The Big Candle

Since I started hygge-fying my office, lighting a candle has been part of the routine when I open the desk for the day. When I first started, I had a single votive on hand, a tealight, and two mini jar candles. When I blew through those, there was only one option left. The big candle. I do not remember when the big candle came into our home. but my educated guess is that it was part of a holiday gift from somebody’s work. The scent is Autumn Wreath, the maker, Yankee Candle. I’d always thought it was too big for my desk (cue visions of the entire thing going up in flames, taking a bunch of my notebooks and favorite pens with it) but here it is, and now, I find it’s the most natural thing in the world to have it there.

One of the biggest things about having the big candle on my desk was that I didn’t want to waste the wax. In the candle world, this is known as tunneling, when the candle isn’t burned the proper amount of time on its first outing. When that happens, the candle remembers how far it was burned, and that’s how far it will burn throughout its life. This means all the wax isn’t used, and, at the end of that particular candle, there will be a bunch of wax clinging to the sides, either to be carved out with a knife, possibly with the  help of boiling water or a stint in the freezer, or tossed, along with the jar, because it’s too much trouble to get the stuff out, merely to have a plain glass jar, for some undefined purpose. In that case, the jar gets tossed. Maybe the garbage smells a bit better that week, but that’s about the only benefit.

For this particular candle, that meant a three-hour burn. That meant three hours of me at my desk, keeping an eye on the flame, while simultaneously doing my thing (aka manipulating the lives of my imaginary friends.  There may or may not also have been the final two episodes of the US version of Being Human, which may or may not have made me cry, and may or may not have spoiled me for jumping directly into another series. This will probably mean more time for books, both the reading and writing of same, with the big candle along for the ride, in either event.

Even with careful attention (I am going to blame the Being Human finale) I did end up with some tunneling. There’s still a bit of wax around the rim that should have melted, but apparently I didn’t time things correctly, and now I am either stuck with the one thing I didn’t want to have happen, or…or I could turn this around. Fold a strip of tin foil twice, make a sort of tin foil tenty kind of thing, around the mouth of the candle for about half an hour, and boom, back in business.

This is all a very word-pad-y way of saying that, sometimes, writing is hard. Or weird. Or crammed into five minute bites, when what’s really needed is a good solid couple of hours, but there is life and…there is tin foil. All the good stuff is still there. The story, the characters, the world in which they live, those are all still there, only clinging to the jar instead of melting into lushly fragranced …good…smelling…stuff. The fact that I am writing this blog post when the clock ticks down to 5PM should be an indicator that I am quickly running out of English for the day and need to replenish the well.

The default has been bingeing on Being Human, but that’s all done now, and I’m not ready for a new show yet, although the fourth series of the original, UK version is now on request at the library, and will be on its way to me soon. Or I could read. I could build a new house out of my TBR pile, and there are friends’ manuscripts calling. I’ll figure it out, but, either way, I will have one eye on the big candle. We’ll get through this together.

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