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Day Nineteen: Don’t Stop the Rockin’

Today is a free writing day. Write at least four-hundred words, and once you start typing, don’t stop. No self-editing, no trash-talking, and no second guessing: just go. Bonus points if you tackle an idea you’ve been playing with but think is too silly to post about.

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Play Date

I’m sitting here at this bloomin’ laptop trying to figure out what to write 400 words about. I’ve managed to get something on the page everyday of the four week Writing 101 class so far. But that’s been easy enough because the prompts have been fairly specific. I’m one of those people who works well given clear parameters and deadlines, but I can hardly ever think of a subject on my own to save my soul. I’ve always thought that meant I wasn’t creative. But after reading the Anne Lamott quote in today’s assignment about how the rational mind doesn’t nourish you, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m entirely too rationally minded! I think I’ve forgotten how to play!

I remembered for a little while when I joined up on my first Tolkien fan website. I met a dude who went by the name of Damascus. It was like I’d know this guy all my life. We emailed back and forth for years and during that time his lordship and I got to know his wife and kids, too. We would have loved to have spent time with them, but the problem was, they lived up near Montreal, Canada.

Then one day HL and I decided to take a cruise from Boston around Nova Scotia and into Quebec City, Canada. Though it was a six hour drive from Montreal, my friends decided to drive over and spend a couple days with us when we got off the ship. And this is where the playing comes in. We were to meet them at a restaurant adjacent to where the ship was docked, and Damascus wanted us to dress up! Him in his Ranger gear, me in my Elven cape.

My first reaction was, “You’re kidding, right?” But nope, he wasn’t. And I finally agreed. I can’t even begin to explain how awkward I felt in that cape, how embarrassing it was. As we walked over to the restaurant from the ship everyone was looking at me. I was so uptight I almost turned around and went back. But then something like a big Tigger jumped on me and nearly knocked me over. It was Damascus’ wife Roberta. She’d been waiting outside the restaurant and practically attacked me trying to give me a hug. That was a hell of a greeting!

Serge & me 2

Calen & Damascus

I was caught now. There was no turning back. We walked into the building where the restaurant was and had to walk up a long flight of stairs. Me in my long green, crushed velvet cloak carrying a Gandalf-like walking stick, and my entourage (HL, Roberta, and two friends) trailing along behind me. And at the top of the stairs, there was Damascus in a poet’s shirt with laced-up front, buccaneer pants, and pirate boots. His arms were crossed and he had this snarly look on his face. If he’d had a belt with a scimitar he would have looked like a character from 1001 Arabian Nights!

I was so aware that everyone was watching us. Hell, I felt like Cinderella approaching a prince at a ball. I could feel the red crawling up my cheeks. This was SO not me. But then Damascus grinned and it was like a spell was broken. I practically ran into his big hug. It never even occurred to me after that that we were dressed up. And I found myself wondering why the idea of playing dress up had been so frightening to me.

I learned that day that playing was damn hard work! And something that I don’t do nearly enough of. I guess I need to practice on a regular basis and get better at it. I have a feeling it’s probably as good for the soul as a right out loud belly laugh. But let’s be serious. How many adults do hear asking other grown ups if they want to have a play date?

Roberta and Serge

Roberta, Calen, & Serge (Damascus)