What do Miley Cyrus and Ursula K. Le Guin have in common? Presumably, very little. Okay, probably nothing. But its been a bit of a rough spell for Jayne Lynne. Not the one-of-us-has- taken-seriously-ill or-something-like-that kind of rough spell. But the kind of rough spell where the writing isn't coming and the time that should be spent writing is commandeered by annoyingly superfluous things like our jobs, our families, our friends, the holidays, and, admittedly, the occasional red wine hangover. I know what you're thinking. The economy is in the tank, no one has a job, its crazy cold in California, Tiger Woods is no longer the Golden Boy, and this is your rough spell? Well, yes. Everything is relative.
It seems that we let our new book, Done Fell Out, sit for a while. And it turns out that an unfinished manuscript is not unlike cheese. In some cases, it needs some age; in others, it just gets rank. And its pretty rank up in this beeatch, if you know what I mean. We recently took on Chapters 9 and 10 and proceeded to wrestle with them for the better part of a month. And I mean alligator mud pit wrestling. And, much like alligator mud pit wrestling, the outcome wasn't so pretty. And to make matters worse, I read through the first eight chapters and had to look around the house to find the person who had written those words. I knew Laura had written her parts, but mine? I couldn't find that woman anywhere. And I'm a little worried she's not coming back. I've talked often lately of hanging up the keyboard and have been prone to indulge in other bad, overly dramatic metaphors indicating I might just be done with writing.
And then this weekend I received a gift from The Writing Loft - a thank you for speaking at Artoberfest. It was a book by Ursula K. Le Guin entitled The Wave in the Mind, and it struck a chord I worried had been rendered inert-an inspired, creative chord. And later I was organizing my son's room, pulling out forsaken toys and unidentifiable pieces of plastic, when Its the Climb came on the radio. I was singing at the top of my lungs, in resonant frequency (high school physics anyone?) with that inspired chord (although, notably, cleaning my son's room and not writing), before I realized, with shame, that I was singing Miley Cyrus. I rationalized that she most certainly hadn't written the song, and then I silently thanked those who did because they reminded me to worry less about the destination and just enjoy the climb, or, as Ursula would prefer, ride the wave.