Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Leap! (February Theme - Sarah Dooley)

In looking around my writing space for inspiration, I see three things:

1. A coffee cup. (At this point in my day, it has usually been refilled several times and is now half-empty and going cool.)

2. A window (and all the things outside it that I must be strong and ignore, even though some of those things are horses)

3. A cat wiggling its butt, about to pounce on a curtain tie-back.

Now, the coffee, that's liquid inspiration. Inspiration in a cup. A ceramic mug of black, lukewarm, heartwarming gumption. But there's only so much I can say about coffee before I start to bore the nonbelievers.

The window is the most obvious place to look for inspiration. There are beautiful things outside ... tall, brown grasses blowing in the winter wind ... horses grazing serenely ... clouds rolling across the mountaintop ... water buckets needing filled ... stalls needing cleaned ... hay needing stacked ... fences needing mending ... Okay, yeah, I'm closing the blinds.

And that leaves the cat.

The cat who is frozen in place, gathering energy, ready to


That's me. That's the way I write. I gather myself into one small space, draw in my energy, let it build until I can scarcely contain it. "Hibernation" sounds like a peaceful slumber, but this is not that. This is a closing off from the rest of life, a focusing inward to find the thoughts, to find the words, building up and up over days, until --

LEAP! The words are ready to spring forward onto the page, sometimes as graceful as a cougar, other times as clumsy as a half-grown kitten chasing a curtain tie-back, but always a release of pressure after the quiet and the gathering.


  1. I think it's telling that the cat is leaping...the playful quality of an animal speaks volumes to why we are writers for children. We ourselves take "leaps" into the unknown when we embark on a new project. Thanks for a great post Sarah.

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