Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Because I Want To

I’m writing a book.
There. I’ve said it. You have no idea how hard it was for me to type that. 

I feel like a cliche. You know, the proverbial English teacher who envisions herself a great novelist. 

But I don’t envision myself as a great novelist (or a great anything, really, but that’s a topic for another day, another post).

So why am I writing a book?

It’s simple. I’ve always wanted to. 

In fact, I started a novel a couple of years ago. I made quite a bit of progress on it before getting stuck and, quite frankly, losing interest. I had chosen a story line that seemed logical, given my back ground and circumstances, but I was bored silly with it before I’d written two chapters. 

You see, I’d decided to write a fictionalized (heavily fictionalized) version of a significant chapter in my own life. But the more I wrote, the less I wanted to write.

I finally realized that I had completed that chapter of my life and didn’t really want to relive it again. I saved the unfinished novel, revisited it a few times (primarily out of quitter’s guilt, I know), but never finished it.

I learned an important lesson from that experience. I learned that I don’t want to write a story I’ve already lived. 

On the contrary, I want to write a story of what I’d like to live. 

I’m still in the prewriting stage. I’m doing research, gathering information and details, plotting out a very rough timeline and creating character biographies.

From time to time, I’ll share updates and, hopefully in the not-too-distant future, some snippets from my draft.

Until then, though, you can help me out a bit by sharing, via a comment below, your answer to a few questions. What do you like in a book? More specifically, what is it that makes your favorite books, your favorites?   On the other hand, what do you dislike in a book?

I can’t wait to see your answers!

Friday, February 1, 2019

Where Am I? (FMF)

I'm very excited to again this week join a talented group of women who connect each Friday in an online, unedited flash mob free-write based on a one-word prompt from our fearless leader Kate Motaung. My timer is set for 5 minutes; let's see where the word "where" takes me.

Isn't it amazing how our perspective of a word changes over time or circumstance?

For the first 47 years of my life, if I thought about the word "where", it was in terms of where I was going. 

In the past 13 years, it has been more a question of where I am.  

So where am I today, on February 1, 2019?

Where am I physically? Am I where I want to be? The answer is "not really". Due to neighbor and neighborhood concerns, I moved from my baby-bear house that was just the right size both in space and in monthly payment. My new house is in a much-safer neighborhood, but it comes with a larger monthly house payment and more space than I want and need. 

I also have 24 years worth of photos and memorabilia to digitalize and scrapbook; those boxes sitting in my spare bedroom are a constant physical reminder that, as my dad would say when I was procrastinating, I need to "hop to it" and get to work. 

I'm pretty healthy, at least according to my last physical, but I need to tone up and exercise more regularly. 

Where am I in regards to relationships? A few weeks before Christmas, I was introduced to a wonderful group of ladies at the church I've been visiting. These ladies immediately welcomed me into their group and have included me in a variety of activities since then. On the other hand, a once-very-strong, enduring relationship that became strained a few years ago remains awkward. 

Where am I financially? Not where I'd like to be, now that I bought a larger home. But I refuse to stress about that. Instead, I am focused on being financially responsible, trusting God to know what I need and to provide. 

Where am I vocationally? I retired in May, and I'm committed to establishing a source of income to augment my retirement income every month. 

Where am I spiritually? I'm growing and changing. I can see that. But I still have such a long, long way to go. 

So where am I?

I'm in a place of growth and change and, hopefully, progress.