When I first started writing professionally in 2002, I made it a practice to write something, anything, everyday. As the years progressed, I slowly fell short of that discipline and in 2011, due to the many changes altering the direction of my life, just about ceased.
I blamed it on writers block, but I realize now that’s not what it was. The transition from north easterner to westerner has not been seamless, but it has happened. Some of it has been painful, some of it joyful, but all of it true.
One of the reasons I think my books were successful in the east was because of the things I wrote about – and invited – the reader into my life. I was inspired to write about the things that moved me, the circumstances that molded me and how I was reacting to the current events in my life at that point. There was a connection I had never felt before, and it was addicting.
At book signings readers would smile and say after reading my columns I reminded them of their mother, their sister, their daughter, their aunt. Disclaimers such as “don’t write this down” or “off the record” always preceded talking to family and friends. I stopped talking with my mouth and began communicating via my keyboard. I got a job at a newspaper and wrote about the community and its wonderful people. Stories From the Lake was much more than a byline; it became my lifeline.
Writers see things no one else does; the connections of how something came to be, why someone acts the way they do, the choices we make and those that are out of our control.
Everyone has a story, but sometimes they just don’t know how to tell you about it.
In the summer of 2008 my beloved and I (yes, he has earned the right for me to call him that again) went to a psychic in the community known as Lilydale in upstate New York. Not expecting anything to come of the visit, we waited patiently in the vestibule outside the little home of the gentlemen who would tell us our futures, and remind us of our past.
The little man told me things I had forgotten about and reminded me of things I didn’t want to remember. How did he know I had stomach problems when I was a kid? How did he know I was afflicted with painful, pus-filled boils until I was 16? So when he started talking about my father and my grandmother scolding me to ‘keep writing, don’t stop!’ it got my attention.
His parting words to me were “remember where it all began” which, in fact, was when I was 8 years old and given my first typewriter with specific instructions to “write a story.”
After years of banging my head against the wall trying to find employment in the normal world, I finally realized I don’t belong there. There are stories to be told and more memories to be made. I started telling them 10 years ago, but dropped the ball.
2012 will be the year to finish the projects begun, but walked away from. because I was too afraid to venture deeper.
Like Miss Haversham’s heavy, dust laden draperies being ripped off the windows, dirt and memories flying everywhere, this will be year to finally realize what needs to be done.
I have to tell the rest of the story.
Happy New Year and may you be blessed with the continued gift of life, love and adventure.