Whether or not we accomplished what we intended to, the end of the workhorse January is here. Christmas is filed away for better or worse. I have a plan for the year. The house feels normal again, and writing has progressed. February feels hopeful. Toward the end there will be warmer days. There is one holiday to celebrate and, with luck, none of us will celebrate alone, but if we do that’s ok, too. There are always the cats. I have hearts distributed around my rooms in honor of love. Which sometimes works out and other times not.
Time to start thinking about the garden, ordering poison for the iris borers or switching to something more environmentally friendly, time to order new tags. Irises and my garden are another subject that I hope to blog about on another page, but which are nonetheless a big part of my life and who I am. I’m sure you probably have hobbies too. Part of the ‘I take on too much’ discussion. But it is hard to give up things you love, and so I won’t if I don’t have to, but the writing will come first. I hope.
February is still a great time to accomplish tasks, to write with fewer responsibilities. The fact that I’m writing this blog means that I am fulfilling some goals, with or without readers. I’m writing a blog to express myself and be part of the world. The writing community at large is important to me, though I’m often a silent observer. I follow people and enjoy their posts, though I may never comment. They still form part of who I am.
I feel the same way about my writing. I always dreamed of writing, since before I went to school. It has always been my big dream. I tried writing for money and found I was writing what others wanted to buy, not what I wanted to write. Now, it is for the sheer love of the work, for living in another world and commenting on that world. To try to bring history alive to others in the hopes that they will enjoy it as I do. I read and loved so many historical novels in my youth, the passions and dreams of the characters are still with me. I learned as they learned, only I brought myself to it. Oh, well. I’m sure you have similar experiences of your own. We can share them together.
For Lincoln, during the year I am writing my novel about, his political aspirations were merely a fantasy, something he hoped and believed he would do. He lived above Joshua Speed’s store, and they shared the same room. Speed heard all about Lincoln’s dreams. It was impossible for him not to. When Lincoln read or wrote, he did so aloud. Lincoln and Speed were young men dreaming of building their careers and finding wives. Lincoln had yet to meet his future wife, Mary Todd.