from the farm 1/7/15
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...)
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.