Monthly Archives: March 2018

Gratitude Grows with Age

  There’s no question that aging involves losses—of loved ones, youthful energy, and physicality. But one thing I find I’ve gained as I’ve gotten older is the appreciation of life and the richness of everyday experiences. This past weekend, I was almost overwhelmed with a tremendous feeling of gratitude. It began with my annual trip to a local high school to present the Smith College Book Award to a junior who excelled in English. As both an alum and a writer, I was thrilled to present the award to a beautiful young woman of color. All of these outstanding young people at the cusp of adulthood left me with such a sense of wonder and excitement. The next morning, I worked in my home office on making a few more revisions on my young adult novel that features an African-American protagonist. I felt buoyed by the supportive comments of A-A beta readers that yes, I had the right to tell this story because I’d done my homework and was writing from a place of honesty and deep respect. I sent it off, knowing that in this politically charged climate, there might be no one who would want to touch this novel by a Caucasian writer. But I felt peaceful. I believed in the work, and so did many others who’d read it. Somehow, it would find a home. And if not, that was okay, too. That afternoon, I participated in a SWAN (Support Women Artists Now) Day celebration in Louisville [...]

By |2018-03-26T10:14:23-05:00March 26th, 2018|Gratitude|2 Comments

My Hidden Super Power

Growing up, my favorite super hero was Superman. I longed to be able to fly, bend steel with my bare hands, and stop bad guys in their tracks.             Sadly, I never acquired any of Superman’s powers, but I recently discovered I have one. I can stop any quartz watch dead in its tracks simply by wearing it. This is not a joke! I’m old school. I like wearing watches. They just don’t like me.             For a long time when watch after watch stopped working, I simply assumed it was because I acquired most of them at yard sales. The batteries must have run out, I thought, or they were simply old and tired—not worth fixing.             And then, I acquired the watch of my dreams, which I discovered on the Internet.  With a band made of abalone stones, I looked forward to wearing this gorgeous piece of jewelry for years to come.             Within hours, however, it had stopped running. My dear husband took it to the battery store, and they installed a new battery. I eagerly put it back on, admiring its lovely stones. But soon, it had abruptly quit running again.             This time, my husband took it to the jewelry store. “No, no,” exclaimed the jewelry store owner.  “You need a professional jewelry repairman to fix your watch.”             A week later, my husband picked it back up. It was running great… until I started to wear it. Back to the jewelry store it went. [...]

By |2018-03-18T15:47:41-05:00March 18th, 2018|Super Powers|0 Comments

Why My Husband Should Write a Book (Even Though He Never Will)

It’s been 36 years, and I am still madly in love with my husband. Maybe it would be more accurate to say that I keep falling in love with the same person over and over, who happens to be my spouse. It’s not about any of the stuff you see in the media that’s supposed to keep the romance going—no Caribbean vacations (he hates to travel), dream houses, or diamond necklaces. We’ve never had a ton of money, but so what? IMO, my husband’s got the “How to Be an Irresistible Spouse” thing down. In fact, I really think he should write a book to share his secrets to success, but I know he never will. He’d rather be gardening, his favorite form of spiritual practice. So, for anyone out there who wants to be an irresistible spouse, I feel it’s my duty to share a few of his secrets: Keep the Love Notes Coming Ever since my husband retired, he tucks a love note into the lunch he packs for me on the days I go to teach at the university. No matter what kind of a day I’m having at work, his notes perk me up. Here’s one from this past week: You Remain             As the Light             In My Life             My Whole World             My Love              (Plus You’re funny as Hell!!)  2. Humor Makes Everything Better Although my husband thinks I’m funny, he’s the truly funny one. He keeps me laughing, especially about myself, [...]

By |2018-03-12T14:36:52-05:00March 12th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

What Really Matters

            I’ve yet to meet a writer who says, “Yippee! Another rejection!” While rejection is an inevitable part of putting our work out there, it’s never fun. When I got one of those dreaded “No’s” last week, I went through my usual three bags of Oreos during two days of total dejection. Who in their right minds, I wondered, would volunteer to get their work shot down over and over like this?              But a few people and experiences helped remind me what really matters— the adventure of doing the work.  Creative work can be in any field, but for me, it’s been in the arts—in dance, writing, and music.             A friend and fellow writer in my Sisters in Crime group made a wonderful comment at our last meeting: “I write because I love to—not because I think I’m going to write a best seller.” When she made that comment, I was all caught up in anxiety about whether my newly published novel would sell well. I’d almost forgotten that wasn’t really the point. I’d written IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN YOU because I loved to write, I believed in the book, and there were wonderful folks out there who let me know they’d been touched by reading it.             Then the other night, my husband and I participated in an open Mic event at my church. A handful of folks of all ages and experience levels got up and sang songs and played instruments. It was wonderful! I loved [...]

By |2018-03-06T08:04:00-05:00March 6th, 2018|The Writing Life|0 Comments