Quick review: Orcas Island Lit Festival made me a better writer (person?)

Wonderful weekend, can’t stress that enough. So much talent. Learned so much, and oh, how I laughed! Amazingly kind and attentive organizers, and beautiful setting. Inspiring. I can’t write too much now, because I’m so fired up that I have been a creative magician this morning, writing both in my manuscript, but also on the piano, which I haven’t done in a while.

The music is an important sign that my creativity is moving in the right direction. I write almost every day, and have experienced this kind of flow before. I know it, am grateful for it.

But it has been some time, months, maybe six months, since I wanted to translate any sort of thought or emotion into music. I was playing guitar until December, when my hands started aching, and I could no longer hold the neck. I rested. I listened to records. I listened to the sounds of nature outside. I used my hands to hold my daughter, hug my husband, and limited other activities. I ran my fingers through the curls in my daughter’s hair, and avoided planting seeds and bulbs. Her hands in mine, learning to walk, to run, and I chose to reject detailed work. I did loads of laundry, large gestures of snapping fabric and folding, using my entire arm to make order out of the mess, the food in the kitchen, the books on the shelves.

My hands healed. But I haven’t wanted to bend them into music for a while. Until today, until I had no choice to but sit down at the piano before anything, and let the creative forces out. I let them run wild and loud, opened the windows to let in the morning storm and pounded. Knew that the writing would be better if I let a little energy burn first, if I could focus. And when I was done banging away, I took the energy and sent it into my fingers, and started to write.

It is a good reminder to me that no one writes alone. That sometimes writing takes place within the conversations and interactions with others. What you bring to the page…well, you have to have something to bring in the first place. It takes a community to inspire, to heal, to create, to read. A walk on the beach, the flip of a whale’s tale at the ferry, the wind blowing through the vest in my coat, are also necessary elements of creation.

I already went far longer than I intended, and refuse to edit this stream of consciousness so that I can return quickly to the work, and build a hotter fire than what already burns. See you soon.

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