I’m Back

LIFE HAPPENS

Who hasn’t been on the receiving end of that little tidbit of advice?

What they don’t tell you however, is how very hard it is to keep life’s little distractions from derailing your innermost desires, creative projects and goals.

Well…welcome to a glimpse of my life these past two years.

Let’s see…when I left you last, we had a new addition to our family, our first grandchild (Olivia Rose) and I could not have been happier. Since then, we sold our house, saw our youngest son graduate from high school, built our dream home (a project that took nearly a year), took a family trip to the beautiful island of Oahu, and then we were blessed once again, as we welcomed our second granddaughter (Jacie Therese). And of course, there’s the job. I’m a busy director at a large, academic medical center that is ever-expanding and doing its best to adapt to the challenging health care market. It’s a whirlwind of a job, but oh, so very satisfying. The job alone, is more than enough of a distraction.

Don’t get me wrong, I live a charmed life, and yes, I know it. My life is full with people who need me, but better yet, they love, and want me. I am privileged to play an active role in their equally busy lives, and for that, I am most grateful.

I’m blessed, and know that there are countless women out there, who long to be needed. And yet…I struggle with the how to juggle so many competing priorities. And there, at the edges of motherhood, I linger, in that fuzzy knowing, that I am not alone. I sense that most women feel as I do, drunk with the heady melange of blessing and obligation.

I recently read that old book by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, the wife, mother and pioneer aviator, GIFT from the SEA. Her book was first published in 1955, when she was waist deep in the muck of motherhood. Anne wrote that little book while holed up in an old beach cottage on Captiva Island, off Florida’s Gulf Coast. It was there, with the sun on her face and her toes in the sand, that Anne lay ink to the unspoken fears and guilt that threatens the happiness of all women, rich and poor. For Anne knew, instinctively that she could not be alone in her conflicted feelings regarding marriage and motherhood.

Each of Anne’s gifts from the sea offers nuggets of advice that remain as fresh and relevant today as in 1955. Because in the most basic of ways, women haven’t changed all that much in the nearly sixty years since the writing of that book. If anything, we women of today have taken on more responsibilities that have only further complicated our lives. Anne called this multiplicity, the antithesis of simplicity, and so often the cause of our life stress. And like those who have gone before us, we struggle with guilt. We blink back the tears that threaten to betray us and swallow hard against what we would really like to say. Why? Because we are blessed and we know it. We just don’t know how to keep from losing ourselves along the way. I always feel a little sad when I hear about a very young girl getting married. Because let’s be honest here…it isn’t going to be easy. My heart aches just a little for her, as I offer up a little prayer, that even if she manages to lose herself along the way; that someday, she’ll come across that girl she used to be and say, “Hey, I know you. I’ve missed you.”

Anne said it best when she said, “The problem is not merely one of Women and Career, Women and the Home, Women and Independence. It is more basically: how to remain whole in the midst of the distractions of life.”

And so, I’M BACK. No more lame excuses. I am putting myself back on my own priority list.

I will continue to embrace the many lovely distractions that are my life, and do so, with sincere gratitude and due reverence for the blessings that they are. I will breathe in the sweet, innocence of youth as I kiss the tops of my darling granddaughters’ heads. And when they are grown, I will teach them not only to juggle, but to fight back when life’s distractions come pecking at the heels of their happiness. These things I will do.

But I will be damned if I don’t complete the revision of my book, once and for all, in the midst of my lovely, complicated life.

More to follow soon.

And now, on with editing and revising….

Welcome to my new website…

Hey y’all,

Welcome to my new website!  I decided to take a leap of faith and grab a domain website under my own name.  Believe it or not, there are other authors out there with my same name. I am still undecided if I want to create a nom de plume (pen name), but figure I can do that at a later date if necessary.

Please excuse the messy links on the side bar.  It is late as I am posting this and the necessary tweaking will have to wait until mañana.

For now, I am still keeping my other blog: http://newwriterjourney2pub.blogspot.com/ because it was created to journal my journey to publication. And well, since I am not yet published, it is as relevant as it ever was.  Keeping my fingers crossed, figuratively that is…that I will be able to lay that blog to rest before the close of 2013.

Over the next week, I will copy a few of those more recent posts to the “Blog” tab of this new website.  So stay tuned.

As I post tonight, I am offering a silent prayer that very soon, my website will become much robust with the news of my book getting picked up by a publisher.

Sleep well…

 

 

My Novel…Rabbit Road

What if not all doctors meant it when they vowed to first, do no harm?

