The Tortoise Steps Forward

turtle-177661_960_720First post of 2017, and 2017 is nearly more than a quarter gone. Geez. Where have I been?

Book two is coming along slowly, a little too slowly for my liking, but I try each day to make progress, even if it’s just thinking about my story, my characters, the little world I am creating. I miss them when I’m away from them too long.

I find myself in a constant struggle to organize my time to suit my priorities. I have a day job, a husband, a sixteen year old, two aging parents and house and a beagle that all need some level of attention from me on a daily basis. Not to mention all of my friends whom I wish I could see more of, or my own body and spirit, that are not getting the best care I can give at all. I overwhelm myself with the intensity that I want to put behind each aspect of my life, and usually end up getting much less accomplished than I feel acceptable.

And while I continually feel angst that I’m missing something wonderful every day that I don’t spend writing, I observe my author friends and acquaintances moving on with their writing careers which causes me, on bad days, to feel left out. Almost jealous, that they have made writing their priority versus all the other things that complicate life. They labor and bear the fruit while I get angry at myself for being afraid to take the leap and re-prioritize my own life, fearing that I’ll lose some artificial sense of security.

I know I’m not alone in feeling this way. I also know that I can be a bit impatient at times. Most times. And a tad impulsive. I realize that life, over time, becomes a balancing act, a waiting game, and comes down to discernment between what can move you forward and what can bring you down. I don’t feel really great about my ability to follow this mindset, though, and do all that “make the journey into the destination” stuff. I’m always TRYING to do something – trying to write my book, trying to get healthy, trying to lose weight, trying to organize my house, trying to meet my work deadlines before they’re due.

My new practice: taking small steps, every day, no matter how microscopic, in the direction I’d like to travel, instead of planning giant leaps to immediate success (or failure).

That’s all I wanted to say really, and in doing so I have taken a tiny step. Please feel free to share your experiences, cheer me on, or tell me about a better way. I’m going to stop trying to put out infernos and just keep going, slow, but steady.

Life is What Happens…

John Lennon's quote in a Nepalese Bookstore, &...

John Lennon’s quote in a Nepalese Bookstore, “Life is what happens to you when you are busy making other plans.” Boudha, Kathmandu, Nepal (Photo credit: Wonderlane)

Wow, it’s been too too long. Happy week after Easter everyone. As I gear up and put the last edits on ‘A Girl From the Hill, I wanted to send a message out to anyone who is still tuning in – I haven’t forgotten you, so please don’t forget me!The book is in its final stages and will most likely go to publication in late May/early June if all goes well. I have found that the editing process takes forever, and I’m constantly finding things I did wrong and/or want to change. Between tonight and tomorrow I draw the line and just get this suckah out there. Editing OCD is not fun.  But I feel like I’m pushing a baby out of the birth canal, and trying to make every push and pant count.  This from a woman who has only given birth via C-Section.  Perhaps this is why it doesn’t come easily to me?

I have also been spending lot of time with my parents these past few weeks. My mother fell in February and dislocated her shoulder. Thankfully that was the extent of her injuries, except for a very bruised leg. She is amazingly strong and heals so well. It’s been hard for the Crow to clip her wings these past weeks, but she never gives up. I know where my daughter inherits her strength from.

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No Offense Intended, but I will be Strong

strength

strength (Photo credit: S.H.CHOW)

I have been thinking a lot about ideas for my next blog post. Funny how things fall right into your lap.

This past week has been full. I’ve been editing the book, A Girl from the Hill . After my friend Lisa took the time to edit and proof the manuscript, my mother-in-law has kindly taken a second pass for me. Since I’m self publishing I’m not getting any formal editorial services. But with Lisa and Judy I have more than enough expertise and experience, not to mention heart, to get this book ready. I will sit with my mother tomorrow, hopefully, and start selecting pictures. Then we’re done. Fini.

