I love this picture of my daughter and I. It was taken just after her first chemotherapy treatment. Reminds me that you can smile on the darkest of days. Reminds me of where we’ve been. Reminds me of how far we’ve come. Reminds me to be thankful for every day. Reminds me of all the love in my life. Reminds me of how truly blessed, lucky, fortunate (which word you’d choose) we are and continue to be. ❤️❤️❤️
This Just In
I made my first five dollars as a writer today. My flash fiction piece was accepted by Flash in a Flash with a February 21st publication date. Feels good! #writing community #amwriting
Optimistic Denial and Joy
Some people have a living, breathing miracle in their family. We have two – my dad and my daughter. Two amazing, resilient warriors. Both have overcome so much. In life, you can count yourself lucky if you have a day or two that just make your heart nearly explode with joy. I’ve had many and today was one of those days. This picture was taken shortly after Jordan finished her last chemo treatment. We were happy and cautiously hopeful. Fast forward to today and she continues to thrive, defying the odds. She had a follow up appointment with her radiation oncologist today. As you might imagine, there’s a certain amount of trepidation and fear – and a healthy dose of optimistic denial – that goes along with these appointments. You always wonder . . . I think we always will. But, today she remains cancer free! I usually rush to share this happy news but waited patiently for her to post it first. Prepare for a social media explosion. My baby is happy, healthy, and well. There is no greater joy.
Collections, Writing, and Criticism
People collect things; stamps, porcelain dolls, thimbles, light houses, towels, kitchen gadgets, Faberge eggs, shoes, Princess Diana dolls; the list goes on and on. There are as many collections as there are individual interests. Some of which are quite harmless; others not so much (like things a serial killer might collect). I’ve got a collection of two Princess Diana dolls, currently living at my daughter’s house, but I’ve never really felt like I had a collection of anything. There was nothing I could put my finger on and say, “I am a collector of this (insert item here).” But I was wrong, I have a collection – books.
This is a guess, but my love of books naturally lead to a desire to be a writer. It’s been with me since I was quite young. I can remember sitting on the roof of Lori Hill’s house writing my first novel. The genre was historical romance and I was, maybe, twelve. So, have fun imagining what my twelve-year-old self might have come up with in the romance department. I blame the romance genre for my unrealistic expectations when it comes to men and, it has not escaped my notice, that my perfect man only exists in fiction. Go figure.
Books are one of my greatest loves. Getting lost in their pages is one of my greatest pleasures. So, I was wrong. I’ve had a collection; a houseful of books which I donated to the public library when I moved because they were too heavy to bring along and wouldn’t fit in my new, tiny home. I’ve still got a small collection of physical books – more than one person needs – but the majority of my collection lives on my Kindle. Thank God for Kindle! While I still enjoy the tactile sensation of an actual “flesh-in-bone” book, gone is the angst of having to choose just one or two books to bring on a trip. I can bring them all with Kindle. Gotta love technology, really cuts down on dusting.
I majored in journalism in college but graduated with a major in social sciences and a minor in journalism. It was the fewest hours to graduate not some humanitarian desire to save the world. I’m not that good. But I’ve always wanted to be one of those writers – you know the writers with a conversational style of prose that gives you the feeling that you’ve just sat down with an old friend for an evening of margaritas and conversation. You’ll spend the evening retelling all your best adventures and commiserate that life hasn’t turned out quite the way you’d planned. You’ll remember how you dreamed of escaping this place. It’s not for you. And yet, here you are in that place you’ve spent your life trying to escape. You’ll laugh a little uncomfortably at this revelation and thank God for margaritas, friendships that have stood the test of time, adventures you’ve had, and adventures you’ve yet to discover. You’ve not given up you see. There’s still time. It could happen. I often have, what I believe, are thought provoking and entertaining thoughts that I want to capture and turn into a masterpiece of sorts. But, for some reason these thoughts only occur at two or three in the morning and I fail to commit them to paper with the certain knowledge that I can recapture the moment at some more convenient time. That time never comes. There’s no way to measure the greatness no one will ever read because I was too interested in sleeping or too entertained by the ramblings of my mind to write it down. I wonder if I really have something to say and then I think it doesn’t matter. Whatever it is, my wanting to say it, is enough.
Recently, I decided to do more than dream of being a writer. I decided to actually write. It seems likely that I suck at it, and yet, I forge ahead. I’m writing a novel; it’s total shit but I believe it has good bones. Today, I sent it to a few beta readers because I knew there were problems and I was looking for some constructive criticism. Criticism is hard even when it’s constructive. The beta reader identified problems I was already aware of; her criticism was kind, it was constructive, and it will make my story better and make me a better writer. But . . . Damn! It hurts.
Rainy Days and Goals Not Met
The puppies and I went running this morning and it’s a good thing I got up and got moving because, shortly after returning home, the torrential rain began. Taking the puppies wasn’t one of my better ideas as they wanted to stop and pee on every leaf and twig we passed. Lessons . . .
I’ve been sitting here working on another writing project – a new novel. An hour after beginning, I’ve only got 706 words written. I’m wondering what made me think I could get in 2000 words per hour. Deciding to forge ahead, I managed to get to 1058 but it took an hour an a half which means I’m twice as slow as I thought I’d be. I think I’m done for the day. May tomorrow bring more words my way . . .
Fall has arrived in the Low Country. I’m not sure how long she’s staying. Happy Thanksgiving! Remember, calories don’t count today! So enjoy.
The Past and Present
In June of 2006 I created my first blog as a response to being labeled blogless on a knitting blog I was following as a participant in a sock swap. What is a sock swap you ask? Well, it’s a group of crazy knitters who’ve agreed to throw their names in a hat and get matched with another crazy knitter for whom they shall knit a pair of socks. Sometimes, the pair is matched; I knit you a pair of socks, you knit me a pair of socks. And, sometimes, it’s a little more random than that and more of a secret, sock pal kind of thing – think secret Santa at work. The knitter hosting the swap typically has a list of participants with their blogs listed in parentheses by their name. Well, there I was with “blogless” in parentheses. It was simply too shameful to continue being called out in this manner, so I created a blog. It lasted with great enthusiasm for about four years and then sporadically for another four or five give or take a year. At any rate, Doogle Knits lives on and is still available for your reading enjoyment.
Fast forward to May of 2018; a friend, colleague, physician, and generous citizen of this world died tragically doing what she loved. She was my age and her death prompted me to begin living the life I wanted to live because who knows when your final moment is coming. Life is just too short to do anything else. To that end, I left Tampa and moved to my perfect place, a place I had been dreaming of for more than a decade. In many ways it had always been just out of reach for one reason or another – there were jobs that didn’t work out, jobs that didn’t pay enough, and the ever present fear of not knowing if it would work out when it didn’t make financial sense. The year before fear had won and I didn’t go. I mourned the lost opportunity and I made a promise to myself that, if I got another chance, I wouldn’t let fear or financial sense stand in my way. The opportunity came and it still didn’t make financial sense to go, but I went anyway. And it was absolutely, without a doubt, the right choice.
Since that time, I’ve continued to ensure that I’m living the life I want to live and manifesting my dreams, one of which has always been to be a writer. But you can’t be a writer without writing. So, I’m writing again, and I’ve created this blog to share the miscellaneous meanderings of my mind and even some more concrete projects – dare I say books. More on that later . . .