Thursday, July 24, 2008

To write or not to write?

Been wondering if I really want to write as a "profession" or not. I think there's a part of me that will always need to write, but I'm not so sure I want to feel the pressure of having to write under a deadline. Of course, I'm not to that point anyway.

I've written before about submitting manuscripts to a publisher and for the writer's retreat. I do that with a little trepidation each time, but I figure that if my manuscript is accepted, then I'll keep moving in that direction. And, so far, I think I'm being "told" to keep moving in that direction. :-o

My problem is that I have an illness called perfectionism. If I don't think it'll be perfect or that I'll become an immediate writing success (as in books -- not magazine articles), then I encounter major hesitation. Perfectionism is a terrible disease. As Anne Lamott says, "Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life."

I suppose I'll just keep at this blog thing -- It can't hurt. It may even help. And, it gives me permission to write all kinds of stuff while I get ready to write the "professional" stuff.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Picture Perfect

Yesterday after a lovely afternoon bike ride and a delicious gelato with the whole family (minus Celeste who is in school), we all settled on our deck to read. The sky was very blue. The sun was shining. The temperature was perfect. Even the cat sat with us as we all read our books or newspapers.
That kind of thing doesn't happen very often, but it was so nice to just be with the family without having to do anything.
Moments when everyone is completely content are rare, but that was one of those perfect days...and a very pleasant day it was!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Ever wonder what your dog thinks?

Just for fun, read The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. It'll make you think.
It's a touching story about a man and his dog, but it goes way beyond a few walks in the park. The dog tells the story of Denny and his family and the dog is very insightful. A fun thing for me, personally, is that the setting is in Seattle. While I don't actually live there, I know a little bit about it and it's fun. I learned some things about Formula One racing, too... and how it applies to real life. Enzo, the dog, sees things that the humans in the story miss and it's interesting to be there with him while he's watching.
Another book that I recommend you read. :-)

This Grief Thing

This grief thing really gets to me. Sometimes I think I'm fine. Sometimes I just go through the days and feel like life is pretty much the way it always has been. And then, it hits me. It's very strange. It hits me in ways I wouldn't expect. I become forgetful or flustered or impatient or in great need of more sleep.

I'm not so sure people really understand that I can still be grieving months after my parents died. I think they sort of understand, but I also believe they expect me to return to "normal" fairly soon... when what I really want to do is crawl in a hole.

I'm thankful for all the years I had with my parents and I guess I'm also thankful that I loved them enough to be in lots of pain right now. That's a good thing.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Glass Castle

One of the most recent books I've read is The Glass Castle. It came highly recommended to me and I highly recommend it to other people. It's not an easy book to read. It's quite disturbing, but it's very well written and Jeannette Walls takes you right into her world -- which isn't always such a great place to be. However, she makes it clear to see how a child could find the good in numerous "not good" situations. And, as I read it, I kept hoping -- like I imagine she did as a child -- that this time things were going to be different.

In the end, the book had me shaking my head in disbelief... on a lot of levels. It also left me with a sense of hope.

Go get it if you haven't read it.

I mean it.

Life can be a little bit bumpy...

Seems like there's been a lot going on lately... Right after my girls got out of school, I went to Atlanta for a few days. Takin' care of a little bit of business. Then, I went with friends to the beach for some reconnecting time. Then, I came home and my sister and brother-in-law came for a visit. We did lots of fun things... boat ride, farmer's market, camping, dinner with friends.

I suppose one of the highlights (even though most people would give me a hard time about it) was our camping trip. It was a spur-of-the-moment thing and we got a GREAT campsite right on the Nooksack River. It was peaceful and the sound of the river was soothing.

I've discovered that I'm a planner. I love to plan and I'm pretty good at it, if I do say so myself. However, planning can get a bit overwhelming to me -- especially lately in the midst of my grief. So, while I was happy to spend time with family at a beautiful setting, I tended to be a bit grumpy with the preparations. Packing for camping isn't so much fun for me... but once I'm there I'm glad to be there.

I'm trying to remember that there is a lot of life to be enjoyed... even if the journey gets kind of bumpy.