If you're reading this, you're probably curious over my butchering of a Latin idiom. I won't leave you in suspense.
(Carpe minutam = seize the minute)
Anybody can seize a day--that's easy enough to get your head around. It's the moment-by-moment opportunity grabbing that I personally seem to have more problem with.
I tend to tell people I don't get writer's block. When I say this, I don't mean that I don't regularly get stuck in the middle of some scene or chapter and want to bang my head against my desk until something brilliant finally shakes loose. It happens. Mental blocks get delivered to the doorstep of my consciousness for all kinds of different reasons. My mistake, when I first started writing, was that I'd sign for the package and bring it inside--let the thing hang around like some horrifically useless paperweight. I was waiting for it to either go away or magically turn into something helpful.
Then, someone in my literary world told me I didn't have to put up with it. (Whoever you are, thank you.) They suggested I get a change of scenery, put on some music, paint, or just take a risk on some blatant opportunity to get out and DO something out of the ordinary. In effect, they told me I could (and should) make an effort to write 'return to sender' on those packages full of blocks and kick them off my porch.
My 4-year-old daughter gave me a glaring chance to do this recently, and I nearly missed it. I'd had a rough few days and couldn't see much beyond the writing progress I WASN'T making. When she came running up to me early one morning yelling "Balloon! Balloon!", I didn't think much of it. (Seriously, the child thinks a latex bag full of room air is the best toy ever.) But she was insistent on dragging me outside to see what she was talking about, so I went. I stepped out in time to hear the roar of propane fire as a hot air balloon made a very low pass directly over our back yard.
And the long-dormant, gleeful child inside of me squealed, "BALLOON!"
We watched it together in awe for a handful of minutes as it drifted on out into the countryside. Just as I was ready to go back in and get on with my day, my daughter tugged on my shirt and very seriously asked, "Can we chase it?"
And I thought...well, why not?!
So we got in the car and spent the next half hour singing preschool songs while chasing down a hot air balloon. I got lost down back roads I didn't know existed. I readied my phone to call 911 when the balloon's basket came perilously close to clipping power lines. We got in and out of the car half a dozen times just to wave. And finally we sat on the hood of the car and watched as they landed safely, deflated the balloon, and rolled it up into a surprisingly small bundle.
We carped the heck out of that minutam.
And I have to say, my writing (and general outlook) were a lot better off for it. :)
~Angela N. Blount