'When Her Fledglings are Cheeping...'
So the way of things around here these days are a little Topsy-Turvy for me. Mary has started uni (university) and travels by bus for more than an hour every day back and forth for lectures at the city, and sometimes Sarah travels with her, usually leaving Gracie and me the only little ones at home during the day. It is all rather strange, I must say. Therefore with household chores, continued schoolwork and a current cold, and missing my older sisters nine-out-of-ten, my little stories, ideas and inspirations are bottled up painfully. As Lewis Carroll would put it, 'when her fledglings are cheeping' I think the fledglings of my pen are in similar circumstance, cheeping to get out and be written.
I have lost little inspiration, only energy and time, I think. In vacuum cleaning, mopping floors, plowing through PACE-work and in washing dishes, I have found great inspiration and thoughtful opportunity for panning out my stories and exploring possibilities. Agatha Christie did not lie when she said doing the dishes was her best inspiration! If only I just had the time to actually write though. Currently, I have three writing projects laid out before me - but it is so hard to find the opportunity to actually work on any of them! These days, I am constantly tormented with this time factor and gauging which writerly task takes precedent in my small allotment of free hours in between school, chores, time with God and with family. Like when someone requires a writing project of you, that should come first. Right? I have chaffed over this for, important and interesting though the assignment is, I would much rather be gaining ground and writing in my beloved novel, which in turn chaffs at my absence. But when I open my A Love that Never Fails word-document I am only too painfully aware of interview questions I need to send in as promised for my blog, or a belated email to a close friend long delayed that needs to be written up. Hmm.
I dislike shadowing my blog and my readers with cries of my frustration and discouragement. I believe a blog is best a thing to mutually edify and encourage one another in. But I am also hoping that some of you may know what I am talking about (to make me feel like I am not singularly alone in this!), and perhaps can offer some tips or ideas on how one can manage time for the fledglings of one's soul. It can be difficult to reign in one's impatience when there is so much opportunity and excitement from fellow authors in their writing and yet so little time or energy on my part. Dear me! I don't sound envious, do I? I hope not for I know I am equally blessed. I just want to be able to be useful of those blessings. There is a time and season for everything. That is good to remember!
Oh, I just remembered something. If this post feels erratic, and "a shade formal or stuffy", you may attribute it to my cold and blame Father Chisholm ;).
I already feel the better for rambling off the top of my head! On another literary note, I am almost done withTales from the Perilous Realm - a collection of shorter stories by J. R. R. Tolkien which I am greatly enjoying, and am half-way into Dorothy Sayers' Mind of the Maker which I must add is quite excellent and thought- provoking indeed. I have also watched for the first time two versions of Jane Eyre (the 2006 version which I quite enjoyed and the 1990s version which was less than good) and the old 1970s BBC adaption of Persuasion. Not necessarily the best adaptions, but it was interesting being introduced to these classics and I cannot wait to read the original books themselves and watch the newer adaptions of both stories.
Stories. Oh, if nothing else, stories and characters have been the best inspiration and excitement for my writing these busy days. I have been meditating/studying the book of Esther lately and have been greatly encouraged and blessed by my reading of it. Things I never quite noticed before in the story jumped at me, and old truths captured me with their message in a fresh way. I noticed points of character like how King Ahusahaurus was probably a very weak, undecided king - he basically needed the advice of others for every choice in his life except his choice of Esther herself. Veshti upset him, so he called his counsellors for advice; he wanted her back and still his advisors told him what to do; he made Haaman his prime-minister and gave him his signet ring so he'd not have to bother about all the decisions; he wanted to reward Mordecai, so he got Haaman to tell him what he should do... even when Esther and Mordecai earned his favour, he let them run the affairs of repealing the laws. Poor fellow - he was very much a king of persuasion :)
The book of Esther, one of the most unique in the Bible, is filled with God's sovereign hand at work in the lives of His people, His infinite Providence and mercy and His care. And to think that God's name is not mentioned even once! But His hands are on all and over all - His loving acts are evident in all things. But much as this book is about God's Providence, it is also a story of Esther's faith and obedience in danger and her choice to do what is right, trusting in God's mercy and her courage that 'if I perish, I perish!' I was watching a beautiful movie adaption of Esther on Monday, and watching it brought the story back to me in a truly gripping way, it actually brought tears to my eyes. (I've embedded the film to this post as it is really good; but a word of caution as it has one scene when Esther first meets the King which I skipped due to its mature content. Postscript: this film is not One Night with the King, but one that closely follows the biblical story).
'Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?'
- Esther 4: 13-14