Thursday, November 25, 2021

That Old Attitude of Gratitude

So a few nights ago, Grandmother came to me in a dream—I mean, I don't believe it was her ghost come to visit, or that she communicates with me from the afterlife via dreams, but rather that my unconscious brain needed to tell me something and knew I would listen if it came from Grandmother—anyway, unlike most of my dreams of Grandmother, I woke up from this one feeling hopeful instead of sad. In the dream she reminded me that gratitude is the antidote to resentment, and that all I had to do to be happier was to focus on those things in my life for which I am grateful, instead of those things in my life that I resent.  It came as a revolutionary solution, though it's something I've known for years and used to practice in my everyday thinking.

I've been practicing this since, though it's not as easy as it used to be. I don't think it's because I have so markedly fewer things to be grateful for, though certainly I've lost a lot of things I used to count when I'd count my blessings; but my brain chemistry has devolved to a point where it's hard to be grateful. Like, when I woke up from that dream I just felt grateful without having to enumerate the things, but today I'm hunting through my consciousness to find some scrap of gratitude. I have just as many things to be grateful for as I had two days ago, with the exception of however many micrograms of serotonin required for the emotion.

Either way, I'm going to keep looking for good things instead of staring at the bad things, and hope that will have some effect on my day-to-day feelings. And hope that I can parlay that little bit of a lift into motivation to do other things I know will make me feel better, like getting some exercise and bathing before I get stinky and itchy. I don't know. We'll see. 

Until then, I hope your day is full of things to be grateful for, and full of gratitude for those things.

Monday, November 1, 2021

NaNoWriMo 2021 - Day 1

I'm starting National Novel-Writing Month today... my twelfth year in a row participating, and hoping for my third finished project. I'm resurrecting a previous year's project (or rather a project I've resurrected twice before without result), The Lord of the Wanderwood, a supernatural/fantasy/romance outing involving an ancient fae and the last scion of the noble family to which he's been attached for centuries. I don't think I'll post my daily output here, but I will keep you updated on my progress. 

I actually did a little writing so far today, exactly 300 words in three paragraphs, which struck me as a good moment to stop and crow about it for a minute. And here it is!

The fae jolted awake to the smell of chocolate—such a delicious smell, rich and complex, both earthy and delicate, sweet and savory at once with a tantalizing thread of bitterness drifting through. So different from the usual scents of the forest, the dark acid rot of oak leaves and the deep green tang of moss, the metallic ichor of cold water over stone, the sharp punch of animal spoor and the dainty song of wildflowers; it was a scent that didn't, perhaps couldn't occur in nature.

Which woke the fae further to consciousness: how was there chocolate in his forest? Chocolate can only occur in conjunction with Man, like bread and liquor and chemicals. Concentrating his senses, the fae sought the source, and scented a man underneath the scent of chocolate. Not a very strong scent, the man must be very clean or very young, or both, with none of the luxuriant musk the fae associated with man. But the faint man-scent was there, fascinating and unexpected.  It had been a very long time since any men had come this close to the fae in his deep—he would have said impenetrable—fortress of oak.

It wasn't impenetrable, of course, the fae remembered his forest being penetrated: the last time he woke from dreams, when soldiers and fallen from the sky buoyed by great clouds of dark silk, seeking to take his Stones, the ancient gateposts that anchored his brugh on the border between England and Faerie.  He'd killed those soldiers, bidding the roots under the forest floor to entwine and entomb them in the rich earth, and taking flight to pursue the steel machine that had dropped the soldiers, interfering with its machinery so that it crashed into the Salisbury Plain in a foul explosion of stinking petroleum and hot metal. 

I'm going to go back to writing, now, and hope I can squeeze out the recommended daily 1,667 words. À bientôt!