Now that I've revealed to you my secret heart's desire to write The Great American Novel, I will now reveal that I work on writing snippets of it each day in my head. Rather than calling this neurosis or insanity, I consider it the the practice of "the short assignment," as writer Anne Lamott recommends.
Here's a short assignment I composed in the shower last week:
It was the coldest day of the year. But as she pressed her feet into the carpet and took the first steps of the day, Angela had no way of knowing it.
Fifteen hours must elapse before the nightly newscaster would announce that it was, in fact, the coldest day in four years. But by then, Angela had returned to bed, blankets piled, windows shut, and the cold in her heart remained unmeasured.
Yes, last week did include the coldest day in four years, but I am quite chipper. And have you noticed I've now referred to coldness or warmness of hearts three times recently? I guess preoccupation with warmth is a side-effect of Janufeb.
I can't decide if I'm glad or sad about the death of our beloved Mormon prophet Gordon B. Hinckley. I'm glad he can rest and that he didn't suffer a protracted decline. But won't you miss his constant refrains of "Just do your best" and "Just try"? He made righteousness seem so simple and attainable.