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?



 
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.
I’ve been given a second chance and I’m taking advantage of it.
Wouldn’t you?