Psst...just wanted to tell this post was started on June 5th!
No - I haven't disappeared. Nothing nefarious happened to me that can't be explained by this one phrase: life has gotten to be very busy of late. Summer is the busiest time of the year for me for many reasons. First my son has returned from college. Life as I know it changes, but in a good way. My son's return also means it's time to open up the pool, time to clean the backyard and time to do some gardening. As the Bible states "...a time for every purpose under heaven."
I don't have a garden per se -- one day -- but I love to buy flowers and pot them in my planters and place them strategically around the backyard so that I can pretend to have a real garden. Then there's my job. My job just heats up in the summer (pardon the pun!). It gets so busy that I actually can't wait for September to roll around. I barely enjoy the summer anymore. Something must be done. I want my summer back and I think once my son finishes college, I should look for a less stressful job. Wish I could ditch the job all together and write all day but that's another dream...
After the pool is opened, the flowers planted, I look forward to enjoying the pool even if it's just on the weekends. (This has been my first weekend fully devoted to me - but alas, the sun is playing hide and seek with the clouds.)
June was not very kind weather wise. If I remember correctly since it's now just a blur - the weather was lousy. I could count the number of times I used the pool. Even the one day that my boss gave me her blessings to work from home, the weather quickly deteriorated and great, big black clouds pursued me as soon as I had a free moment that I could have taken a dip. Whenever I'd look up from my laptop, the sky above me was dark and turbulent while further in the distance i was sure someone had clear, blue skies. But it wasn't all work. I did have some fun and wonderful surprises in May. First I won Vampire Ascending by my good friend Lorelei Bell. Sabrina, her main character, kicks butt and finds herself in very unusual circumstances, surrounded by Vampires and shape shifters and mired in a mystery she was chosen to uncover, yet everyone can relate to her. I truly enjoyed it and I'll say it right off the bat (pun very much intended!) I am not a fan of Vampire fiction yet Lorelei has a different take on it which you have to read to find out! Furthermore Sabrina has a gift that makes her special (she's a touch clairvoyant) yet at heart she wants what everyone else wants. Will she get it? I can't wait to read the sequel to find out.
Lorelei really knows how to suck you in (need I say it again?) into the world her characters inhabit. I am hoping to write a review as soon as I have the time.
I'm still in the middle of hell. Once the summer is over, I'll have the time to write again. Today has been a gift in more ways. I can finally use my notebook when I'm out sunbathing. I didn't realize that I only had to lighten the screen. I couldn't see a thing! Once the fall is here though, I'll have time to write and be with my online friends who inspire me to become a published writer one day.
When fall comes, only the most basic necessities will be tended to - the laundry, the food shopping, hopefully the exercise! Working 12 hour days definitely does not give you time to exercise and that's another reason why I have to find another job but before I start on another tangent -- I won ANOTHER book. May was short story month and to publicize the short story, Tania Hershman along with other blog writers were given away one short story collection. My name was picked again! I should have entered Lotto but who had time? Anyway, thank you Tania Hershman and all other writers and newbie writers like me who want to keep the short story alive!!! I won Roy Kesey's award-winning short story collection All Over. I anxiously waited it for it and lo and behold the package soon came in the mail. What a beautiful collection it is - inside and out. The cover is amazing! Needless to say I was captivated and effortlessly transported into its world as soon as I started reading it, as if I've always been there lurking in the shadows. I know these people. They are not strangers to me. This is what good writing does. The writing doesn't have to show off in order to make you pay attention. I haven't finished all of the stories yet -- I'm hoping to do so this weekend -- but the ones I read so far have been wonderful.
I have even managed to do some writing of my own. You can just imagine how jealous I was after reading Lorelei's book and then Roy Kesey's. I was afraid to look at my stories and I resisted as much as possible but last week between doing laundry and watching the movie "The Others" I actually starting rewriting one of my short stories and LIKING it. I'm hoping this forced haitus has made me a better writer, that subconsciously there have been changes that I'm not aware of but will come through in my writing. There have been so many twists and turns in my life lately that I can only believe that I'm being led somewhere.
Meeting Lorelei has been another one of those coincidences that I can't explain. It all started last fall when I happened to have found the Thresholds Short Story Forum. Since then universe has immersed me in writing and has littered my way with authors and writers who have all been wonderful inspiration; who've helped me fine-tune my vision; and who've given me the confidence to continue on my journey. I'm still a work in progress, obviously. I don't know when I'll have anything published, if any. I am hoping that now that the first rush of summer is over, I can find the time to schedule my writing once again. But to get back to Vampire Ascending (sorry but I'm here again!), the funny thing is that I am not really a fan of Vampire fiction (I know - I've already told you this - apologies!) and I didn't know Lorelei from the proverbial Adam...I tried reading the Twilight books (I think I have the last one) but I just couldn't get into it. To be honest what made me click on Lorelei's link was the book cover she posted on the Writer's Digest Community page. From there I read the blurb and it sounded interesting to me and the rest is history. Anyway friends, it's time to go to bed. Tomorrow is going to be a very busy day. 103 new people will be starting and we have to make sure they have everything they need as soon as they hit the desk! Next Monday (July 18th) there's another 200 people. I can't wait for next week to be over but in the meanwhile here's another shoutout to Tania Hershman and Lorelei Bell. Thank you so much!