This Writing Life…

“This is Not an Exit,” the sign on the door reads. She pushes through and the acidic aroma of sanitation singes her nostrils. With every step, fluid seeps from the bottom of her soles to the tiny crevices between her toes, a distinct squish. The open room is dim, clay in color throughout. The voices maintain a respectful hush. There is space between each isolette like a wide road separating oncoming traffic to prevent a terrible accident.  The babies don’t look like babies. They are small, some only the size of a hand, with a film of fuzz and skin darkened and wrinkled like a bad sunburn. She tries to avert her eyes as she weaves past, more out of horror than respect. Though the ward is full of babies, all is quiet. This is the passage. A substitute for the womb, thinly lined with hope that each baby will finish the journey of growth and miraculously reach full term.

This is the opening paragraph of  a revised chapter somewhere, somehow, in the center of my manuscript. The first day of truly writing was a good day. As I worked my way through this chapter, I realized my writing was less than adequate. What is funny to me is that when I revised this entire project five years ago, I thought I was a solid writer. I’ve learned an incredible amount of detail work and storytelling during my undergrad work and now I’m both exhilarated and terrified to discover how I will feel about my writing in two years from now when I finish my MFA. I guess you should stay tuned.

As for my other goals. I’ve yet to drink a glass of water. Not even a sip. I’m not sure what this psychological resistance is about, perhaps the desire to pretend I’m indeed superhuman? I’ve committed myself to stop analyzing myself and just accept my quirks. So what? I don’t like water. I know I need to consume water. It is on my list of “things”. Core strength consisted mostly of laughter and mostly at myself.

Rest today is a four letter word. Two of my sons graduated from Middle School yesterday and we spent the evening at Wahooz, arriving home after 11 p.m. and up at 5. I’m tired, but joyful. I do believe this counts as a family encounter.

We are only a few hours from Shabbos and I’ve baked 8 loaves of Challah to share with neighbors and friends. In observing Shabbat, I will not write, but instead, I will marinade the remaining 7 pages of this chapter.

I created a neew list in my journal. Throughout my writing academics, I’d jot a “side note to self” in margins as a reminder to write about a specific event or perception or experience in my life. I paged through my 7 binders of writing notes and listed each and every item in which to write. This added up to 7 journal pages.

I’m beginning to think my new lucky number is 7.

I’m off to light beautiful candles to bring more Light into my home tonight and to dream of living the writing life that I’ve longed for most of my existence.

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About Rebecca Evans

My writing offers a glimpse of military experience, world-level athletics, mental illness, childhood trauma and realization of one’s flaws. I try to capture the rawness of emotional experience in story, blending my life experiences with fiction, and penning my heart on the page. My stories offer a background and academic profile from psychology which helps develop realistic behavior in character and emotional evocation for the reader. I also bring my experience as a television show producer, capturing scene and detail in a unique way. My time as a war veteran, a pageant queen, a mother of a special needs son, and a person with her own disabilities offers me the opportunity to capture the world through a unique lens. I’ve had the honor of studying with Cynthia Hand, Nicole Cullen, Kerri Webster, Brady Udell, Christian Winn, Martin Corless-Smith, Janet Holmes and Mitch Wieland. Bio: Rebecca Evans is a Gulf War Vet and earned her B.A. in Creative Writing at Boise State University with a minor in Psychology. She is currently a graduate student in Creative Nonfiction Writing at Sierra Nevada College and the Producer and Show Host of Our Voice television show. Her credentials include Poetic Therapy, Certified Empowerment Coach, Motivational Speaker and Author. She has combined her experiences as a woman in the military, mom and world class athlete into her work. Her accomplishments as a business woman have landed her as Idaho Business Review’s “Idaho Women of the Year” honors, the National Association of Women Business Owners Business Women of the Year honors, and Boise State University's “Women Making History in Idaho”. She is a former Girls on the Run program director, Mrs. Idaho International 2004 and a Fitness professional. She lives in Idaho with her three sons, two pugs, Chiweenie, five chickens and an endearing bearded dragon. View all posts by Rebecca Evans

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