By C. L. Beck
Everyone has their own method for shoveling snow. Some get out their blower, others retrieve their shovel from the garage. I get out a ratty ol’ broom with bristles that are four-inch stubs. It’s not that the broom is superior to a snow shovel; it’s that my dog, Corky Porky Pie, thinks the broom is a wild animal and loves to chase it. For every foot of concrete that I brush snow off, he kicks two feet back on, and the neighbors are treated to the sight of me swinging a broom with a 30 pound dog attached by his teeth.
After twenty minutes of sweeping, Corky is usually too dizzy to hold on anymore so I put him in the house, where he barks at full volume to come out. Already my muscles are tired, because sweeping with a 30 pound dog attached is like sweeping with a bowling ball—and just about as effective.
Determination sets in though, and despite the stitch in my side and the ache that radiates across my chest and down my left arm, I continue to sweep and push snow. Halfway through, I pull out my cell phone and consider calling the ambulance but no … by golly, I’m not giving up.
I take a breather, and wonder if all this cold air is destroying my bronchial tubes. Why do I keep going, when I could be inside eating chocolate cake and drinking hot cocoa? I ask myself. Because eating cake for breakfast isn’t very nutritious, I answer. It seems that me, myself and I are quite good conversationalists.
Back to sweeping I go, and the stitch in my side feels like an appendicitis attack, but I will not let the snow win. I am determined. I am sweeper, hear me roar.
An hour later, the job is done. My mittens have blisters, my nose is frozen and my boots are encased in ice, but I have triumphed. The front step is cleared. There are only two sidewalks and the driveway to go, but those can wait for another day. I feel like a returning hero … and my cake and hot cocoa are calling to me.
I’ve decided that writing is very similar to shoveling snow. Everyone gets out the tool that works best for them. Some use a computer, others use an Alpha Smart. I use a pencil. Not because it’s the fastest way to write, but because it has an eraser. After twenty minutes of staring at a blank page, my eyes are already tired. The going is so slow that I feel like my pencil is filled with lead. Determination sets in and despite the pain in my wrist and the pounding in my head, I go on. Halfway through, I pull out my cell phone and consider calling in a ghost writer, but no … by golly, I’m not giving up.
I take a breather and wonder if the dust from all the erasing is clogging my bronchial tubes. Why do I keep going, when I could be eating Twinkies and drinking chocolate milk? I ask myself. Because too many Twinkies give you hips like an elephant, I answer.
Back to writing I go, and the ache in my wrist feels like carpal tunnel, but I will not give up. I am determined. As a co-blogger, Keith Fisher, says, “I am writer, hear me roar.”
An hour later, the job is done. My fingers have blisters, my vision is blurred, and my feet feel like they’ve been encased in ice for lack of movement, but I have triumphed. The first paragraph is written. There are only thirty chapters and a title to go, but those can wait for another day. I feel like a returning hero … and my Twinkies and chocolate milk are calling to me.