Yesterday was my deadline for beginning to write the next draft of my novel, after months of re-plotting, restructuring, re-everything. I wasn’t quite ready to sit down and do it: the task of writing actual manuscript words, facing the reality of having to actually execute the story in my head, felt incredibly daunting. The night before, I was frozen in fear.
Every few years, I like to revisit books from my childhood. These are the ones that have stood the test of time and are just as enjoyable now as the day that I first discovered them, with an added dash of nostalgia and the comforting feeling of returning home. I recently began rereading the Time Quintet by Madeleine L’Engle (though, truthfully, I still consider it a trilogy). I said a warm hello to old friends Meg Murry, Calvin O’Keefe, and of course precocious, intuitive Charles Wallace as I settled in for the journey that had imprinted itself so resolutely on my young self.
Ever since I was young, I shared a love of astronomy with my dad. Looking at the stars was a way to see beauty in the world, organization amid the chaos, possibility in spite of all prevailing notions of “this is right and true.” Stargazing allows for us to feel big and small at the same time: we are just a blip on the universal radar—our everyday banal troubles are self-created and unimportant—yet we are precious; we are significant. We have yet to find life elsewhere in the cosmos. This doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, but it does show that it’s not a common commodity, and we should cherish ours all the more.
It’s with complete serendipity that I’m writing this first blog post on July 31. I didn’t realize the significance of the approaching date, as I’ve been racing all week to meet my writing goal in Camp NaNoWriMo of 30,000 words. I didn’t notice the changeover from July 30 as I sat up all night, tinkering with setting up this site and cursing at all the code going just slightly wrong. Now, hours later, the sun is about to rise and I’ve yet to be visited by the Sandman. I am weary, and not yet finished.
But delight finds us in even the most trying of times, and as July 31 dawns, I find myself happy to be awake to whisper a “Happy Birthday” to a very dear friend of mine; a dear friend of many of ours, actually: Harry Potter.