Sunday, January 14, 2007

Di's Beginning

Eben Reilly

Di is a bright, articulate, funny friend who would amuse us both as we stood before the deli counter at Prunier's, the local grocer in Castleton VT, with her insights into the ordinary ridiculousness of life.

She's always spoken of having a book knocking around in her head and surprised me with a fictional response to both our questions: 1) How do you feel about your name? 2) How does a writer a begin a book?

Well, a word begets a sentence, and a sentence begets a page. and well in biblical terms you know how that goes...

Good luck, Di, with having begun your own.


Yes, where do I begin. Just a nugget. The week has been big and bulbous to get around, but here I am on Saturday morning, stealing some moments....The Skates and the Teeth

"Oh man, I keep hitting that infected thing on my finger. I godda stop ripping off hangnails with my teeth."

Yolanda scanned the kitchen counter for her glasses. The glasses weren't there, or maybe they were, maybe they were under something. On Tuesday they were under something, but this was Thursday.

"Oh man, where are they, where was I....I godda go...."

The car had that cold front seat feeling, unforgiving and immutable. This was Vermont in January. Nobody has garages anyway. Her belongings on the seat next to her rattled around, each one trying to beat the other one at the game of "Who's going to fall over the other side of the passenger seat first?" Yolanda was, however, coddling her coffee cup. In comparison, it didn't matter whether she had remembered the keys, purse or cell phone. The coffee was her friend. The coffee really loved her. And she loved the coffee with her whole heart too. Sounds like addiction. Psychological maybe, but her coffee cared that she had a soul. It gave her a moment to find it, a precious portal to God. And Yolanda found her soul, with the encouragement of the gentle, humble, creamy brew. The flavor made her cry.

The splatter of gravel into low lying orbits over the driveway, belied the passions of the woman at the wheel.

"...wish I could get a good squeal out of them. One of these days, I have to let loose. Nah, I don't want to hit the mailbox.""

Yolanda headed up the very short stretch to make a left and head for the highway. As she rounded the turn, she knew her coffee meditation could begin. Route 4 was not stressful. Route 4 allowed her to think her thoughts, and spread out on a beach blanket.

"I'm not a Yolanda. Why did they name me Yolanda? Everyone thinks I'm from Spain or Cuba. My ancestors are from England, Switzerland, and Scotland. Yolanda is somebody else's name.... Everyone calls me Yo anyway. "Hey yo, Yo!" That was always a hoot too. Yo. Who wants to be called Yo! It's the verb for playing with a yo yo. I can't stand it. And I let people call me Yo without saying, Hey, my name is Yolanda! I'm pathetic, I don't want to trouble people to have to say my whole name?"

The coffee was only gone, a little, but she was lost in the insight of the moment. She cherished it. A pungently fragrant gardenia. The fog was lifting off of Birdseye Mountain, but the endless gray, almost seamless between sky and treeline almost enveloped the thought. Yolanda held on tightly, almost crushing the gardenia....

This is the beginning of my story. Nathaniel got up. Brad's at a training and PEBE is at a friend's. I lost my focus, but it will come back. Anyway, this is what is flying around in my mind. It is in relation to last week's question, but I'm slow. I'll keep writing, later today.

Love, Di


At 10:13 AM , Blogger Sheela Wolford said...

Oh this is wonderful! I love the character already...if this is rough and raw, bring it on! Keep going - your focus is perfect! I recommend you read Brenda Ueland's book, "If You Want to Write: A Book About Art, Independence, and Spirit." It will be the icing on your cake! Brava. Brava. Brava.

At 10:17 AM , Blogger Eben Reilly said...


Congratulations on beginning.

Give yourself time everyday to write. It's the only way!

Be disciplined-- in a chaotic, creative kind of way!

At 10:19 AM , Blogger Eben Reilly said...


Sorry for the typo in the above comment.

A lesson to learn from one who has often blundered in this direction.
Always proofread 3 x's.


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