Victor Vasnetsov. The Magic Carpet. 1880. Oil on canvas. The Art Museum of Nizhniy Novgorod, Nizhniy Novgorod, Russia

For a time, my critique partners and I were having a blast writing haiku poetry. Three lines. Five beats, seven, then five again. It’s a challenging style of poetry that I seriously enjoy. At the time, I was also editing our newsletter and each month, I would assign a theme and pick two writers to give me articles using that theme. The newsletter would open with a haiku using the theme.

One month, I assigned Magic Carpet Ride.

I use word association to write haiku. It goes a little something like this.

Magic — something we can’t see, but something that intrigues us. Something we’d like to have to ease our path in this difficult world. Somethins we’d like to inhale in order for that perfect writing day.

Carpet– denotes comfort, soft, padded, warmth.

Ride — an easier path, less work than walking.

Something we can’t see
A soft comfortable journey
Magic carpet ride.

So, then I had to write my editor’s column about the subject. I’d stumped myself. Started and restarted so many times, I was ready to dump Aladdin and take off on that carpet myself. I asked my husband what those three words together made him think.

His answer was drugs. For someone who maybe took a drug… once… in his entire life, it was a strange answer. Cracked me up, but it made me think as well. What can be more trip-like than the writing zone? The zone is hard to achieve, desperately desired, yet frightens at the same time. Where does our consciousness go when we take that cerebral fix? It’s been so long since I zoned, I can barely remember what it felt like. In fact, I seem to go out of my way to avoid it.

Why? Maybe that’s an answer I need to explore. I do remember hitting that magical zone plane two months ago. I sat down in my pajamas on this gold couch in my room to jot down an idea. It’s an antique and not all that comfortable, so I didn’t plan to stay. My husband kissed my forehead goodbye — the kids had already left for school. The next time I looked up, he had come home for a late lunch five hours later! I was thirsty as hell and my body had petrified into that hunched oh-so-unhealthy position. I remember blinking at him, grimacing in pain, then feeling that kind of euphoria one only gets when you realize you just wrote thirty straight pages.

Oh yeah, it felt good to disappear in that story, to actually get something concrete done. But that loss of conscious time unsettled. Most of the time, I have some appointment during the day to remember, something to do with kids, an errand, something. I can forget these things so easily, I find it easier to just focus on what has to be done before I put aside time for writing. The problem with that is so obvious, it’s ridiculous. We all have so, so many things to do in our lives.

So, what I have to do is find some happy middle ground. Set alarms to remember appointment… or kids… Remember to exercise to help reduce that long sitting back, neck, leg and arm pain. Set aside one day a week and knock out all those errands… or at least try. Do what I can to make that writing journey possible because the rewards are worth it.

As with every writer I know, I’m happier when I’m writing, creating. So, if I take the time to set the scene, maybe, just maybe, I’ll find a way to make that magic carpet ride a daily trip. Would be cool, eh?

The first picture is Merline Lovelace , Me , Christine Rimmer, and Darlene Graham . Yes, we did share that Creme Brulee dessert and yes, I’m laughing because the day was absolutely fun and in the last couple of pictures, Christine was having a little trouble with the digital camera. This is at the Legends restaurant in Norman, OK and the art above our heads was done by a student of Darlene’s, so we had to get pictures for her. The workshop went well. I hurried through my game thinking I wouldn’t have enough time, but with four multi-published authors ( Sharon Sala was on the other side of the table and had just left to go check on her mother) I should have known they’d have that book plotted out fast!I laughed so hard and here’s why — we ended up plotting a book for a 6’2″ heroine who speaks french, works on cars, needs to find the truth about her father, yet is afraid of that truth… and a 5’4″ hero who curses in Cajun french and stutters whenever he’s possessed by the heroine’s father who only wants to save his daughter from the International mafia. Uh, okay.

So, though my current publication didn’t make it in time and I had nothing to show off along with the other authors, it was still fun and I got to keep my author Rinda Elliott table topper. Plus, we were all invited back next year and they’re already planning to give me more time so I can break that room into groups and watch that plotting magic fly!