Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Working It Out

Sometimes - in my eagerness to constantly produce - I stress myself out with too many projects.  Well, I've just experienced the ultimate in that exercise.

I have been busy with queries and the synopsis and the sending out to agents and publishers, all in the hope of getting my first novel sold.  At the same time, I was researching and trying to draft my second novel - totally new ground for me as far as the content, so quite absorbing for my brain.  In addition, I have tried to keep up this blog, work on several essays and short stories for submission to other publications.  All this while attempting to keep current on all the other issues and chores of my life.

Not working.

I became so stressed that I didn't even want to pick up a pen and do my daily entry for my journal.  The thing I love to do became the thing I dreaded.  Then, the day came when I just sat staring at my computer screen and had no energy or interest in typing a single word.

It took me a few days to work out what my problem was; I needed to decide on one thing to work on now and give it my best.  I chose the most obvious for me; get the first novel sold.  I will still be doing quick entries in here - as I find time - and, of course, you will be the first to know when that novel is on its way to press!

I'm enjoying life more in the last few weeks, and even got energized to write a short story this morning.  When I have time, I can do that.  And the great thing is - I'm enjoying writing again.

Friday, November 11, 2011

My Veterans Day Salute

My salute begins with a huge "thank you" to all who have served or are presently serving our country.  I am ever grateful for your protection and devotion to duty.  And, to all our close friends who have served, I know what your work and sacrifice meant, and you are all heroes to me.

The focus of my salute today, though, is to one particular veteran; my husband.  While in the U.S. Navy, he braved combat duty in Vietnam twice, once before we were married and, again, a few months after our wedding.  The Vietnam War was new to everyone when he served his first tour, not monopolizing the headlines or causing protests at home.  In his letters to me, he didn't talk about the action much.  In later years, I understood why.

Unlike his father, my husband didn't come home to cheering crowds or waving flags.  By the time he was discharged, Vietnam had become a "dirty word" at home, and he was vilified for having been there.  He had lost his two best childhood friends in the war, and seen much more that prompted nightmares.  But no one wanted to hear about it.

It took decades before the public began acknowledging what our military endured in Vietnam and to give thanks to those men and women for their sacrifice.  My husband could finally wear his Vietnam Veteran status with honor, and there were many times he teared up when someone would thank him for his service there.

At the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, I have had to explain to our children why Daddy was crying as he stood there remembering those who fell.  He still suffers from medical problems, including PTSD. And it has only been recently that he has shared with me what really happened during that war, and when he did, we wept together.  But he left the house this morning proudly wearing his Vietnam Service medal.  What I've witnessed in him, and the way he survived, give me even more reasons to be proud of him.

I am only one of hundreds of thousands of Veteran relatives, no matter where their loved ones served, who know how much this day means to them.  Don't pass up an opportunity today to salute and thank a veteran.  And don't ever forget how lucky we are that they accepted the call.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

An Anniversary Message

On this day nine years ago, our only son stood with the woman he loved, at the altar of an historic church in Lexington, Virginia, and vowed to love and honor her for life.  It was a perfect fall day, and we rejoiced at their union.  From the time we met Sande, we considered her the perfect mate for Sean; it took him a few years to figure it out.

He met her in a drama class at Florida State University and they became friends first, always the best way to discover a relationship, I think.  It wasn't until they were both graduates pursuing their careers, she in California and he in Chicago, that the spark ignited.

Since their marriage, their lives have taken several sharp turns and detours, some brought on by circumstances they couldn't avoid, and others by choices they made for the better.  They've managed to weather all of them. 

Adding to our delight, they completed their family nearly five years ago with the arrival of Fletcher.  That tiny dynamo gives another dimension to their lives, weaving entertainment, exasperation, exhaustion, but ultimately fulfillment into their world.  Observing them as they learn all the pitfalls and triumphs of parenthood brings back memories of Sean's childhood but also shows me how much more today's world demands when it comes to raising children.  I applaud their efforts.

In their hundred+-year-old bungalow, they've created a happy menagerie that includes cats and dogs, where even on the most chaotic of days, it is clear a loving family resides.  And it just seemed right, on their special day today, to tell them that I never cease to admire how they make it all work.

Sande and Sean, you are unique to yourselves, unique to our family, and we're all richer because you chose each other.  Happy Anniversary!