I'm most recently a writer. In the six plus decades of my life, I've been a wife, mother, grandmother, Jill of all trades though mistress of but a few, and most of the time pretty content with my lot. As a much younger person, I believed I was called to write, but life and living distracted me for most of those decades. An unwilling transplant from the South, twenty years ago I unintentionally landed in the geographical center of the US. Writing came about in part due to the unwillingness, I expect. When caring for family, gardening, and renovating a century-old house failed to provide sufficient creative outlets, I turned to the one thing I always intended to do. Eight titles later, I'm grateful I found myself while Lost in the Plains!
Sunday, June 2, 2013
"June is Busting Out. . ."
June begins that time of year when the days are long but there seem to be fewer of them. Whether it's heat, humidity, thunderstorms or drought, after rushing around for a few weeks, I've started looking forward to September by the end of June. I lived in North Florida for almost twenty years and a good part of that was spent running from my air conditioned car to an air conditioned building, venturing out of doors only at dawn and dusk. I don't like heat, and judging by the way it makes me feel, all stinky and red in the face, I'm pretty sure it doesn't like me! The only nice thing I can say about Kansas heat is at least it doesn't last nine months out of twelve!
This year I've decided to take the same approach to my writing that I take to summer. I'm going to seek cool, comfortable places, move slower, and have faith that September will arrive. Not only have I vowed not to sweat the small stuff--the seasonal slow-down in book sales, fewer reviews (as if that were possible!) and a work in progress that's progressing about like molasses in January--but I'm going to do my darndest not to sweat at all. Every time I start to feel clammy, worried that I'll never sell another book or that I'm never going to reach the end of Shannon's Daughter, I'm going to remind myself that whatever will be, will be all right. I'm going to take out my file of reader mail and be reminded that my little books have managed to touch these lives. I'm going to remember that I never really meant for anyone to read these books anyway, much less have hundreds of them sell to perfect strangers. I'm going to look back at this amazing unplanned journey so far and just be cool.
Everything happens as part of a larger plan according to Emily Haynes Moss, the heroine of Valley Rise, and I believe that too. The size and scope of that plan is beyond our understanding or control. Life is comprised of relationships, events and locales which constantly change over time, yet eventually become familiar even as they change. If we get ourselves in what my grandmother called a "swivet" every time things seem the least bit uncertain, we'll be worn out with life long before it's done with us. While, as the song says, the future's not ours to see, I've been here before, faced the unknown, and come through stronger and wiser. I'm going to hope that by the time the weather starts to cool down again, I'll understand more about my journey as a writer. Maybe I'll even make my self-imposed deadline for Shannon's Daughter. Whatever happens, I'm confident it will be what's meant to be.