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.

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.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Ginger Ale in a green bottle

I am nine years old, sitting in the backseat of dad’s Studebaker
Station wagon. We are on our way from Elizabeth, New Jersey to Nana and Pop-Pop’s house in Norwich, Connecticut. The drive seams endless (interstate highways are not yet complete). After half a day on the road we pay a 10 cent toll over the Connecticut River, and the anticipation of being nearer Nana’s, far outweighs the hackneyed “are we there yet” my mom and dad became deaf to 15 minutes after we left.

Being almost there has my brother and me sitting straight, not slumped in our respective corners. Being almost there has him hanging over the back seat blabbering into my father’s ear, and me drumming my hands on my thighs until my mother says playing percussion is not for girls.  The anticipation of visiting my grandparents, my aunts and uncles and cousins begins to effervesce like a green bottle of all-shook-up ginger ale on a summer day. Almost there and the cap is ready to blow, almost there and I can taste the Saturday night beans and hot dogs. Sitting on the front porch after dinner with the family, (there are dozens of us), waiting for the Good Humor truck to stop, is the exclamation point to a perfect day.

I am not nine years old anymore but that bubbly feeling of being almost there feeds my (on a keyboard) drumming hands. Today, years of thought and planning and writing and months of self-editing - done. I will complete a last read-through and later today my novel is off to a first reader (many states away) that is tough, kind and beyond brilliant when it comes to books people want to read, can’t wait to read, and spend money to read.

She wants a hard copy so on my way home from the post office I will buy ginger ale in a green bottle.