birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Onward and Upward

It’s all coming to an end now. The writing challenge that is. I’ve enjoyed my 40 Days and 40 Writes. What came out of my fingertips is nothing at all like what I thought would come out of my fingertips.

Once my mother made me a doll cradle out of an old round oatmeal box. She cut out part of the top half of one, and voila, it makes a tidy cradle. She decorated it with antique lace and filled it with satin pillows and an embroidered coverlets, and covered it with a ribboned canopy. She placed a beautiful porcelain baby doll inside the cradle, its gown also adorned with antique lace, its sweet robe a pale, delicate blue gauze.

Imagine the time she put into this treasure, this doll cradle made from an oatmeal box. Everything she touched was like this – exquisite, beautiful, breathy and pure. I asked her about it not long ago. She offers up a claim that equates to having no other choices, to having boredom imposed and forced on her.

I thought maybe I’d write about that.

And then, this week Cody Coots was bitten by a snake. I heard about that a few days ago. Once upon a time I became obsessed with his father, Jamie Coots, and the whole snake handling scene in Kentucky. I started a short story called “Cody Coots Wants his Snakes Back” which I never finished. I thought I’d finish that during the 40 Days 40 Writes. Especially when I saw that Cody Coots showed up in the headlines today, having been bitten, but not killed. The very awkward headlines led me to believe that he’d been killed.

I thought I’d write about that.

Oh, my dad died in the last year. I wrote some about that. The whole structure of American democracy is under attack. I wrote about that. So there were some predicables.

All those things I didn’t write about though. What of them? What will happen to them? Will I resolve to write every day now? I heard today that 66 is the magic number of times to do a thing to form a habit, not 40.
Which leads to the ultimate question: Why write? If I’m going to make a commitment to write daily, with the hopes of making it a habit, perhaps I should know… to what end? My end is clear to me. I write because I like to write, because I like to capture real and fictitious moments on paper, and whatever happens with these writings is not my concern. I write because I like to write.

This is the end, Robin. The resolution in my writing arc. Thanks for letting me play in the nest, and I’ll recommend the program to others.

Onward and Upward (my signature sign-off believe it or not),
Mary

Resolution...Does it Last?

Night of the Macaroni and Cheese