The other morning I was swinging a leg over the side of the bed when Pa-pa (to whom I sometimes allow partial credit for the fact that we have grandkids) asked the obvious: "Are you getting up?"
"I have to," I said. "I have a blog in my head."
"Should we call the doctor," he asked, "or do you just need to blow your nose?"
"I just need to get to the coffee pot and the computer," I said. "In that order." The truth was, I was rapidly nearing the end of my most recent blognancy, and I was about to pop. I grabbed my robe and headed downstairs.
I have always found that this is the way writing works for me. Somewhere deep inside of me, without my being fully aware of it, an idea is conceived and begins to grow. Over time it takes nourishment from me, and I detect a faint heartbeat. Turns of phrase, description, and metaphor begin to flesh it out, and it begins to wriggle and kick. It grows large and makes me uncomfortable. Finally, that idea reaches full term and is ready to be delivered.
Inevitably, I find that the labor process itself gives an actual shape to the piece, which sometimes delivers easily and sometimes has to be induced. Although each piece has some genetic resemblance to its siblings, it assumes its own unique appearance and personality. I feel really proud when my family and friends compliment me on the new arrival.
One thing about it, the subject of grandparenting promises to keep me fertile for a long time. In fact, I need to end this piece now. It seems I may have been blognant with twins.