Saturday, January 16, 2010

Time Travel in the New Year

Happy New Year!

This morning when I wrote down the date in my journal -- my goodness, January 16th! -- I felt as if I'd time-travelled. The move from New Year's Day to the middle of the longest month of winter happened in the blink of an eye. (Hey, not a bad way to move through January in Minnesota.)

One of my favorite books ever is Madeleine L'Engle's Newbery Award winning, A WRINKLE IN TIME. I wish I'd read it when I was a kid (but of course it hadn't been written yet). Still, reading it in my late thirties was magical. How I wanted to be able to climb into that "wrinkle" and travel through time and space with Meg. And I loved Meg because she was so flawed (just like me), yet so lovable (just like . . . me?). I read the book over and over for a few years and then let it gather dust on the shelf. Recently I picked it up as I was clearing books for donation and sat down with it, and there was the magic all over again. A book written in the 1960s that was still so fresh and real and compelling in the 21st century that it could turn my 60-something self into a young teen again. If that isn't time travel what is?

I don't generally make New Year's resolutions, but this year I decided that my routine needed a little shaking up. The one piece of it that works for me (and has worked for me for many years) is my journal writing first thing every morning. So I asked myself -- couldn't I extend that writing time by clearing my morning slate of appointments, you know -- just in case? I'm happy to report that this is working and I am now making excellent progress on two of my young adult novels. Some mornings I go to the art table instead. Some mornings I end up doing both. But all mornings I'm doing something creative and those pesky appointments and tasks and errands can just wait until after lunch!

That's not time travel, but it does shift time in a way that puts my real work first. When I manage to do that, sometimes the whole day becomes one big creative project.