I took a nap today. Two hours, and it was totally awesome. Except the part where I dreamed all of my piano students showed up at once, and when I said, "What the heck are you doing here when I'm trying to nap?" they quit en masse. Then Leonardo DiCaprio materialized and told me that if any of this were real, his tongue wouldn't be frozen to that ice berg.
So that cleared things up nicely.
The reason I was so tired was because I drank eleven gallons of Diet Coke at dinner last night.
And that was because my voice got croaky on accounta I was talking so much everyone's ears fell clean off.
And that was because my husband and I were dining with very nice people who don't mind going home earless.
You all remember my great pal, Kazzy?
Well, it turns out there's a Mister Kazzy!
His name is Gideon. He's a college professor. And a poet. And he's smiling like that because he was recently released as the bishop of his ward and he now gets to hang out with the Primary kids every Sunday. (For my pals of the not-a-Mormon persuasion, a bishop is a lot like a border collie, only they don't get paid as much and they have to wear a tie. The bishops, I mean. Border collies don't wear ties, silly! All their shirts are polos!)
So back to dinner, which incidentally was at the Outback, which I love, and where we were attended to by a socially deficient waiter, who no doubt had been told by the DMV they couldn't hire him because he wasn't enough of a people-person.
We had a very nice time, you know, until the whole "where are my ears?" part, which sadly is how many evenings with me tend to wrap up.
We talked about writing, and music, and writing some more, and church stuff, and parenting, and writing, and how Outback really needs to screen their staff better.
And then we talked about writing.
I mentioned that Gideon is a poet. What I meant was, this guy makes William Shakespeare and Ben Johnson and Wayne Brady look like lobotomized welfare cheats. Because he writes a sonnet every single day!
Do you know how amazed I am by this? Do you know how enormous his brain must be? Do you even know what a sonnet is, for crying out loud?
It's a kind of poem that never, ever starts with the words "There once was a..." and was really popular 400 years ago, a period known as "The Golden Era of Pre-Cable Pontification". Sonnets have to have a specific number of syllables per line (I think it's 3.14, but I may be confusing that with hula hoops) and a specific number of lines per poem (more than two) and at least three references to King James and / or the Beatles.
It's very complicated poetry.
And what is even more remarkable than the fact that Gideon practically sneezes these babies out he's so prolific, is that this wordsmith, this craftsman, this, you know, guy who can rhyme like crazy - reads my blog.
I know! Can you imagine? It's like Robert Frost perusing the Wal Mart ads!
Sigh. I guess even great minds need a little down time.
Now, here's the reason I'm writing about Gideon. He gave me some terrific advice.
First, he said, "Don't mouth off to the waiter until after he's brought our entrees."
And second, he said, "You need to dust off your NaNo book and get your blog followers to help you finish it."
And third, I think he said, "I'm almost positive I had ears when we got to Las Vegas." But I was talking, so I'm not sure about that last one.
Well, there were no unidentifiable garnishes on my Queensland Salad, so he was right about the waiter thing. And with that kind of credibility going for him, how could I possibly ignore the part about finishing my novel?
Answer? I couldn't. Can't. Whatever.
So that's what I'm going to do! Over the next few weeks, I'll fill in a bunch of the gaps in my plot - starting with the fact that the story begins on the International Space Station and somehow ends in a 15th century ale house - and develop some, whaddyacallem, characters, and, if I'm feeling extra brainy, I may even, oh, I don't know, solve the mystery and bring the murderer / Elvis impersonator / time share salesman to justice.
I'm very excited about all of this! In fact, in honor of Gideon's marvelous suggestion and my novel's admission into rehab, I've composed a sonnet. I call it "The Poem That Only Makes Sense if You've Already Read My Manuscript and You Have Fairly Relaxed Standards on Meter".
I'm pretty proud of it.
November's dream, to tell a story true,
(Or true enough, if plausible's a choice)
Of goofy wanderers, ancestors who
Sing history's refrain in bandsaw voice.
And of descendants, mercilessly bound
To harmonize a tune relentless, which,
Despite dysfunction's tyranny of sound,
And obstinacy's strangle-hold on pitch,
Still hints at some melodi'us idee fixe,
Suggestions of a cadence near complete.
And though the choir's made up of nerds and geeks,
One soloist may keep the ending sweet.
Unless the writing stinks, confirming fears
That, Gideon-like, you'll wish you had no ears.
(I know, I know - don't quit your day job. Well, that wouldn't be a problem, if all my piano students hadn't dumped me during my nap.)