I’m Stronger than I Thought

In January, I had strong intentions for the quarter, but I anticipated very little of what happened and my plans went awry. My life and my writing feel like a jumble of puzzle pieces that don’t fit where they used to fit. It’s the end of the first quarter of 2021 and it’s time to evaluate what I’ve accomplished and where to go from here. And the biggest lesson learned over the past three months is that I’m stronger than I thought. Making Unsurprisingly, revisions of If I Should Die are off course. Only six chapters farther than I was at the end of January is disappointing. I made adjustments to the timeline, which meant shifting chapters around. When I revise a novel, it’s like doing a giant jigsaw puzzle that get’s redrawn in the middle of my efforts. (Does that make sense?) Creative thinking takes more energy than blogging. For both, I struggle with focus and energy, but focusing on writing a blog post is easier because of its length. Managing A friend helped me keep the website updated during February. Since then, I’ve maintained the website. Focusing on the rewrite and blogging, the managing area of my business […]

A Grievous Loss and a New Life Journey

Why have I been absent from blogging? I’ve had a grievous loss and a new life journey to travel. My husband, Robert W. Burrows, died on February 10th. His death was quick and unexpected, though we’d been expecting it for years. Prepared Yet Unprepared When death comes, no matter how prepared you think you are—it’s unexpected. First, there’s a kind of numbness. Then a deep sharp twisting unrelenting pain. Grief is uncomfortable and messy and an overwhelming tidal wave. When a loved one dies, you go through the motions of daily life, find paperwork, eat, and sleep— if you can. You have moments when you feel almost normal then a small thing, often a ridiculous thing, triggers a tsunami of emotions. One friend likened this to walking through a field peppered with landmines. For me it feels like I’m trying to swim to shore—one wave carries me closer to solid ground and the next one slaps me down to the bottom of the ocean, drags me through the sand and silt, spins me in circles until I don’t know up from down, and drags me further from shore than I’ve ever been before. And yet, sometimes I make it close […]

Alone for the Holidays

It is Thanksgiving Week. There are many, many things for which I am grateful beyond words, but this isn’t a post about gratitude. It’s about being alone for the holidays.  The holidays can be particularly stressful for those people who believe the holiday is about what should be done, for people who cannot be with family, for people who have had recent personal challenges or tragedies, and for people who feel alone. I have spent holidays mourning and struggling. I have spent holidays alone. It took years before I felt comfortable doing what I needed at those times. I know I would have appreciated a few tips during that time, so I’m offering these few to you. If you are among those who are struggling with personal challenges or losses, remember it’s okay to feel whatever you are feeling at this time. I think Karen Mcfarland says it best: sometimes Reality Bites. Self Care If you are alone for the first time this holiday, be kind to yourself. Sheila Weinstein reinvented her life after the death of her husband of 50 years. Her blog is about the holidays after the loss of a loved one, however, it applies to anyone […]