Thursday, August 31, 2023

News of the World -- Putting Summer Behind Me

To start off, I realize that my posting has been lax with summer. Honestly, even the past two weeks, I've been mostly just posting the "easy stuff" -- press releases, inspirational quotes from writers, interesting article links, that kind of thing. It's been a few months since I actually posted the "bread and butter" stuff like original articles, interviews, and (one of my favorite regulars) Movie Reviews for Writers. All of that will be returning. 

A Tohru-tastic Christmas memory.

But for me, I guess I just need to get this all off my chest in order to move on with more compelling content. 

My summer sucked. Probably the absolute worst summer of my life. I know I can be prone to exaggeration, but not this time. I'll reduce it to a bullet list:

  • Week 1 -- My mom died unexpectedly.
  • Week 2 -- My cat, Tohru, whom I had kept as a pet for 16 years, died.
  • Two weeks ago  -- My dog, Boomer, my best fur buddy for 16 years, died. 

The thing about each of these is that any one of them would have driven me into grief. But the closeness of them to each other and the order in which they happened, only made the summer that much more painful. As much as I loved my cat and dog, their deaths only made the feelings of my mom's death start to swirl all over again -- this time combined with the memories of my sweet furbabies. 

Boomer, in repose,
and in my reading chair.

So, yeah, I spent pretty much the whole season more than a bit disengaged from the world around me. And that meant everything suffered, relationships, housework, responsibilities, all of it, but for the purpose of this blog, it meant my writing suffered. 

My actual stories.

My writing about writing (such as here on the blog).

My networking with other writers and publishers. 

All of it. 

My home is so quiet now that the sheer enormity of it makes it difficult to write. Gone are the skittering clicks from where Boomer would walk on the tile and linoleum on claws I had forgotten to trim. Gone also are the whining meows while Tohru wandered through the house wondering where her people were. Those things weren't distractions. They weren't annoyances. They were apparently the soundtrack of my life I needed in order to work. And now I have to get used to a new composition and learn how to work with it now. 

It still doesn't seem fair. But as long as I still want to be a writer, fair or not, it simply is what it is. (Though I have always hated that saying.) Que sera, sera. C'est la vie. 

MeMe's house, the best place on earth to write.

I'm still a living, dark-minded swirl of melancholy and memories, but I finally feel like maybe I can put the pen to the page again (at least figuratively, anyway -- I haven't written anything by hand other than a grocery list or a hall pass for one of my students in years). I even visited MeMe's house (where I go to focus when I need a writing retreat) and managed to finish two stories that I owed to my publishers. I didn't get the rest of the stories knocked out like I wanted to, but I considered those two stories a major tick mark in the win column considering my frame of mind. Now, I just need to finish the editing process on them both and send them off for publication. 

Anyway, I feel like words might be coming back to me. As such, I hope this month to finally give you a return to form for the blog. And that means interviews, original articles, movie reviews, the whole enchilada. At least, that's the plan. Hence this more personal post. It's a start. 

Now, we'll just have to see if I'm not misreading my own signals. 

Wouldn't be the first time. 


My beautiful mom. whom
I miss very, very much. 

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