One of my (unexpected) Christmas presents this year was a new computer. This has been a wonderful gift; my old computer left me wondering each time I used it if this was the last time before it died.
I’ve been sorting through all my documents saved up on the old computer, figuring out which ones I want to transfer over to the new one and which ones I can say goodbye to. It’s been an interesting experience, almost a timeline of me as a writer. Not just my skill level, but my style, my interests, the types of stories I write at different times in my life, the stories I started and never took anywhere … there’s a part of me that wants to save them all for posterity.
There’s the other part of me that remembers Emily Starr burning her outgrown stories and poems every time she sorted through her stack and heartily approves.
Right now I’m working on re-typing and editing my four short stories set in the Whitney & Davies world, which I will be releasing as a collection SOON (trying to help bridge the gap between Books 1 and 2, since it has been four years since I released Magic Most Deadly and at this point I’m concerned fans of the series have forgotten about it) and so have been able to put off the document-sorting for a little bit.
Soon enough, though, I’ll be diving in for real, figuring out which stories to metaphorically burn, which to save, and which, perhaps, should be set aside for the chance to grow them into something even more beautiful.
We are moved! Still surrounded by boxes in various stages of unpacking, but the kitchen is organized (it will have to be re-organized at some point; Carl put all the tea on a top shelf where I need a step-stool to reach it. That will never do!), the bedrooms are all in good shape, we are eating meals on our dining room table, and we are starting to move onto the best stage of unpacking: putting up the bookcases and replacing our books on them.
The move happened on Saturday. It went remarkably smoothly, thanks to the crew of friends who showed up to help starting at 8:00 in the morning and sticking it out until close to 3:00 that afternoon. A far cry from when we arrived at seminary, when one or two people helped out for an hour or so after we arrived and then we had to do the rest ourselves! We were setting up the kids’ bunkbeds at midnight while they fell asleep curled up on top of their toychests with blankets and pillows. This time, a friend gave us dinner once everything was moved and the apartment cleaned, and then we drove to our new house, put together the kids’ new beds (in their OWN BEDROOMS), put together our bed, and were still able to call it a night by 10:00. Thank you, God, for good friends.
We are still in the fall-into-bed exhausted each night stage, of course. Moving is never easy, regardless of how many friends you have helping. But any exhaustion-induced irritability is easily assuaged when we look around at our kitchen, where an easy meal is, in fact, easy; when the kids can go into their own rooms when they get annoyed at each other; when we have the option of using our second bathroom if the first is occupied; when we can do laundry in our own machine without having to first collect quarters; when we are able to wander around our own yard with tea in hand, discussing improvements we want to make in the gardens; when we think how God gifted us this house beyond our expectations or even hopes. Our seminary years (hashtag: #seminarylife) were wonderful, a time of growth and fruitfulness. But they were also hard, and we have been in survival mode for a long, long time.
Even in the midst of our physical exhaustion from this move, we are more at peace than we’ve been in ages. Carl is at work today; gymnastics and skating lessons and homeschool classes all start this week (I’m teaching American Lit–pray for me!) (and my students); by God’s grace I will be able to start focusing on my writing more this week as well.
Our Year of Rest is off to a good start.
The clouds roll away and light breaks through