Me...publisher, lifelong learner, all things rescuer, often gluten-free, all times chocoholic
As someone pointed out to me recently, I have become quite comfy as a couch cushion for my cats. A veritable sleeping perch that pleases them. (Why this therapeutic work microsphere? Tap, transfer, here.)
When I was a child, home recuperating from my numerous maladies, I would read. My teachers sent me missed schoolwork and library books. When I wasn’t sick, I biked daily after school to our one-story public library. I’d sprawl on the rust-colored carpet, book in hand, oblivious to the world.
During the summer of my eleventh year, I’d read every book in the children’s section of that small library. I recall a day in early August, choosing to reread a BOXCAR KIDS book by Gertrude Chandler Warner. Mrs. Miller, one of the librarians, tapped my shoulder, and commanded I follow her around until she finished her reshelving task. To my great surprise, she walked me over to the grown-ups side of the building.
Back then, the library had sections: for paperbacks, records, encyclopedias, and biographies. I was familiar with those, as they were on the checkout desk’s fringes. But nearby, enormous shelves opened, awaiting my inquisitive eyes, the ADULT SECTION.
In the adult section, I’d sit on the black and white linoleum floor, reading, until the library closed. To say no one in my family missed me during the day is an understatement. They sent me out of the house in the morning, and expected me at bedtime. Occasionally I might wander in during dinner hour, knowing I’d scavenge for something, if a host friend couldn’t be found.
Ooops, I digress. We’ll have to save all those stories about growing up in the 1970’s for another time.
Throughout that summer, I discovered a huge (Yuge as Bernie Sanders might say), realm of scientific, political, sociological, mythical, and magical realms. I silently studied, quoted, and even sang new words, imagined new worlds.
Reading was my refuge. I was in a dreamlike state, from morning until midnight. Bliss!
Anyone else experience that?
If you are a writer, are you first and foremost a great reader? Are you approaching your genre, be whatever it may, with youthful vigor and vim? I challenge you to mentally transport yourself to the years when you fell in love with reading. Tap into that energy anytime you need to jolt your creative juices.
In this fast-paced, social-centered world we find ourselves, use your time machine. Use it often.
Love the power of a photo. Add in a juxtaposing quote, and bam, brain muscles flex. I hope this pic from a recent outing summons your creative juices. You decide the W’s: where, why, when, etc.
“Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it.” ─Russell Baker
Credits: Brainyquote, discover more here.
I’m baaaack! So why not celebrate with a song? I prefer Alternative Rock, but for today, I have an oldie on my mind. A nostalgic appreciative tribute, for my friends.
“Let your love fly like a bird on a wing, And let your love bind you to all livin’ things, And let your love shine and you’ll know what I mean, That’s the reason.” ─ The Bellamy Brothers.
Love heals. Good friends sending healing vibes, prayers, and messages heal, too. You all have helped me heal. Thank you for your kind letters, email, and thoughts, these past months. Your encouragement has lifted me more than you will know.
Good, bad and ugly things have happened in the world during my eight month absence. Sigh…
I passed the time concentrating on one goal: healing. Selfish for sure. Not only did I stop working, I ended all my volunteer duties: literacy organizations, mentoring writers and small businesses. I even closed my Facebook account. : )
Today I’ll share some very personal highlights. Which may have notes similar to a country song. You know, like, “My dog ran away, my wife is cheating on me, and my best friend stole my car.” That kind of song.
No disrespect directed at the country music industry. They have a way of writing that stabs into the heart of an issue, wrenching our emotions hither and yon. Add twanging stringed instruments, there you are pulled into the immediacy of the setting.
That’s good writing. We writers want our readers touched, drawn into the world we create. See, I meant it as a serious compliment.
So, after a long dry spell, I am back. Not quite 100%, but moving in that direction.
Spoiler alert, exclamation point police, the following post uses more than my allotment.
Now to my country song, sans music and rhyme:
Verse One – I closed the business, yet numerous details end up taking months to complete. My grandbaby was rushed to the hospital for breathing problems, TWICE! He is okay… And because I’m taking a non-traditional approach to this third bout with endometrial cancer, my family questions my sanity.
“You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, know when to run.” ─ Kenny Rogers.
