I'm still pretty brain dead. Not as much as yesterday, though. When I got back to work today, I realized that of course Chapter 22 must, must, must end with Leesie closing the sliding glass door. Duh.
And then Chapter 23 is going to be just this poem by itself. I was busy, busy, busy all day. Partly because life happens--good things like my new piano is now tuned and my BYU kids are home for Christmas and partly because I didn't think I could write this poem. It had to be great. It had to be perfect. And I didn't have a clue how to do it. Telephone call scenes are horrible to write. You don't have any action. And I didn't want this scene to come off as maudlin or too sentimental. But it had to be powerful. I'd set myself up for major writer's block.
Normally, when I get to a scene like this that I don't think I can write, I print off the last page I typed, scribble a line or two about what needs to go next, and then put it on my bedside table, say my prayers, and go to sleep. In the morning, I pick up the sheet of paper and scribble what's in my head. If you want gifts from heaven--inspiration from the Ultimate Creator--this is a good recipe to follow. But I just couldn't disappoint you guys and not post.
I finally drug myself into my office, whispered a prayer, and told myself to just write. It could be horrible. Fine. Just get something down. Fix it up later. You can tell everyone that it will get better. This is also a tool I use often. When you're writing to a deadline, getting stuck for long isn't an option.
The first two lines came into my head while I was getting cosy in the corner of the twin bed in my office with my lap desk propped on my knees. I whispered my thanks to their Author and scribbled them down. The rest of the poem flowed like a dream. It's short, simple, and maybe tomorrow I'll want to change it, but tonight it's perfect.
This poem will be all there is in Chapter 23. The shorter the chapter the more powerful it is.