Start Again

Computer crashed last week. I was up to 18,000 words on my novel. I had backed up in June. So now I have only 11,000 words. Ava and Josie, who have been closely following my progress, were bummed at first, for me. Then Ava’s face lit up: “Mom, now you can come up with something new!” The light in her eyes, the enthusiasm in her voice…well, it was sweet. Of course, my old, decrepit soul inwardly said, “but it was good! I don’t need something new, $#@*$&.”

I shall write in my trusty old notebook from now on. Hire a secretary to type it out, like Natalie Goldberg does. Yeah, right.  I have not been able to bring myself to sit down to write again. It’s so painful.

This afternoon, when the dismissal bell rang, my students found a gecko in my classroom, near the cubbies. It’s a wonder the little thing didn’t get smashed from the children rushing to get their bags. It’s a baby. I took him home, with the plan of setting him free in Usery Park. The girls squealed and named him “Limey” because he has a green band over his eyes. He’s very pretty. With such attachment, how can I free him?  We ran out and foolishly bought $68 worth of equipment for the little guy.  He’s hiding in his coconut shell right now and he’s eaten two small crickets already. The other three are hopping around and I check in to see if he’s eaten another or if a cricket has drowned in the small water bowl. They do that. Geckos and scorpions only eat live crickets.  Whenever I feel guilty for imprisoning him in his terrarium pimped out with fake – but very soft! – grass, small pond, coconut shell, temp and humidity gauges, and heat lamp, I counter my guilt with “well, no one’s gonna eat him in there.”

I hope he doesn’t get sick or die. We’re already so fond of him. Of course, that day will come. Tears will be shed, comfort will be spread, and things will start a new.  It is time to start again. I’ll jot words 11,001-11,400 tomorrow.

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