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Sunday, May 11, 2014

Joy , Validation and Perseverance

Photo by Kevin Tomasello
It's been a great week.

The big news is I am about to sign a contract for publication of my NOVEL with UNSOLICITED PRESS! A very cool independent press in Northern California. Check it out:

And this weekend it's my birthday and Mother's Day. And we've had a few beautiful sunny days in a row, so I got to ride my bike outside with silly bicycle shorts instead of cumbersome, restrictive bulge-inducing tights. And I got to eat birthday carrot cake from Wegman's and my mother's strawberry cake and Grandma Bear's- recipe-made-by-my-Mom chocolate cake with chocolate mocha frosting. (See why I needed the bicycle rides)?
Life is good.

That's my little dog Teddy above. He  is a little brain-damaged and doesn't know how to play with a ball like regular dogs. In fact, he is afraid of balls, even if one is simply resting quietly in the middle of the floor. Instead, he expresses joy by running around in circles. He can run faster than I can and I thought you would much rather see a furry little dog zooming around than me collapsing on my bum knee after jumping for joy. This is what it feels like to get an acceptance from a publisher you really like!

So, validation arrives for my writing. This is fantastic, but would I keep writing if no one wanted to see it? Some days I might say no, it's too hard. It's too big. It means too much. I don't have enough ideas. I don't have enough time. Whine,! Then I remember how I feel whenever I read really good writing. I need to keep writing. I want to be that writer that stays with a reader long after the book is over. I want to keep writing better. I want to stir some souls (or at least entertain them for a while).

One of my favorite poems is actually about poetry, but it completely expresses how I feel about any creative writing. Pablo Neruda wrote a poem called Poetry that is so good I can't even stand it. I can't breathe whenever I read this poem. There is a reason this man won the Nobel Prize for his poetry. You need to read the whole thing to get the feeling, but here is how Poetry by Pablo Neruda ends:

And I, infinitesimal being,
drunk with the great starry 
likeness, image of
felt myself a pure part 
of the abyss,
I wheeled with the stars, 
my heart broke loose on the wind.

Seriously! My heart breaks loose every time I read this poem. This is what writing means to me. I can moan about the process sometimes, but I can't stay away from it. It is part of me. I am counting my blessings.

Let the editing begin!