I have been working on this book nearly every day for the past two years. It started out as a rough idea, and became a journey. I got to have some meaningful conversations with my mother, my sisters, my family. I learned a lot about my mother’s life, things I was too young for, or not even born for, for that matter. I learned how much we are alike, and realized how much I do love her, and myself.

A Girl From the Hill is my first public writing experience. It’s taken me my entire life to get enough confidence and strength to do this.  Saying its a labor of love sounds trite, but all my love for my family and the journeys we’ve all taken is woven into this work.

Writing has provided me with a safe haven from the stress of my daily grind, from a world where I don’t always fit in. I’m like my mom, Auntie Phil, Auntie Alice, and my grandmother Maria. I want people’s happiness more than a person should sometimes. I’m a people pleaser. But I am trying, harder each day, to please myself first. It goes against my grain, but if I don’t do it I’ll get eaten alive, I’m sure of it.

You may notice that some of my posts, my excerpts from the book, are no longer posted. Please know that it’s not because I want people to buy the book when it comes out. While I’d love everyone to buy it in tribute to my mother, a money-making venture this is not. But because I don’t want to offend anyone mentioned in my book, and on this site, I’m taking down any potentially offending words.  And I also must consider editing the book further, so that no feelings are slighted.

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novel publicity book club bash at a blog near you – December 10-14

http://www.novelpublicity.com/events/bookclubbash-1210-14/http://www.novelpublicity.com/events/bookclubbash-1210-14/

I’m very excited to be participating in this event to spread the word (sorry) about great works of literature and the value of book clubs of all kinds. Check out the site for more details and stay tuned.

Happy birthday, Mama! Happy birthday, me!

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Happy birthday, Mama! Happy birthday, me!.

Deborah is such a wonderful writer.  She found her voice chronicaling her mother’s life and challenges, and what’s resulted is a real love of writing.

I have always loved to write, but writing my mother’s stories has given me the confidence and strength to actually let other people read what I write.

Mothers are such a source of inspiration in so many ways- I would love to know if you agree, or if there is another source of inspiration for you as a writer, a painter, a whatever it is that brings you joy.

Happy Birthday Deb!

P

 

 

Surrender

Autumn Surrender

Autumn Surrender (Photo credit: James Marvin Phelps)

Surrender.

Debra’s blogpost hits home in so many ways. She is such a wonderful writer, with words that penetrate my heart and soul.

On the surface she blogs about a back injury. Underneath, it’s about living in the moment, even if that moment sucks, in order to break on through to the other side, so to speak.

And it’s about compassion not just for others, but for yourself. Yes YOU. So many of us are so hard on ourselves, and have unattainable expectations for ourselves. Guess what? Sometimes its okay to say I’m afraid, in pain and not in a good place. Sometimes that’s the only way to get out of that place at all. Surrender is, in her words…

having compassion for myself the same as I would have for anyone else…

Sounds easy, but I know so many people who are suffering right now, and while they are going through bad times are beating themselves and berating themselves. Why does this have to happen to me? What is wrong with me? What did I do wrong? I should have known better. Work/School/Life/Love (pick one) is always going to be miserable for me because of me.

I do it myself.

My wish is for all the people I love to find a way to surrender to the pain, and while living through it remember that they didn’t cause the pain. My prayer is that they move away from the pain and towards happiness.

I’m Baaaaaccckkkk…

The leaves are already turning here in Rhode Island

I feel like a poltergeist these days, drifting in and out of several places at once.

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted anything. Between Jeremy and I being handyman- impaired and having to paint my daughter’s bedroom before school gets too far underway, to getting her (and us) ready for Junior High, to all the other things that I have been neglecting that needed some focus and a little less divided attention, the days just flew.

So apparently summer has just sort of picked up its clothes and gotten out of here, although the damp humidity we’re experiencing here in Rhode Island today makes me wonder if its having second thoughts. But the leaves are already turning. Continue reading