MORNING COFFEE 26 - best laid plans

By Susan Weber

Last fall I wrote a novel. Well, the rudiments of one. My friend at the library said novel writing month was upon us. I could join—why not? National Novel Writing Month means writing intently for thirty days straight, with some kind of plot in mind. Since November had already taken off, I knew the race was on.

Fifty thousand words later I had a book—in your scribbles on a napkin sort of way. And I liked it! That is, I did not hate it. I wanted to see what it could do if I gave it more time. Inventing your own long form story is a lesson in guileless joy. I craved more potent writing days like the ones I'd just carved out. The plan was to set my first draft aside through the warm and fuzzy weeks of December. Bake it in the oven with the snickerdoodles. In the new year, when discipline came into vogue again, I'd get out the red pen and have a fresh look.

December was not so warm and fuzzy after all. The disease of all diseases reared her gnarled and ugly head, spewing malformed blood cells everywhere. Here’s a broad who plays you to the marrow of your bones. She was after a man who wouldn't harm a living soul. He feeds the birds for heaven’s sake. He captures mice in the kitchen and sets them loose in the natural world. He rails against injustice with the heart of a preacher, integrity his vestment, empathy his prayer. Cancer doesn’t care; she is shameless.

As for the work in progress, the first glint of evil sprung from Leukemia's lair squelched my lust for anything but mercy. Some remnant writer spirit in me wants to take my manuscript, cram it with vitality and hope, and deftly rewrite cancer's grievous wrongs. But in this life of mice and worthy men, want is not the same as wherewithal. 

Photo by Art G. CC BY 2.0