannine. It’s a gray drizzly sort of day here, and I’m off to the homeschooling resource center where I’ll have some snippets of time to finish a retelling of a Sufi story that I started yesterday. I’ll be thinking of you, wondering what treasures you’re finding, and hoping to find a few of my own.

  2. I’m glad you have that wonder while you go through the meanest-mom phase. And thank you for the reminder that people care. What a treasure that is, and it can get overlooked.
    Wishing you happy surprises, too, Jeni, as I go back off to play hide and seek by myself. It’s harder than it looks, right, Kayley?

  3. Hoping you found a few treasures, Lorraine, amid the drizzle. I’m sticking with my child self, eating peanut butter on toast for lunch, instead of my usual soup or salad. It’s just one of those days. With Peter Yarrow doing sing-along.

  4. Hide-and-seek is our game of choice here, too. Though I did get a chance to play peek-a-boo with a one-year-old today. Lots of delight and surprises, either way.
    Hope there’s plenty of delight for you today, too, Jeannine. xo

  5. Mysterious footprints in the snow. Lovely photo and post – just reading it made me want to break for a cup of hot chocolate.

  6. It’s already nearing the end of your day, but I hope you feel accomplished. And for the record, *I* care whether you finish or not – I’m a fan of your words. xo

  7. Found no great treasures today, but some necessary housekeeping of the manuscript was done. Can hope for treasures today.
    Thank you so much for your care, Debbi!
    And congratulations on your finished draft!

  8. “Mysterious footprints in the snow”
    That is an example of the extremely rare avian cuneiform. We’re still trying to figure out what it says, but my guess is “More suet, please!” — PL

  9. Re: “Mysterious footprints in the snow”
    Cuneiform – that’s a big word. Like marmalade. But I think you’re right. It certainly read as “more suet, please!” to me. Peter, I applaud your devotion to the birds. Shovelling a path in what looked like a foot or two of snow, is very kind and brave. I also like your Lady Cardinal photos.

  10. Re: “Mysterious footprints in the snow”
    “Re: “Mysterious footprints in the snow”
    Cuneiform – that’s a big word. Like marmalade.”
    And of late a very common one around our house… more so even than marmalade, I believe.
    ” But I think you’re right. It certainly read as “more suet, please!” to me. Peter, I applaud your devotion to the birds. Shovelling a path in what looked like a foot or two of snow, is very kind and brave. I also like your Lady Cardinal photos.”
    Thank you for the kind words, but in the interest of full disclosure, I would like to say that I used my Honda walk-behind snowblower to clear the path to the birdfeeder — a bit of a workout in deep snow, but not nearly the pain in the back that shoveling would have been. Given that clarification, I hope it is still okay for me to accept the “kind and brave” description — I like it! — PL

  11. Writing
    Jeannine,
    Writing for me is…sort of what you just detailed…I don’t want to fall over cliches’…or trip over common overused words..I’m hoping to work on a pigeon poem soon…they strut right into the Long Island Railroad cars, as if free tickets were for winged souls….but you did tell me…just…write.Wish me luck!
    Bruce

  12. Thanks, Amy! Hide and seek can certainly go on and on and on… Have a good weekend!

  13. Re: Writing
    Like that free tickets were for winged souls.
    And, yes, I’ll say it again: just write.
    And good luck!


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