Life And Fairy Dust

As for goals, I don’t set myself those anymore. I’m not one of these ‘I must have achieved this and that by next year’ kind of writers. I take things as they come and find that patience and persistence tend to win out in the end.

Paul Kane

Good grief. How crazy has life gotten? The world is self-destructing. A peculiar sense of disorientation has us all reeling. What I find most disturbing is how minutes pass like nanoseconds. I struggle to believe September has arrived when my calendar says it’s still April. The day is gone in a flash with no more than a paragraph or two written despite my great intentions. My frustration mounts as the unexpected demands attention, then an even more pressing matter butts in and said, “Sorry Chic, me first then you can resume taking care of the other.” A little voice inside my head screamed, “Shut up. Go away. There’s nobody home.”

Like it or not, life distracts and becomes a primary factor for not achieving daily wordcounts. Those stolen moments from our real jobs as administrator, carer, teacher, shopkeeper, doctor, parent, or whatever, amounts to a frustrating tease. Rebel, I say. If we’re going to steal time, why not on a grand larceny scale?

Call in sick, fake an emotional breakdown at work and have a terrified boss send you home. Flatten your tires so the car can’t move until the RAC arrives four hours later – no sense going to work now, right? Why not disappear into the library like the Pevensie children upon entering their uncle’s wardrobe? Hide your vehicle two streets over then sneak home. Whatever works is game, I say.  The more creative the better because we possess a creative mind. We are writers and have a license to misbehave with inventive aplomb. Perhaps all I need is a fairy godmother to whisk me away to a hidden room where time stops and a sprinkle of fairy dust sets the creative juices flowing. Within those walls, I would write fully inspired without interruption or guilt.

Hang on. The truth is, I could say no to those distractions but chose to respond because they are life, and what makes time spent writing so valuable; so priceless. They offer inspiration and keep me grounded. For example, I had a grandiose plan to write all day today. Instead, Tess, my 78-year-old neighbour and I drove across town and sprung 95-year-old John from his nursing home. We explored the stores in a shopping mall I’ve never been to, discussed the state of the world and our concerns over lunch. Had I rebelled and refused to answer the phone, not responded to one of those pressing matters, I would not have shared genuine smiles and belly laughs with them. Neither would I have taken the scenic route around the Swan River nor listened to their stories about childhood adventures and mishaps, life as a sheep shearer, or ate pancakes with mascarpone and mixed berries.

On second thought, nix the fairy godmother requirement to help me escape so I can write. What I must do is put less pressure on myself to fulfil an arbitrary number of words daily. This writer writes because she thrives on the creative expression found in storytelling. Days like today provided her with a pocketful of that creative fairy dust, thanks to those she loves and cares for – John and Tess.  

 How about you? Do you struggle to find the time to write? Do you set your expectations too high and feel discouraged at your failure to achieve them?

Thanks for listening. Cheers.

S. C. Roberts   

6 thoughts on “Life And Fairy Dust

    • Hello emaginette. Writing is a tough gig. I watched a year 10 English student argue with his teacher Rebecca. “Why waste time learning to write stories. All the rules take the fun out of it. I read. Don’t want ta write.” Rebellious or validating your point? So glad your dropped in. Cheers.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Yes indeed. I say we need to invest in experiences that will give us more “license to misbehave with creative aplomb”. I can relate to all those life distractions, and I love how you spin it, realizing the worth of those distractions. Thanks also for helping me feel less guilty about a pleasurable morning spent drooling over new recipes, and toddling about in my garden instead of doing ‘what I ought’.


    • Those distractions can be gems can’t they, Bev. They often are a time of percolation for a problem faced in a scene or a character’s development. A bit of a dilemma, as our brains niggle at us to get back to work and don’t let up until we do. Funny how once we bow to the pressure, a tremendous sense of satisfaction fills us. It’s like climbing a huge hill and standing at the top. Though exhausted the accomplishment exhilarates. Happy climbing!


  2.     Yes, expectations. As a child I used to be curious about everything. I used to ask a lot of questions, but the answers were all false because the devil is in the details. A simple answer is misleading because a practical application is overwhelming in details. The poor French fellow who invented the internal combustion engine did not start the transportation revolution that Henry Ford got credit for. Alexander Fleming took tons and tons of mold to isolate enough penicillin to make one dose to treat one person. The chemical and industrial processes to extract the active ingredient in the mold more efficiently were the greater part of invention. The same with the light bulb. Many people showed that a filament in a vacuum would glow and produce light. Edison made the first practical light bulb. Then there is the germ of a story.
        What does one do with “… life as a sheep shearer, eating pancakes with mascarpone and mixed berries….”. In sneezing violently, chances are that even if the berries are a little old, and the wool is flying through the air, that penicillin won’t be needed. I’ve only come across mascarpone in lasagna recipes. I’m not sure it’s even in my supermarket.
        So time and ideas may not be the solution for writing. With enough time, lots of mold can be grown, and story viruses created, but something has to leak out of the lab to be a story that gains the practicality of publishability… or something must be done with mascarpone.
        I encountered mascarpone looking up recipes. I needed something that people eat and rhyme with. The pronunciation of “mascarpone” became an issue when I had
    The Need to Say

    I always wondered if
    you kissed my gifts, ’cause
    you really needed them

    Tulips for you when I was blue
    so you wore the blue dress for me

    You tickled me and needled me
    ’cause you loved my laugh
    your two lips often said

    And too when you were blue
    I almost gushed a thought to you
    I never said, but

    I love Fontina cheese for melting
    and on a lily day, I

    made you a lasagna
    and you said
    there were layers to the fragrances
    of Parmesan, of provolone, of wet flour
    creaminess to mascarpone, though you
    thought I said
    mass car pony, and
    I had oregano and basil
    but I couldn’t buy you
    a pony or a car —
    only a heart race
    at a pace of joy

    But now you’re away
    and I’m in a cold place

    And you always said
    I’d share a space
    with Santa Claus
    at the North Pole

    I’d love to see you again
    just for a laugh and a pony ride.

        Shearing sheep is a whole other question, and I don’t think I’d do spinning the wool fibers into yarn very well. I’ve seen people with spinning wheels demonstrating the technique but with their wispy filaments of wool I don’t think they’ll become the next Edison or spin a straw story into gold.
        Apparently, without a context, “time runs out like sand in the hour glass.” But details are the problem because time doesn’t run anymore and all the flowers and metaphors are dead with the mold in the wood of the wine barrel carried on the bandwagon.
        I’m not curious anymore. Where are my trumpets and my stories of strumpets. I can’t see the light though I’ve had many hour glasses of wine.


    • Hello Doug – Very clever. You certainly have a creative mind and the talent to toy with it and filling it with a wonderful rhythm that is musical. So true about the lost credit to those who toiled and left their lives, hearts and minds on the drawing board or in the lab with barely an ounce of credit paid for the pounds of flesh sold in the name of discovery and innovation. As for your denial of curiosity – it is alive and well in your contemplation of writing a delightful poem based on mascarpone. All the best. Cheers.

      Liked by 1 person

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