What A Difference A Year Makes
What a difference a year makes. We have all heard that expression, maybe even had a year here or there when things have changed drastically to prove it. Others, suffer loss that leaves cold and fear. For me, nothing brings more fear than when I feel that I have lost my navigation.
I began my “year of firsts” last May. I spent the first month at my Pop's, both of us learning our new roles. Not really being close, we started to build a new relationship. I am still his youngest, but he treats me as a peer of sorts. Obviously, I have not had the experiences that have made him wise. Those great explosions of knowledge came at a great cost. But we paid, and we held hands as we took the first step into the unknown.
I felt sorry for myself for some time. I felt childish, but I didn’t know how to get back to the sun. The hole I was "hiding" in was getting smaller every day. It was like those fun houses at the fair that distorted, confused, and at times scared. That is when I really began needing to write as much as I need to breathe air. I couldn’t stop. Those little stories saved me.
I had been in school at the UCLA extension school of writing, but I had to take a break so I could get myself together. June of '13 was when I finished “Carnations Never Wilt,” started the Facebook page, and continued to write more novelettes.
Lex and I took stock of the last year. We re-did the budget, made a little change here and there. We also added up the year's sales and accomplishments. I would like to express that without the knowledge of my middle son, and the thoughts of the co-writer of the last novelette, my oldest son Spencer, I would be no closer to being here than being asked to host the Oscars. Finally to my Satchel. Watching you fall in love has been my muse many different times.
In all, we have ten novelettes that have been met very favorably and are also in other countries. We are going to launch the stories on tape very soon, and “Carnations” was licensed for a made for television movie. Keep sending good thoughts. The 11th book was slightly delayed, but is on the final edit. Thousands of the stories have been read, I have the most loyal, kind readers who daily share thoughts, experiences, and life with each other. It has been instrumental in helping me heal.
I have traveled to officiate the wedding of one of the readers. It was a fantastic weekend! I was so honored that I was involved in this private, but lovely ceremony. It was the first time my youngest guy, Satchel, had ever heard me speak publicly. I would be fibbing if I told you that it meant little. That was a moment I will never forget.
I write this post to say thank you for making this happen, for being patient with our growth. It is like the blind leading the blind sometimes, but it is balanced by the laughter and the time I get to spend with the boys that are really men that makes me "rich."
I have bled my heart ache, cried on my keyboard as I wore my heart on my sleeve, unsure if I could ever get it back where I could smile, laugh, live. As a habit, I wouldn’t discuss my writing aspirations with my mom, but I have with my dad. Just another fleck of difference we both needed to get used to. He inquires all the time how things are going. He has even made my face red while bragging mercilessly to people. “My daughter is a writer, you know.”
That is a sentence that I truly didn’t think I would ever hear. It felt just as good as I had thought it would. But I never felt it a possibility that he would start to accept that I will no longer be a nurse. In my heart, I will always be a nurse, but my body said “no more.”
Writing has saved me. I knew I had some talent, but I never would have made it to step one without the formal training I was fortunate to receive at UCLA. We still have many things we want/need to accomplish, and I have no doubt that we will. I know that many have written and expressed that they also want to write. Some of your lives are remarkable and I am so honored that you would want any opinion from me.
I live my life with the two mantras:
#1. Make mistakes! But only make them once and make them interesting.
And for my friends who are struggling, want to write, or just to make a mark:
#2. “Make your life bookable!” I do not speak literally with this, but make your time here on this earth book worthy. Dare to try something new. Fall in love, even if you may get hurt. Write your memoirs. It doesn’t need to be published, but your family will love that you did this. Live life large and loud! Risk it, love with all you have, and make your credo wrapped in kindness and honor. That is worthy of the best of books.
Remember to support Indie writers! We will talk again tomorrow. r