So, I was working on the second round of editing for The Devil’s Own Desperado and realized that I’m homesick—homesick for a place and a time that I’m fairly certain didn’t exist as I’ve envisioned it, and the reality of that time and place has been created in an incredibly romanticized manner. First of all, I see that place through the most amazing rose tinted glasses. Secondly, I’m talking about a time before daily showers (or on hot days like today after working for a while on the new dog show rig—a two-shower day) and deodorant. And, lastly, how in the sam hill can I be homesick for a place that I have never lived in during this lifetime? I stared at the screen for a long time, entranced by a blinking cursor, and tried to convince myself that it is impossible to be homesick for this place of my imaginings and dreams.
Surprisingly, I couldn’t convince myself of any of this. You see, there’s this little voice in the back of my head who keeps asking, “What if it was a simpler time? What if the beauty you see there now did exist for the people then, as well?” It doesn’t do a darn bit of good to tell that voice to shut up. That voice has the persistence of my six-year old grand-daughter when she really wants my attention. Even though my better half and I are raising Jadelynn, there are a few times I slip into “gramma mode” and give in to that persistence. And, if nothing else, that little voice in the back of my head took lessons on persistence from a six-year old.
Like an idiot, I opened up the picture files I keep stored on the same jump drive where I have all my novels saved. Those pictures are saved in a file named “For When I’m Homesick.” You’d think I’d know better…
As I was looking through the pictures, I kept forcing myself to look at them as if I had to live there. As if I had to deal with the almost six months of winter weather. As if I had to put up with a wind that never stops. (I remember reading somewhere that people often went completely insane from listening to that constant wind.) As if I had to fight the land for everything—protection from the elements, a livelihood, even food on the table.
And, I still couldn’t do it.
No matter how harsh the landscape appeared, no matter how deep the snow fall, no matter how stunted the trees grew because of that ever present wind, I couldn’t see anything be a fierce, harsh, rugged beauty to this place that holds my heart.
After scrolling through pictures for about an hour (yes, I have that many saved to the jump drive), I was ready to return to editing. But, I’m still homesick.