I am finally getting to my September blog posting.
Yes, it's October:)
The same thing happens with apple picking. I know September is prime time, but the month of September consistently goes by in a blur and then October arrives and we finally pick apples.
It seems to be a resounding theme in my life lately. And--what exactly is lately? This week? This past month? Absolutely not. "Lately" is more like the last several years.
Even this year's month of August, which is usually a time when I try to relax fully and gather all my energy for the fall push, was interrupted by coughing. A cough from nowhere. Just a cough. Wet and productive. At least something has been productive--haha. It's amazing how a cough can be so disruptive, so sleep depriving, so socially unacceptable, and so mysterious. I still haven't discovered the exact cause or cure or for how much longer. For now, it's under control, but only because of a daily inhaler. Something I can't wait to be without.
I suppose we age and our health wanes whether we like it or not.
I don't like it!
So, what now?
Will I ever catch my stride.
How is anybody ever able to proceed at a pace that is enjoyable when life seems to blare at you and then go quiet, then honk, then hum, then crash, then cancel, then . . . then . . .
I am not an animal who can sit by the fire and fetch slippers every morning. I cannot recognize that I have wings and not try to use them.
Maybe I should? Chickens seem content with it.
I need to work, to use my skills, to feel fulfilled in meaningful ways. But, I don't know that I have found a way to do that at a reasonable pace. I don't know how to get the ebb and flow to cooperate. It seems it's just flow, flow, flow.
I was recently talking to another writer who has a similar difficulty. The world tells us, "Say 'yes' to everything in order to advance in life." Ok. But, what happens when you've gotten so good at saying "yes," that you forget how to say "no?" I think I need a more fine-tuned instruction manual going forward.
For now, I guess I will feel behind on nearly everything. Winter will slowly approach, and my children won't have so many places they need to be. Hopefully they'll fall into a more comfortable schedule at school.
The buzz of September will start to sizzle and silence.
That pull to go out into the garden will shrivel up and surrender alongside my annuals.
We will all retract, climb into sweaters and get cozy and--please, Lord--slow down a little.
Maybe I'll get up-to-date with my "to do" list.
I might even publish October's blog in October!:)
Like so many of us, I wear several hats. One of the hats I wear is Founder and Director of the non-profit: The Room to Write. In that capacity, I write blog entries for The Room to Write's website blog. Sometimes my two hats: non-profit director and creative writer, have commonalities. This is one of those instances where a blog post I wrote for TRtW also works really well as an author blog post. So, here is my posting in its entirety:
There's something about spring and, in particular, the month of May that makes everybody buzz about seeking new ways to grow, not only in the garden but in their spiritual life, family life, professional life, and--hopefully--their creative life.
Sometimes our creative lives take a back seat to all the other lives we maintain.
If you're hoping to grow in your creative life, a wonderful and free resource is available to you thanks to a collaboration and sponsorship from Wakefield Community Access Television (WCAT) studios titled The Journey of a Story interview series.
No matter what genre you write in and regardless of the age your target audience is, some things remain constant in writing, and we have uncovered some really helpful insights that can save you a lot of time and frustration when it comes to the publication process.
In The Room to Write's interview series, The Journey of a Story, we focus on the writing and publication process rather than the content of each book. We're not at all interested in an author's pedigree, but we are very curious about the obstacles in each author's journey that they had to overcome in order to persevere all the way to publication. We love to learn about time-and-sanity-saving hacks!
We're not so much interested in plot twists as we are curious how a writer battled writer's block, formatted a query letter, found an agent, and the nitty gritty details of the revision process. The Journey of a Story series is a high-quality series on a low budget because--let's face it--most writers are not making a living from their creative writing projects and publications. By day they are teachers, doctors, financial advisors, therapists, and successful entrepreneurs. Other writers have only found the time to write after they retired from their full-time jobs.
So, tune into 30 (currently) different interviews of authors who write everything from adult romance to children's picture books, poems to plays, kids non-fiction to adult essays. It's quite an eclectic group and they share generously from their experiences. The one commonality? They are all from New England, with the vast majority reside in Massachusetts.
So sit back, tuck it, top off and learn how real writers write and how they eventually publish!
I can't help but feel like a slacker. The trouble is there's still only the original 24 hours in a day and that just doesn't seem to be enough for me to get the things I need done, followed by the things I want to do done, followed by the things I should do done: you know that resting, relaxing, recovering, and rejuvenating thing we hear is necessary for a healthy and happy life.
Some writers and artists seem to create when the mood strikes them or when they feel something come over them and that used to be my method too, but with life so busy I'm going to have to come up with some other way that forces me to make more time for my personal writing projects, not just the writing I need to do for work or various other commitments, but the novels and poetry and blog posts (ahem!) I really want to be able to do.
Some writers and artists claim that the morning hours are best and I'm sure they are, but I'm not a morning person. Can I try to become one? Sure. Do I want to try to become one? No. I don't want to try, anyway. If I woke up one morning and was suddenly a morning person--sure, I'd love that. But, I don't have the energy to try to become one.
So, what's a gal to do? Well, it's almost summer. Ok--technically it's summer on the calendar and meteorologically it's summer, but according to my children's school summer is has not started yet. Yes, it's nearly July and "summer vacation" is still hours away.
What does summer have to do with anything, you may be wondering?
More time? Hopefully. But, based on historical precedent there seems to be no more time in the summer months than there are in the other nine and anything extra should be devoted to a good amount of resting and relaxing that every body needs in order to carry on for those other hectic, hurry-up-and-go months. One thing July has going for it is sunnier mornings which may be a help toward earlier mornings which may be a help toward writing in the mornings.
Throw in a good, old fashioned one-month challenge! Don't forget to include public accountability so others can see if you are holding to your commitment and have every right to heckle you if you slack off.
So, here goes. I am going to try to challenge myself to produce something creative for one month's time. I suppose I have to figure out what that is first, but I have a week to come up with something and report back.
That's just what I'll do.
Stay tuned. :)
At long last, two years after I was originally supposed to sit down with the wonderful Joy Nelkin Wieder, author of The Passover Mouse, we finally got to chat mask-free in the WCAT Studios this past Monday. I got to follow Joy on her journey from spark of an idea back in 2002 all the way to this moment twenty years later to celebrate her picture book just before Passover begins April 15th.
The Passover Mouse came out two years ago, just before the pandemic, and so Joy has had to endure a two-pronged form of perseverance with not only a long wait for her story to become a book and reach the eyes of children, but also to connect with those children once the book was out there. So much was cancelled and so two years later she looks forward to reading it to kids in the classroom, at libraries and bookstores to see their reactions to a story about a mischievous but adorable mouse.
Joy said it best during her interview when she said, "Don't give up!"
(Side note: If you're confused--c.t. kavanagh is my pen/maiden name. I always promised myself I would write under my maiden name and so that's what I am doing here. I use my legal name for my non-profit work, but I am indeed the same person.:)