Friday, January 28, 2011

Happy Friday!

Wanted to pop in and wish everyone a Happy Friday! I was talking to someone earlier today along the lines of yeehaw it's the weekend and I'm excited. Not because I have big plans, but because I do not. There may be hours of unscripted time! The fellow I was talking about understood. He confided, "I'm thinking about reading a book." Yeah. Me, too.

And. There is news in Writerland. Coming up on Saturday, March 19 in Lexington, KY is the Kentucky Romance Writers annual Spring into Writing event. This year the workshop will be led by Scott Eagen of Greyhaus Literary Agency. You might want to bookmark the KYRW website where details will show up in the near future.

Last night's presentation, "Writing and Publishing in the Twenty-First Century" was fun. Plenty of participation by the ladies in attendance, which took some of the pressure off the nervous presenter. Thanks, y'all!

I love the image, above, of an old typewriter. Of course, it reminds me that I have one like it around here somewhere... Which reminds me of the decluttering and minimalism I'm into these days. I finished reading The Joy of Less, having dragged it out as long as I could, immensely enjoying each chapter.  I'm really thankful to have discovered this book at this point in my life. The timing was just right for me.

I hope you'll get to spend some quality time with a book this weekend.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Guess what!?! I wrote the beginning of my 2011 Christmas novella yesterday. The title is A Perfect Christmas, and it will release from Turquoise Morning Press in late September. Can't tell you a lot about it yet, but it feels good to have actually begun. Is it wrong of me to get enjoyment from making my characters suffer through the kind of cold weather and snow we've been having this winter?

Next week I'm to give a talk on the topic of "Writing and Publishing in the 21st Century." That should be interesting. I'm really hoping it will be interesting, and that people won't, you know, nod off. One thing I want to mention is this year's Tools of Change Conference in NYC next month. What a thrill it would be to attend that!

I'd like to blog about all the great fiction I've been reading, but the weird thing is, I cannot seem to read fiction. In the last year I've started reading dozens of novels, and have given up on them--some after just a page. I have always preferred novels to non-fiction. Always! And life being what it is, an escape would seem to be just the thing.

But my current reads are The Joy of Less: A Minimalist Living Guide, by Francine Jay, and Ageless, by Suzanne Somers. In fact, I've set aside The Joy of Less for several days, not even allowing myself a chapter a day as I had been. Why? Just wanting to savor it as long as possible.

What about you? What are you reading? Have your tastes changed with the seasons of your life?


Friday, January 14, 2011

The final frontier

Just kidding with the title, above. Making fun of the previous post, in which (just guessing) I got a bit too full of myself. Good grief. And GOOD LUCK making space in the schedule! That part made me laugh when I re-read it just now. Thank goodness for my part-time job. Thank goodness for being busy, really, because--you know what? If I weren't busy, I think I'd go crazy. When you are the primary caregiver for a person who is losing his mind, there will be times when you question your own sanity. You heard it here first, folks. (Maybe. Unless you'd been there and done that, and then I'm betting you've said it, or at least thought it.)

My husband seems to be sliding off the plateau we've been on for many months. He's less energetic, and more temperamental. The hallucinations are frequent. I'm very grateful they aren't frightening to him, like the hallucinations he had during chemotherapy. Those were awful. The current hallucinations are mostly conversations with random people--an engineer on a ship in the middle of the Atlantic, an Amish guy...

We have much for which to be grateful. We're still able to laugh, and enjoy music and friends. (And food. But don't get me started on that.)

So, when you are a full-time caregiver and a part-time employee, what do you do with your free moments? Those times when you're home with the caregivee (made that word up) -- and he is napping? In my case, anything unrelated to caregiving and the outside job. My big faves right now are watching my hair turn silver (fun, easy, inexpensive), and getting rid of stuff (fun, easy, inexpensive, and addictive).

My current focus is on cleaning out the home office. What do I need, what can I do without? The desk may be going out. Why have a desk when I can curl up on the daybed with the laptop, or the Bills file...and the tissue box. (And hey. I thought there was some kind of law that caregivers do not get head colds. Didn't I read that in the fine print somewhere? I need to know where to file an official complaint. Leave the address in the comments below, please.)

What do you do to keep yourself sane when life is hard? I'd be interested in knowing, and I bet other people would be, too.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011


I love space. My current read is The Joy of Less, a Minimalist Living Guide, by Francine Jay. Until reading about her love of space, I had not realized this about myself. I've always been bothered by clutter, but didn't realize until now why I feel so good when I've done some de-cluttering.

So I've been "creating space" in a couple areas of the house. First and easiest, I cleared the mail and other extranea off the kitchen table, leaving only a small centerpiece of paperwhites that have begun to bloom. Not only did that little bit of space make me smile, but my husband noticed and enjoyed it, too. (Kind of a big deal.) Making space in the house will create a more peaceful environment for all of us.

What I've also realized is that my schedule needs more "space." I am not a great juggler, and trying to keep all the balls in the air for a year has taken a toll. In general, when I'm not working on something, I'm thinking about working on something. The latter may be more tiring than the former.

One result is that even when I have time to sit with the laptop, I am too keyed up to settle into working on a story. But. Now I know how great it feels to create physical space, to breathe deeply and gratefully. Now I realize its importance to my well-being. Kind of excited about finding a way to do that in the mental plain.