Hello All, on this overcast day here in western Missouri where the cold is always a “wet” cold that creeps into the bones. Those of you who are regular readers of this blog know that since May 2011 it’s been my on-line memoir. Beyond these memoir stories, however, I also try to write other genres.
Right now I have completed a novel—The Reluctant Spy, which takes place in first-century Palestine; a slim gift book—The Gift of Nine Lives, an illustrated fantasy for cat lovers; and a second gift book—Angelic Psalms, an illustrated book of lyrical verse for our troubles times.
In addition, I have completed a first-draft for a novel about four ex-nuns; a partial for a novel that takes place in Bronze-Age Greece; and another gift book that is halfway completed. Much of this writing dates back years as I have a strong tendency to begin something, work steadily on it, then get bored with it, and put it aside for later.
As I’ve worked on these various manuscripts, friends have encouraged me to try to get a memoir published. They believe it has the best chance of getting agent representation and publication. You may wonder why publication is important to me. Why isn’t simply writing enough?
I believe that each of us is an artist in some way: some of us bake artisan’s bread; other listen with such sensitivity that they bring peace to our troubled waters; some of us dance or sing, compose music or create beauty in our gardens; some of us enjoy the stories, anecdotes, and jokes of others so that friends feel welcomed in our midst; some of us are great storytellers.
And as artists we all seek an audience: someone to eat the bread; to dance through life with us; to wear the sweaters we knit; to enjoy the potato soup; to gaze upon the watercolor; to listen to the song that we can’t resist singing.
You see what I mean. I think of myself as an artist whose way of connecting with others is through writing. I’m not saying that I’m a good writer or even that I have anything to say that others might want to spend time reading. What I am saying is that my deepest heartwish is to communicate and it’s through the telling of stories that I can do that.
Thus, blogging has been a gift to me. I have been able to share stories with you and you have responded with interest and support. And in the past three years, I have indeed come home to myself—the name of this blog—in that I have embraced my whole life. Your comments have helped with that as your words have often put into perspective some aspect of my life with which I’ve struggled. Thank you now and ever for all the help you’ve given me. You have read my stories with nonjudgmental sensitivity.
You’d think that being read with such understanding by all of you should be—I’ve never liked the word should by the way—enough for me. But it isn’t. I want to be published. I want my stories to be read beyond the Internet. For an artist, life is about connection. Our art—be it gardening or baking, writing or listening, photographing or painting—wants to connect with others. For me, this is evidence of the Oneness I find in all creation.
And so I am devoting this year to three aspects of writing: 1) following your blogs; 2) finding an agent to represent my work; and 3) completing the convent memoir.
All of you know the time that’s involved with following blogs. What you may not know is that the second goal requires a lot of research beyond the writing of query letters. (I’ve written about this before on my Sunday writing blog.) The third goal requires that I establish a daily routine of writing in order to complete a finished memoir by Thanksgiving—the deadline I’ve set for myself.
To do that, I’m going to set aside two to three hours each day for writing new convent stories and weaving them together with the ones that have already appeared on this blog.
While I’m doing that, I will continue posting, but I won’t be adding to the convent stories I began last August. Instead, I’ll return to my pre-convent and post-convent years and share with you additional stories about those times.
I’ve been dealing with health problems recently that have stymied my efforts to follow blogs, seek agent representation, and write. With my somewhat obsessive behavior, I fell into the trap I have fallen into before. That is, I’ve let myself think it’s all or nothing. If I can’t do these three things each day, then I do nothing. And so nothing’s been getting done.
But I’m taking a renewed lease on life.
· I’m going to make every effort to visit each of your blogs once a week. Your words keep me grounded.
· I’ll send out an agent query whenever I have twenty to thirty extra minutes to get that query ready.
· And I’ll set realistic goals for myself each week so as to move forward in completing a first and then a final draft of the convent memoir.
I know that all of you wish me success with my three goals. All of us are artists; all of us have goals. Let us then support one another as we find and fashion our heartwishes. Peace.
All the photographs except that of Eliza are from Wikipedia.