Just when you think you are finally in place, life happens. Ain't that the truth? (Wait, that was a cliche, wasn't it? Oh, who cares--life is busy happening!)
We make plans, we get excited, we buy dresses and suitcases and shiny new shoes...and then maybe the weather turns (more) sour and we have to wonder if our plans will work out at all. Or we make a plan, but someone gets sick. Or breaks a wrist. Or we break a toe. As Emily Whatsherface back on Saturday Night Live once said, "It's always something."
And isn't it?
But since the stuff that makes life interesting--life as we know it and life as we imagine it, both as we hope it will turn out and as we pray it never will--are the same things that makes books interesting, for writers, the quirks and turns and frustrations of life are often opportunities. That's maybe one of the best gifts of writing: no matter how badly something sucks, most of us will still think, "You know, I can use this."
Earlier today, Mapquest failed me. (Duh--and why did I trust it anyhow? Isn't that what my glossy new Android phone is for? Except--oops, still learning to use him, and I don't trust him yet, either.) I found myself driving west when my destination was actually east--twenty five miles and an hour into a ten mile, twenty minute drive, I arrived. Annoyed. Upset. To be honest, near tears. And I felt ready to throw in the towel for the day (oops: cliche numero dos)--but I didn't. I can use this, I thought. Somewhere, somehow, a manuscript or an essay or simply an object lesson for my kids (not writing, I know, but you can never force enough supposed wisdom down your kids' gullets, except, of course, when you do), I can use this. And here I am, using it, writing a quick blog post as I work out my frustration for a trip I might not be able to take after all. Dang snow.
But I can use that, too, can't I? I'm a writer, and the whole world is fodder for my pen, for my keyboard. Like Shakespeare said, all the world's a stage. Okay, I know that has nothing to do with this, except that good ol' Will was roaming around in my brain as I floundered behind the wheel earlier today, circling around Caruth Haven in search of Lover's which I never did find. All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. And we are. We all have our parts, and my part today was to be lost, to be mad, to get over it, and to someday, somehow, use it.