Verse Two – The New Year rang in quietly. Like a turtle, slow and steady, I created a routine, gaining strength of mind and body. Then, sad news: my grandmother passed away. Days later, a slight concussion and a rescue cat rabies scare kept me vigilant! Happy to report that neither had permanent penalties.
“Well, I woke up Sunday morning, with no way to hold my head that didn’t hurt” ─ Johnny Cash.
Verse Three – I found my healing stride, YESS! As fate tends to deal equality, my heating and air unit quit, Reno, our long-haired tuxedo cat experienced two separate bladder blockages (emergency vet visits!), and my car retired, forever.
“There’s just a little old fashioned karma coming down. Just a little old fashioned justice going round. A little bit of sowing and a little bit of reaping, a little bit of laughing and a little bit of weeping. Just a little old fashioned karma coming down.” ─ Willie Nelson.
Verse Four – Same song, only more. Hawthorne, our tri-colored kitty quit eating, it may be this, or it may be that, still working with vet on what. Another emergency trip for my grandson, and tests, indicating allergies and asthma, for which he’s receiving meds. And then, less than two weeks ago, my mother passed away, after a difficult battle with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
“Life’s a dance you learn as you go. Sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow. Don’t worry about what you don’t know. Life’s a dance you learn as you go.” ─ John Michael Montgomery.
We don’t get a practice round at life, but there is comfort along the way. When I started collecting my thoughts for this post, it was about a month ago. Since then, many people across the globe have experienced personal tragedies. But, as I push through pain, and focus forward, it is my hope to encourage others who are hurting. Let’s embrace each other and grow stronger, together.
And keep a song in our hearts…
Till next time,
Ever made holiday stockings? Way back when I was a young mom, and our house was filled with kids and animals, visiting friends and family, we decorated stockings for each pet and guest.
The only pet we didn’t have was an indoor bird. Had doves, and turtles, lol.
Over the decades, I made hundreds of stockings, some quilted, pieced with felt, lace dressed, fur-lined, plain and plaid.
One year I saw this idea for a toe stocking and it stuck! Not only did we make them for ourselves, but I shared the pattern with the kids’ sewing class that I taught.
Ahhh, those were the good ‘ole days. Glad to have pics…um…well these are new pics because I kept the stockings. Oh yeah, I so did!
If you made holiday stockings, have you kept them?
If we miss each other over the next few weeks, I wish you a two-riffic holiday season!
There’s so much in that compact word. It sums up things for me now.
I have energy.
Ready to decorate for Christmas.
Completed Sunscribe’s closing process.
I will continue to count my happy moments, appreciating all the cards, emails, well-wishes and healing thoughts from all of you. I truly appreciate your support – fully feel the energy you’re sending me!
This week’s two topics are very personal to me, as they have to do with my health and my company, Sunscribe.
1) Top Twos-Day hiatus and 2) Sunscribe’s permanent closure. Announcement here.
I’ve never shared the battles with endometrial cancer that I have fought, nor will I, and now I stand at the threshold of another ugly bout. In less than one week’s time, I’ve had to re-adjust my big girl smile, tell my family, and break the news to many writers that we will not publish their works after all.
There’s a lot of fight left in this girl, so I will come by as often as possible to chat. Let’s keep it cheerful and full of holiday fun, okay?
I’m still #crazycatladythatsme
Top Two Topics landing on my desk this week:
1 – HarperCollins, under their HarperOne division, will accept non-agented manuscripts for their new imprint, HarperLegend. The press release is everywhere, but I couldn’t find it on the HarperCollins site. Publishers Weekly says, “According to HarperOne, online submissions will be reviewed by HarperLegend’s editorial team. If accepted, authors will receive royalties for the e-book publication of their novels, access to HarperCollins’s individualized editorial direction, and custom marketing and publicity guidance. Titles that do well in digital will be released in print.” Read more on Publishers Weekly.com.
2 – Amazon takes the brick and mortar formula by storm. In August, we heard the talk, Amazon will open a bookstore! Reality is better than fiction: they know readers’ buying habits, collected info for years, and now they’re handpicking stock. The Seattle Times quotes Amazon’s vice pres. of books, Jennifer Cast, “It’s data with heart,” she said. “We’re taking the data we have and we’re creating physical places with it.” I know I’m feeling soft and fuzzy, aren’t you? Check out the full article at Seattle Times.com.
image from SeattleTimes.com