I don’t write to be famous, I don’t write to be known, I write because I am and I want to be read. How sad to fill a room with paintings no one sees or play music no one hears. Writing is talking without sound, singing without score and dancing without movement and yet, it is all of them. It is a solitary art conjured from thought and expressed by the need to communicate.

HEAD SLAPS, SPEED BUMPS and LIGHTBULBS, one woman's WTF, oops and ah-ha moments of life.

They were published once, and as every writer knows, once is not enough.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Where did I go and am I still there?

Well, where the hell have I been?


Drastically downsizing.

We’re moving from a 2150 sq. ft. colonial into a 600 sq. ft. in-law apartment. (Tiny house.) That’s like fitting a double decker tour bus full of friends and family into a Smart Car. I’ve been going through stuff I haven’t gone through in decades. It’s heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. It’s freeing and yet the constraints of living with little to no space is frustrating. I might add though that the idea is very welcome.

Because of the many fires and floods this year across our country a lot of families have lost entire households of precious memorabilia as well as their day to day stuff. They didn’t have time to choose. The only choice they had was to save the ultimate, their lives.

I’m lucky because I’m making the choices of what stays and what goes. The choices have been relatively easy because almost all is going.  The photos stay but the “things” used by the people I have lost are on the way out. I’ve had time to explore the memories attached to each object and say a sweet goodbye to what once was. There have been emotional moments, like when my mother’s favorite blue bowl and vases which graced the center of our dining room table, sold at our yard sale. Sad to see it go but glad someone else would love and use them. I’ve come to believe that what we store away because of attachment should not be shut away but set free and shared.

Because our new in-law apartment is being built we have a couple of more months of living on the sidelines of a settled life. And until then, I have started writing again. (The novel is still in the works.) I have finally found a small spot in my daughter’s home (which was once ours) to claim as a space in which to write.

So hello. I’m here and counting down the days to resettlement.  Actually it’s kind of fun living in the guest room which my husband and I call our dorm room. From that double-decker bus to a smart car we are traveling an alternate route to a lighter and less stressful life. Now if I could just remember where my bathing suit is.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Planted without a sell-by date

Recently I faced a life and death situation that had me reeling. I went from mundane-everyday-WTF to I’m going to die in 5 minutes. Pretty damn scary, pretty damn life changing. Rather than go into the specifics let me just say that when something like that happens, you change how you view your existence, your purpose, and how tenuous your eye-blink of time is here on this great earth. This is serious stuff. It’s severe. It’s cataclysmic.

That the door unexpectantly opened for me to pass through and then was slammed shut has left me contemplating experience and effort. “Experience,” as in my belief that I have been blessed with a wonderful life of family and abiding love. “Effort,” as in, is the determination I spend on dreaming and achieving writing success, worth the bits and pieces and huge chunks of the time it will take to get there? And if my answer is no, what do I do instead.

It’s like something I remember reading years ago in (I think) Chesapeake by Michener. An epic for sure.

The one thing that has glued itself to mind from that book is about trees. It’s about the men as visionaries and dreamers, who put forth the grand effort to plant trees which they knew they’d never live long enough to see as full grown. They would never get to sit in the shade under the lush canopies, never get to shelter under them in a storm, and never get to see how spectacular they’d look while lining the broad roads leading to the mansions by the sea. If I remember correctly I believe the full grown trees were eventually taken down by a fierce storm. But that doesn’t matter because it is the planting of them that was so important. 

For a few days after my own personal hurricane I stared at the full manuscript of my WIP, printed and ready to send to an editor who likes to work with paper pages, not on screens. I had already bought the envelope in which to send it, already addressed it and then thought about how futile the continued effort to find a traditional publisher for that book is. Or should I say, might be. It’s the fourth book I have finished, the others are shelf novels. Should I set it aside? And then what do I do, take up knitting or shuffle board?

I mailed it.

It’s planted.

Though I am aware that I may never see its branches lush with leaves, (but then again I might), I know that I have at least continued forward, one foot in front of the other, a day at a time. Even though I don’t know how many days, or if any, will stack up behind me, writing that book has brought me immeasurable joy.  I am not ready to give up on joy just yet.

I’m still in the stages of making sense of what happened and vacillating between I may live to a hundred or drop dead a minute from now. None of us, and let me repeat, NONE OF US has a sell-by date. Trees don't either.

I’ve been given a second chance and I’m taking advantage of it.

Wouldn’t you?

Friday, January 4, 2019

Your future? Discounted.

Finally an update on this New Year. Not sure why I have been so absent because time has become my friend again. Maybe it’s because my conversation here is read by so few. (My fault.) Maybe it’s because what I want to say doesn’t seem so important regarding our brave new world as it was, as it is, and as it may be.

Well anyway, my novel is complete and has been off to first-readers for quite some time. I have learned that the holidays are a lousy time to expect reader-feedback. Hopefully off to an editor soon. (Hello Jennine.)

I am on to another project that lit a fire which has been smoldering for a long time. I have hesitated on this one because the scope is imposing and counter to every other project I have attempted and completed. But I love the genre and read it all the time. Don’t have a log line yet, and the outline looks like the sparse road map in and out of Death Valley. But, I’m 10-grand in and hoping to hit completion before Christ is resurrected (again).

Within this new story the what-if questions are enormous. Let’s just say, (and I probably shouldn’t at this point but I will anyway), I’m combining an imagined J.K. Rowling kind intricately detailed world with a Suzanne Collins Katniss-like senior character. Dare I say it’s a dystopian novel for senior citizens?

I hate the term “senior citizen,” but if you are one this story will scare granny pants off you.

In our daily cycle of news which is proving by the hour how easily millions can be swayed by falsehoods and shallow promises, “70Y70D” will be your road map to heaven or hell depending on which side of the 10% senior discount you are on.

So there you have it. A futuristic novel for readers with futures far shorter than their pasts.

Happy New Year everyone. Hope all is well, for all of you, and if it’s not, write about it.