SIX-THIRTY a.m. and the furnace flutters, taking wing in the morning cold.
I stir, too, beneath a layer of blankets topped by an extra fleece throw. I’m in no hurry to exit my warm bed, even if I am a morning person. The dark and cold of a Minnesota winter hold me there, pressed between flannel sheets rough as sandpaper.
Outside traffic rushes by in sub zero temps, drivers shivering inside vehicles warming on the way to work. I’m lucky. My office is only a room away.
Soon enough I rise, dress in jeans and a t-shirt layered by flannel and a zip-up sweatshirt during this Minnesota cold snap. Banana-laced oatmeal and a coffee fuel my body. I settle at my desktop computer to write.
The beginning of the year launches submission season. I focus on writing poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction for numerous regional contests. Submission guidelines roll into my email as I note details and push myself to meet deadlines. Every year I doubt myself. But then the ideas come and the words emerge from my fingertips, pulled from the bank of experiences and memories and places that shape my writing. Even in fiction some truth prevails.
And so I write, not because anyone makes me write. But because I must write words that flutter, take wing, rise in the cold of a January morning in Minnesota.
© Copyright 2018 Audrey Kletscher Helbling