I’m still here. I’m still walking. And I am very much still writing, just not here, on my blog.
The third book is in the house. An average literary novel is between 80,000 to 100,000 words. As I take a break to write this blog I have 19,022 words, just about twenty-five percent of the way there and I know where I’m headed. I don’t know how this happens, it’s hard to explain. An idea comes to me, the characters begin to come alive, but at first it’s hazy. Nothing solid. Then the doorbell rings and the party begins.
I tried to push it off. I had Take Me Home to promote. Blogging, tweeting, begging for reviews and shares, asking other bloggers to read the book and please, pretty please, give me a review or a shout out.
This week it was my birthday. We don’t have to talk about years. I’m in a good place right now, happier, more peaceful. But as the song says, I really don’t know life at all. I’m just living it every day.
It was one of those weeks that spanned all the emotions. My husband was in Colorado skiing with our daughters. They sent me an Edible Arrangement, a box of chocolate covered fruit. Delicious. I didn’t mind being alone this week, it gave me more time to write. Chocolate and time were all the birthday gifts this girl needed.
On Monday we heard my husband’s oldest brother was very ill. I received a private message on Facebook from a friend of a woman I knew through my brother-in-law, John Blanchette. She pitches screenplays. I sent her The Reverse Commute last year. Her friend told me to call her ASAP. I was thinking good news but she was calling with bad news. Jack was very ill, in the hospital with pneumonia. I contacted my husband, then his sister who had just arrived in Los Angeles and was by Jack’s bedside. He passed away late Monday night/early Tuesday morning.
I have squeezed in walks every day but they’ve felt rushed. I wanted to get back to my new story. Today I woke early after an unusually good night’s sleep and decided to catch the sunrise on the beach. I took my walk early, leaving the whole day ahead of me to write. Tomorrow I have things to do, my parents are visiting for three days and I will pick my husband up at the airport. I need a good day of writing today.
It was another cloudy morning, I didn’t get to see the sun actually rise over the ocean but I had the beach to myself, leaving the first footprints of the day.
I came upon rose petals and votives in the sand. Seriously, I did.
I missed my friends this week but spent a lot of time with a few of them on the phone. I would have loved a wine emergency with all of them on my birthday but instead I met a new friend and her son for Mexican food and margaritas in Delray.
This morning there was no one walking the beach when I first set out in the dark but as I got closer to Briny Breezes, I ran into a few folks, some walking along the street and others headed to the club house to sit in the rocking chairs and watch the day break.
As I came around the corner onto Route A1A, I almost bumped into Trivia dude, the young man who emcees Trivia night at a local pizzeria where my new friend and I came in third place this week. We are slowly but surely improving. I was so surprised to see someone I knew running by I shouted, “Hey”. He smiled and waved. It’s nice to start recognizing familiar faces in new places. Who says you can’t keep growing, changing, and improving over the years?
“Something’s lost but something’s gained in living every day.” ~ Joni Mitchell
Today was the 301st day of walking. I think I have only missed four or five days. The lovely weather of South Florida makes this possible. This project I set out for myself has helped me improve my craft but I am looking forward to Day 365. I have other things I want to write about. I have book three to work on. I need to manage my time and focus on the writing that will help me achieve my goal of writing as a viable work option.
As I headed west across the Intracoastal bridge, fifteen minutes after the official sunrise, the sky finally took on shades of pink. Catherine Ryan Hyde, a writer I have friended in the 21st century way of making friends, through the Internet, has been appreciating clouds lately. I have too. They no longer just “block the sun and rain on everyone“. They are beautiful in and off themselves. “Rows and flows of angel hair, ice cream castles in the air, feathered canyons everywhere.”
I’ll leave you with an older Joni Mitchell singing her timeless song Both Sides Now. Because I am older too, but that hasn’t stopped me from chasing a dream. It has just added a greater sense of urgency, to live every day with a purpose.