Holy cats! I meant only to take off from social media for a week–maybe two–not a whole month! I forgot that autumn is THE craziest time of year for me, and I was swept away by all things non-blogging-related. But I have been busy with all things writing-related, and that’s always a good thing!!
FIELD NOTE #1: I’m wrapping up my mom’s estate, which has taken me a lot longer than I thought it would. I’ve learned a lot through this process, and I wish I had known half of it when I was her main caregiver. I think that if I had been more aware of what I was truly up against, I would have been more firm in encouraging her to get her affairs in order. If anyone is dealing with an elderly parent and is looking for advice or even a shoulder to lean on, feel free to get in touch. I completely empathize with anyone in this position, and there are important steps you can take to make the process a bit easier and more manageable.
Thank you to everyone who sent me kind emails and Facebook and Twitter notes asking how I’m doing, and keeping me in your thoughts as I spent the time grieving for my mom. I know that grief is supposed to have 5 stages, but I swear there have got to be sub-stages, that it’s not all black-and-white clear transitioning from one stage to the next. I definitely played round-robin throughout all the stages–and then some–but you know what? Grieving is hard work. It’s exhausting. And it can play tricks on your mind if you sit with that sadness or unanswered questions for too long. Writing, as always, was my savior, so I’m finally getting back on track.
FIELD NOTE #2: I finished reading the amazing collection of chapters, short stories, and novels submitted to me for my Dare to Write Summer Writing Challenge. I had a ball, and I hope that the feedback I provided everyone was helpful and encouraging. That was really the main goal–to pick out the parts that sang to me. Here and there I tried to offer some constructive feedback, but only if something jumped out at me. This challenge wasn’t about me looking for trouble spots or flawed areas, but about honoring a writer’s passion to create a brand new world. Sometimes, I don’t think we write often enough with the simple joy of writing. We worry too much about HOW to write. And really, if we’re not enjoying the process or honoring the act of writing, then the how doesn’t matter anyway.
Because I enjoyed running this challenge so much, I’m thinking about offering another one in the next few months. I’d love to hear from you about what kind of a challenge you would be most interested in. If I can figure out how to include a survey in a blog post, I’ll get that up and running soon. I’m not tech-savvy, so I may have to resort to the old-fashioned, boring, leave-your-suggestions-in-the-comment-box-below option.
FIELD NOTE #3: Book 3 of my series for writers is now available on Amazon: Writer . . . Uninterrupted – A Handbook for the Confident Writer. I have to say, of the three books I’ve written so far, this one was the most challenging. I felt myself pausing with each bit of advice I wrote, because I’m not always a confident writer. I kinda felt like a fraud by talking about ways to be confident when I suffer from rocky self-esteem. For that reason, though, I’d have to say this book helped me grow and find a better path to my writing goals. I hope that if you choose to read it that you will discover a stronger writing-you, too.
FIELD NOTE #4: I’m back to teaching adult classes in writing after taking the summer off. I have missed working closely with writers, especially in a traditional classroom setting. While I love the online connections I’ve made over the years, nothing beats having a dialogue with another writer or offering a personalized, direct answer to a specific question. Plus, it gives me a chance to give back to the writing community–there have been so many wonderful people who have helped me get this far. I like taking the opportunity to share what I’ve learned so far.
FIELD NOTE #5: Halloween is one of my favorite days of the year, and I celebrate all month long. I’ve got the graveyard, the spooky lights, the ghouls, and the eerie sounds ready to go.
I’ll be hosting my annual party for the kids as the Black Widow, hoping they can help me solve the mystery of my second murdered husband. Shall be very grim and disturbing–bawahahaha!
How is your autumn going? What are you going to be for Halloween?
Have a writerly day!!