Samantha Azul is a physician. She is not a psychic—and she is goddamn sick of people thinking that she is. Sure, she has had dreams that have seemed to manifest reality, but those were just coincidences—right? She’s not so sure, when a recurring dream of  pink walls and strange stone rabbits, the suicide of a young girl, and a mysterious, but oh, so sexy colleague, threatens to undo all that she has sacrificed so much to achieve. Sam suspects that a local obstetrician is molesting his young patients. She must learn to trust her intuition to guide her and her two quirky friends, as they set out to uncover the clues. They soon realize the danger of ignoring gut instincts and the small voices inside that whisper, when something is just not right; because sometimes, the worst monsters are hiding in plain sight. 

Rabbit Road is a heartfelt, romantic, cozy mystery with a paranormal twist. It is also a novel about betrayals of trust and the pain of finding out things are not always as they seem. The three friends must examine whether or not they have learned from the mistakes of their past. Are they now deserving of second chances? Or are lessons unlearned, doomed to be repeated? 

It is a novel sure to appeal to women everywhere who have ever questioned whether or not they can continue to uphold old promises that no longer serve the women they have become along their journey down…Rabbit Road

I’m back…the rewrite

After seemingly dropping off the face of the earth, I am back to blogging. 

A whole lot has happened since my last post. Primarily the birth of my first grandchild, seven weeks ago. And since that time, I have had a hard time focusing on the task of writing. Baby Olivia has simply been such a lovely distraction.    

At 47, I guess I am old enough to be a grandma.  But like entering into parenthood, I am not sure if you’re ever truly ready; but when you do, you are overcome with feelings that you could never have anticipated. 

I am simply loving this new baby girl.  

I never knew that I could love a child as much as I love my own sons, but I do. Oh, yes indeed, I do. I’ll post more on little Miss Olivia at a future date.  

Let’s get back to the business of writing. Here is a brief update on what I have been up to.  

I finished my manuscript way back on September 18th.  I was overcome with JOY that day, and in awe of my accomplishment; especially after I printed out all 595 pages of the completed manuscript. After all, that day was the culmination of seven months of hard work.  Days and months filled with the frustration of learning a new and complex craft, and all the while trying my best not to become immobilized with self doubt and fear that I lacked the necessary talent.  

But there were good days as well.  Oh, so many good days.  And on those days, I found myself obsessed and intoxicated with by characters.  Over the course of those seven months, they had evolved into seemingly really people with motivations and fears as real as my own. On those illusive days, I felt it.  The faint ripple of my talent.  And in a flash, it would be gone. But I knew it was still there, hiding, trembling just beneath the surface, bidding me to write on. 

After finishing the manuscript, I put it aside for a month.  And let me tell you, that was difficult to do.  I wanted to jump right into the process of rewriting, but had read somewhere, that I needed to distance myself from my manuscript to gain a fresh perspective before beginning the arduous task of revision. 

I had no idea how difficult it would be to rewrite my novel. 

I am but one fourth through the process and I am feeling frustrated with the task at hand.  I do not want to rush it, but I am finding that I am having to rewrite whole chapters.  

And let’s not talk about having to “kill my darlings”. 

Yes, I understand that much of the novel will need to be left on the so called, cutting room floor; but it is so very hard to hit the delete button on so many words that I took such great care in crafting just so.  But I know it must be done.  So, I will take a deep breath… and continue sculpting my novel into something much more appealing to the ear and eye, than was my first, rough draft. 

I have several great ideas for my next novel that I plan on starting in early February 2013.  It will be a Young Adult (YA) novel with a paranormal twist. Last night, I wrote out an outline so that I would not forget the general plot, then put it aside and got back to the business of rewriting my completed manuscript. 

In early January, I plan on submitting queries to numerous publishing houses and agents.  

So wish me luck! 

And when I begin to collect the multitude of rejection letters, I will not obsess over whether or not my book will be picked up for publication…because I will be working on my next creative project.  

I haven’t said much about my first novel but plan on posting a synopsis soon. So stay tuned…

Lessons learned:  

  • Do not take so much time trying for perfection with your first draft.  It will be a waste of time!  Just get your book written as the thoughts come to you, because you will likely change much of what you’ve written during the rewrite process.
  • You will have times when you feel like a complete, talentless hack. All writers feel that way, even the great ones. It is all part of the process, so get used to it and get over it. 
  • Write what you know, and be truthful with what you write.  In the end, it is all that you have and it will be what sets you apart. 

Writing advice:  Read “On Writing” by Stephen King.  Fantastic read. Wished I had read it BEFORE writing my first novel. 

   

Journal Entry: September 18th

08:00 AM  ~the big day

I am home this day because I have a root canal scheduled for later this morning.  Danny is here with me.  

I am happy Danny is here with me today, because he, more than anyone, has supported my dream these past seven months.  There is no one but him, that I would rather share this momentous day with.  

It has been hard, seemingly impossible at times and  
I have doubted myself on numerous occasions.
Yet still…I wrote on.  

Because somewhere, deep inside me, I know.  

I just know. 

This is what I was meant to do.