Note to Readers
Feature Article: BETWIXT & BETWEEN
Best Book(s) Iíve Read This Month
Oops. I missed the end-of-October deadline for my September-October newsletter and now itís... December? Wait! What happened to November?
I plead both busy-ness and illness. Yep, in an ironic twist... in early November, I came down with a Very Bad Cold less than a week after my flu shot and it lasted a Very Long Time. And, no, according to my doctor, flu shots donít give you the flu. Still, it was ironic Ė I mean, here I was, just trying to do the right thing...
Then this month, in a stroke of insanity, I decided I should remodel my main bathroom while I prepare for the holidays, get launched on a new (part-time) job as a writing instructor, continue working on my latest (still unsold) manuscript, and try to carry on with the usual. A toilet is sitting in my hall Ė I think that says something profound. I donít care to examine what.
Anyway, enough excuses. Hereís my latest meandering thoughts on... well, not just the writing life... on Life.
And an invitation to hear yours.
------------ FEATURE ARTICLE: BETWIXT AND BETWEEN
I love to write. Mostly. Usually.
But sometimes these days... more than any other days in the past, more than the days when my mailbox was filled with more rejections than bills, more than the days when the closest I got to an editor was their name in Writer's Market, more than the times when a fellow author would announce an agent's interest, a request for a full, or, omigod, An Actual Sale... Sometimes these days, I find it difficult to get a move on, get going, set pen to paper, squeeze out the words, keep my rear in gear (or at least in the chair).
And I wonder where I misplaced my passion. The passion I had before Iíd published at all.
You (most of you) have seen my recent newsletters. Those who havenít... you havenít missed much. Iíve whined a lot. Some of my passion has been buried by frustration with the business of publishing.
Some of my enthusiasm got waylaid by promotional effort. Not just what Iím doing and have done, but fretting over what I could do or should do and whether it really makes a difference. (This is a matter of continual debate amongst authors.)
And, okay, maybe there was a modest amount of my passion Ė just a teensy, weensy, little bit of it, mind you Ė that was usurped by a list of other things to do. Things Iíd categorize under Gee-That-Looks-More-Fun-Than-Writing-Right-Now on a list that would span the Mississippi.
But mostly, I think, my passion got sapped (zapped?) by Life, which has a habit of altering best-laid-plans, sometimes for ill, sometimes for good. My stepsister is fond of saying that if you line up your ducks... it just gives a sharpshooter a better target.
So letís look at these Life things. Iím a midlifer. I fall in that realm somewhere betwixt growing up, perhaps all the way up for the first time, and dying down. Many of you are midlifers. Lots of stuff can and does happen at this point in our journeys. Big stuff. Really big stuff.
Parents often pass away. Children leave home. Divorce (so I read) is more prevalent than earlier in our married lives. We get wrinkles. We get shorter. We experience serious health problems for the first time or have a friend or sibling who does. We decide to downsize. To a smaller home. To a condo. To an RV. We may retire or have a spouse that does. Our roles change. Our hair colors change.
Itís a time of change. Many times permanent change. Okay, except for the hair color.
And, on top of it all, if weíre female (and most of you on this subscriber list are), God has seen fit to throw in this tiny little something called Menopause. Talk about karmic jokes.
This morning, as I lay in bed, wondering how to wrap up this newsletter Ė one that I started in October, by the way, and proof positive my procrastination isnít a figment of my imagination Ė I realized I donít want to talk about writing right now. I want to talk about life. In particular, I want to talk about midlife.
Do you want to talk, too? Iíd be interested in hearing from you if you do. I thought maybe we could gather somewhere in cyber-space. We can invite our friends and sisters, share our tears, fears, and anxieties, but alsoómore importantótalk, dream, and encourage each other in following our passions, whether weíre resurrecting old dreams or launching new ones.
Maybe we can help each other get a move on, keep going, keep our rears in gear. Because I donít think my passion is misplaced at all. I think itís just waiting for me to find more ways to mine it.
* * *
Please email me at email@example.com if you think youíd be interested in regularly visiting a blog devoted to midlife mania, perhaps making an occasional (or regular!) contribution. Along with my own pithy observations and yours, perhaps we can get an ďexpertĒ to show up every once in a while. Depending on response, Iíll do some checking and get back with you with results.
BOOK(s) IíVE READ LATELY:
PILLARS OF THE EARTH, by Ken Follett
A re-read for me. I love this book.
THE GRIEF CLUB, by Melodie Beattie
Wonderful reading for anyone experience a loss of any stripe.
WINTERíS BONE, by Daniel Woodrell
Tender, compelling, gritty tale of the Ozarks.
Fiction for and about women rediscovering themselves