Saturday, August 1, 2015

New Credo? Maybe....

My friend, the author CSE Cooney, had this in her post,

May my word count be ever higher than my body count


This just might be a portion of my credo that I didn't even know I needed until I read it. I might get it as tattoo or paint it on my wall. I asked her if I could HAVE it. (I mean, use it.) She said YES!!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

20 years ago today...

Twenty years ago on April 1st, the world changed for my family. My sister Joy had an accident. I remember that night so well...
My folks had been out of town so, when I came home from a date, I was surprised that my Dad met me at the door. I remember how the air was chill. It was a Saturday night and I could smell smoke from a fire pit at a neighbor’s house. I could even hear the murmur of voices from that party.
"Joy's had an accident." My dad said.
For the briefest of seconds, I thought it might be an April Fools joke, but my dad isn't one to joke about such things and his face was the grimmest I'd ever seen it. My then fiance was already backing away, mumbling about how he had to head home (he never got along with my dad) and we went inside. My Mom was on the phone with someone in Costa Rica. I could hear her talking as my dad was explaining the accident as he understood it. I wasn't processing what he was saying after the words, "she might not make it."
Joy? Of course Joy would make it! She was the golden child! She had a plan for her life and she had been following it ever since we were kids. No... this is a bad dream. I kept pinching myself but I wouldn't wake up.
" we’re going to need you to be here and take care of your sisters while we fly to Costa Rica.”
I was nodding. I think that night was all about nodding and crying and hugging and nodding some more. I felt numb, a feeling that would come and go in my life for days, weeks, months, even years to come.
I only remember snatches of the days that my folks were in Costa Rica with Joy. Conversations with my two younger sisters, Jacqueline and Jessica, are blurry. I do remember the tears and the phone calls where Mom’s voice was crackly on the phone line but her tone was optimistic. It was hard to hear her, but I could hear that her optimism was somewhat forced.
“She’s still alive, but in a coma… there were two nurses in the raft behind her… they revived her… she was drowning… she almost died, but praise god, she didn’t… It’s in god’s hands.”
It’s in god’s hands, was repeated over and over again by my parents and their church friends who came over with food for us daughters. At that time, I was agnostic and angry at the god of my parents so this was no comfort to me at all. The idea of their god being in control actually made me more anxious than I already was. Why would this god, who allowed millions to die, save my sister? So many why questions… But I was relieved at the help my parent's friends gave. Even though I don’t believe what they do, I do appreciate the community that my parents had/have.

Joy has a brain injury that she will never recover from. She has to be cared for 24/7. I love Joy, but sometimes wonder if it wouldn't have been better for her if she had died this day 20 years ago. I feel bad for even thinking this and worse for sharing my thoughts, but I believe that being honest is important.

I've been trying to write about this for twenty years. I don’t know if I’ll ever get my writing about Joy, my family and my life into a memoir that I want to share with the world. But I will keep trying to write our story because there is such a story to tell.

Friday, February 20, 2015

February 2015 - Writing Check-in & a New Motto

Writing this month has gone much slower than I had hoped. It's all due to adjusting to the new job, a dog/housesitting gig and getting sick. But I have two stories and a poem pending acceptance and I've made a bit of headway on the Peculiar Predicament of Poppets novel. It's heading in a strange direction and might end up with a poem attached to it after all. (Since it began its life as a poem, this delights me.)

I've also decided to treat my writing time as if I'm on a date with Writing, a very alluring lover. This is different than my treat-it-as-a-job approach which I'm also still doing. But it is interesting. One major difference: If I look something up then get distracted by something else that might relate to what I'm working on, I feel guilty about wandering away from Writing whereas when it was more of a job thing, I felt defensive about NEEDING to do whatever it was for my job. It's all about perspective, right?

Maybe my new writing motto should be, 
"schedule writing like a job, honor Writing like a lover."

Sunday, January 25, 2015

My 2015 Writing Goals

I'm starting strong with a new job at a second library.
Hey j9, let's keep this trend of goal achieving going into this New Year!

  • Polish the 10 Short Stories I already finished and send them off.
    • It's just January & I've already sent off four stories!!! Yay!
      • One was rejected, but it's already out to another publication.
      • TWO have homes!!! (Details TBA)
  • Edit the 10 stories that need major rewrites & send them off.
  • Finish & send out the rest of my Yultide stories / doodles (This is what I did for gifties this year. I got my immediate family and a few friend's done, but so many left to do. Should I change the name to Springtime Stories if it takes me too long?)
  • Finish the background work for the e-zine I'm putting together by May, go live with it by August.
  • Sort through my Yuletide stories, my Tiny Terrible Tales & my Drabble Dreams & pull the ones that I want to grow (This is a Summer goal.)
  • Finish rewriting The Peculiar Predicament of Poppets  (PPP) as a novel. (This story has been a poem, switched POV countless times and just keeps growing.) 
  • Self-publish PPP by November. 
  • Work on the Innosphere (This is the new title of the novel I wrote & got feedback on. It's changed A LOT... for the better... I hope!)
  • Pull together my short story collections. 
  • Decide which ones need a publisher & which are to be self-published.

It's gonna be a lot of work, but I'm excited about this new year!