Farewells are Difficult

Back in 1998, I gifted myself a membership in Romance Writers of America. Several months later, I joined my local chapter and found my “home”. My people were there. I found the women who are my closest friends there. We’ve seen each other through ups and downs in our personal lives as well as our writing lives. Most importantly, they “get” me.

Over the years, I’ve obtained additional friends through the local writing community.  New relationships. Wonderful people.

So my decision to leave the RWA community was difficult. My national membership expires at the end of February. RWA itself made the decision easy. The organization, IMHO, has been on a downward slide for a long time, even before the very public meltdowns of the past several years. I stayed only for my local chapter.

My local chapter, however, has burned out. A person can only volunteer so much before the well evaporates. We have evaporated.

Thank goodness for the magic of the Internet, where we plan to continue to be together, without the drama, trauma, and stress of the national organizations woes. Hopefully some former members will rejoin our community because we won’t be after their wallets or their time.


Books about Writers

Image credit: andrejad / 123RF Stock Photo

I am preparing to make a major change in my life. I’ve been thinking about it for over a year.  I’ve been imagining what my new life will look like.

In my reading, I came across two books that prompted further research on the topic of What Does a Full-time Author’s Life Look Like?

The first one I read was Hemmingway’s A Moveable Feast. This was non-fiction. Then, as I was re-reading an old favorite, In the Midnight Rain  by Barbara Samuel, I realized the heroine of this novel was a full-time author.  Both books mentioned the writing schedule.

So I Googled/Goodreads-ed “books about writers” to see what I could glean. The answer: not much.

I read: The Accidental Tourist (Anne Tyler); Swimming Home (Deborah Levy); Cakes and Ale (Somerset Maugham).  Not what I was looking for. Then I re-read other books on my shelf and stumbled across more authors mentioning their writing schedules: Peter Mayle’s A Year in Provence and Toujours Provence;  Under the Tuscan Sun and Bella Tuscany by Frances Mayes. John Mortimer writes a novelist character in Paradise PostponedThe World According to Garp (John Irving). And of course Stephen King’s On Writing, The Shining, and Bag of Bones. I waded through The Brontes by Juliet Baker, which was a mistake because I’m looking for glimpses of a writing life, not an analysis of one.

Any suggestions?

My Boy is 30

Yes, my first-born, a/k/a Y-Chromo, is thirty years old today.

I never knew unqualified love until I met him.

He was 5 weeks premature. He couldn’t wait to get out and meet the world. When he was in day care, other parents would tell me he would be a politician or a cruise ship activity director.  Within a week of being in daycare, he knew the name of every child in the center. That hasn’t changed.

He decided what he wanted to be when he grew up when he was in middle school, and except for one brief diversion, he became exactly what he said he would be.  His 7th grade math teacher told me Y-Chromo had a mathematical mind. I laughed. I stopped laughing the day he received his BS in Mathematics summa cum laude.  The next year, he received his MS in secondary education: he was all set to become a math teacher. His dream. He got his first teaching job right out of college.

One of my most memorable moments with him was when he was an infant. I was rocking him in the middle of the night after feeding him, and I felt him grow. Babies grow at some point. We see it when their clothes become too small. But that night, I literally felt him grow in my arms as I rocked him. A miracle.

Happy birthday, baby!


MJ Monday-Music: Protest Music

I came of age in a time of civil unrest: Women’s Rights, Civil Rights, an anti-war movement. The music from that era formed the soundtrack of my life. Haunting melodies, biting lyrics–they were songs that stuck.

For the past several years, I’ve been waiting for a new batch of music. The current generation needs fresh songs from fresh voices. Music is a common chronicle of the era, which means the time is right for a new batch of protest music.

I’m still waiting.

While we wait, here are a few examples of what I mean:

We need new anthems for the new world.


MJ Monday-Music: Linda Ronstadt

My husband and I tuned into the Kennedy Center Honors this year because we both wanted to see Sally Field and Linda Ronstadt. Ronstadt’s music is an integral part of the sound track of my life. Shortly after the Kennedy Center TV special we watched the documentary, LINDA RONSTADT: THE SOUND OF MY VOICE.

I could listen to the sound of her voice forever. Until relatively recently, there was no compilation of her greatest hits. I know because I looked.

Ronstadt was an amazing performer, with an unmatched versatility that allowed her to sing in a wide variety of genres.  She has performed with many other legendary musicians. Her voice is arguably one of the best of voices of her generation.

Check it out.

Different Drum

Long, Long Time