Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

What's 'round the bend?

 from the farm 1/7/15

Nobody knows how long they will live. I've had those I loved who didn't make it to 30, but in general there are average ages and I am heading toward the zone where more and more do die. It seems strange to even think about it or to think about all the years I have already lived. Me? That was me? 

Donna Douglas, the actress just died at 81... That's not that far off. Mario Cuomo was 82... Average life span is now about 80. Wow, so when I turn 72 in October it will put me less than 10 years from the end... potentially. For some reason, when a new year starts, I always think of myself as already being the age I will be when the birthday rolls around. So in my head, I am thinking 72 now.

Surprisingly being closer to the end is not a depressing thought so much as an awakener. When we are younger, we can put off this or that but the older we get, the more we want to make sure our days are involved with something we care about doing. There are things we have to do, don't choose, but are part of responsible living. Most of our hours though are filled with choices, which might by habit travel the same paths that they did the year before. Habits can make us think we have no choice. They can though be broken.

My thinking right now are about the kinds of things I might do that would make a difference not just for my life but for those I don't even know. Sometimes that is a political donation. Sometimes it's words I put down on paper. Maybe it is when I touch someone else's life, who then impacts someone else-- and I didn't even know how far the touch reached-- negatively or positively. 

Right now this is the January doldrums in a sense as the world waits for spring, for new life while it has to get through a season of darkness and cold (for those in the northern hemisphere). Some try to escape this season by going where it's warmer. That is a good thing for our vacation rental, but I myself would rather experience the dark season as a way to more appreciate the growing light. 

This is the time to think about the garden that will be planted in a few months. It's a time for writing. This year, for me it's a time to get routine medical stuff taken care of and hopefully figure out what is going on with my teeth (more dental visits ahead-- one involving a cracked tooth and another root canal). It has been a time to make reservations to stay in Old Faithful Inn in October-- our favorite season to be in Yellowstone. I only hope the government doesn't do another shutdown to block us this time. We will be taking the trailer and hope for time in the Lamar Valley as it's where I most want to be due to the proximity to the wolf packs.

A new opportunity was offered to me this month and I accepted it. I will be posting once a month at a blog called, Smart Girls Read Romances. I had seen the blog, read it a few times, but haven't had a lot of time to read any blogs given my writing schedule. I like the idea of this one as I believe romance books are not respected as much as they should be. Sure there are flowery and pointless boy meet girl stories out there. There are also pointless books in the 'great literature' category. There are a lot of romance authors who tell a great story along with that of a growing relationship. It is why the genre is so popular. This blog that informs more readers about the writers of romances seems a good idea. I'll be posting there every month on the 22nd.

The first post I needed to write was introducing myself. For me, it was the hardest possible. I am not sure I still have it right. Defining yourself in around 500 words is tricky and even more so if it is intended to explain what you write. Anyway I am giving it a shot. When it's up, I'll be sure and link to it here and other places.

  two possible covers for 'Round the Bend 
(wonder if Round the Bend needs an asterisk...)

And then there is another risk (I think of it that way) in probably late February or early March. After putting it off for several years, I plan to bring out the Oregon historical romances. The first one involves the trip west and introduces the Stevens family. If readers like the first, they may stick around to read the next three. The books take one family, with four different romances, from 1852 to 1868. I had put this off because the books are very dear to me. If they are not well received, it will be emotionally tough, but risk is part of living life fully. So I am doing it and hopefully letting the results not impact my emotions too much.

My current writing project, a short story, has evolved into novelette or maybe even novella. It is not finished but it's making good progress. I am letting this story, which carries on the Arizona family, go where it goes. It's been fun to write a heroine and hero, who might seem unlikely choices as they are in their late 50s and early 60s. Being a shorter book, it'll be 99¢ when it comes out, but I think readers of the first three historicals will like to see this aspect of the family. It also serves as a bit of an intro to the fourth Arizona historical. It will stand alone-- as do they all. 

Otherwise I have been reading, as I am sure others have, about the attack in Paris on freedom of speech. We saw it with the film The Interview where it ended up only being threatening words, but don't such attacks and threats, whether they lead to deaths, have an impact on writers who then fear to tell the truth as they know it?  I was glad to see some of the Islamic leaders come out willing to say such attacks were harmful to Islam itself-- without a justifying disclaimer for using such violence.

Can any of us turn our heads away and think-- well my life is fine? Or excuse wrong where we see it done. Yes, our own lives might be fine; but if we lose the ability to hear satire and insights that go against this group or that, will it stay that way? Writers are told never talk about their politics as they will lose readers (a small price given what the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists paid). The thing is, aren't we all citizens first? 

How many times can we turn our heads and pretend we just don't see? Bob Dylan asked that question many years ago, and it seems just as apropos today.


Tabor said...

For most of us we see in gray. For fundamentalists it is black and white always, which is scary. Good luck with your historical series and your bravery is noted. It is like telling someone you love them and having them reject you! Painful. I really enjoyed these photos you posted...they are perfectly moody!

Linda Kay said...

Good luck from a fellow writer of romance. I took this plunge last summer with self-publishing, and am continuing into my second and now third novel. I'll check out the site! We need to live every day to the fullest.

p_zenmind said...

This morning after a ritualistic call every Saturday to my 83 year old Cousin when I was reading your today’s post brought tears to my eyes with the same thoughts. I lost both my parents before they were 30 and this is the only surviving cousin who raised me. Her father got me the education and supported me through the growing years in spite of his meager income of a postal clerk. Indeed It seems strange to think about it now not only the years I have lived but with an awe of grateful heart for the wonderful life that came my way. . I will be 72 in October also.
Thanks for your blog for making me feel I am not the only one.

Rain Trueax said...

On one side I am the oldest of my cousins but still have three left who are younger.

And good luck on your books, Linda. It can be tough marketing but we have a chance this way at least to have them seen :)

And I agree Tabor. and thank you :)

robin andrea said...

This is a beautiful thoughtful post about life and time, seasons and sadness, light and darkness. I like that you choose to stay where the winter light is low. I actually had a thought just the other day about getting a trailer and traveling to warmer, sunnier climates in winter, but truly the darker season has its comforts.

Ashleigh Burroughs said...

Experiencing the dark before reveling in the light of spring.... it does make a difference, doesn't it.

joared said...

I agree about experiencing the dark makes us appreciate the light, whether it's night & day, winter & spring, even the times in our lives when all isn't going as we might want & those occasions everything seems almost perfect.

When I lived in snow & cold country I enjoyed winter mostly, but often became impatient for spring as that season neared. Now that I'm in the world of perpetual sunshine I look forward to early morning fog, cloudy days or rainy days like occurs in 'June Gloom.'

One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

I read your post and smiled.
At 72 was not having these thoughts but now just turning 80 they are with me continually.
Trying to organize so much
so I do not leave a mess like some I have known.
I guess to a fault I am trying to control too much and beyond what some would do.
Guess that is what you do when you have lived solo so long and been in charge of much...

Rain Trueax said...

I think, one woman's journey, that they are encouraged by being a writer of fiction. You tend to delve into what you feel for what another person might. That is especially true with the recent novella where the lady is 60 or thereabouts and has been feeling rather lost since she lost her husband four years earlier. I put myself in her shoes-- even though her shoes are 1900 :)