A new year, a new day, a notebook filled with dreams, and events, and tradgedies. Today I am adding another page for the first time in ten months. You see one week after I started this blog, I found my husband lying semi-conscious on the granite floor of our kitchen. As I write, from the breakfast nook I can look over to the salt and pepper granite floor where I discovered him that thunder and lightning pre-dawn morning. He lay in small space between the coffee bar and the hexagon work island. My gasp was sharp, but the calmness surprised me. The prognosis was pulmonary embolism. Later it became worse.
Time is a creature that never rests. Death is a stalker in our home. We don’t know when but we hear the ticking of the bomb. We try to go through as though everything is normal. But it is far from it. Only our routine remains. Everything else has vastly changed. We deal. We play the cards given us, as best we can. Sometimes the strategies we choose work and we win, and sometimes we get out played. But the point is we play. You see dealing with pain and loss is tricky. Putting your head in the sand, makes things easier for some. A security blanket of protection in a world of denial allows a certain freedom. If you don’t think about it, it doesn’t exist. But sometimes, you face the facts. You try bravery. You embrace the pain. Stare into the abyss, fall in and let it teach you how to survive. It’s a see-saw more than a constant. Choices aren’t always black and white, like salt and pepper granite floors choices can be hard. Change is overwhelming at times.
One choice I had to make was my career. Off to a good start with two acceptances in January and February things came to a halt in March. However in July, I became a contributing author and researcher for Blood Puddles, a literary horror journal. It is a learning curve I have enjoyed. I have also had a few rejections. Near misses, I was told. Disappointing, except for the fact that I feel my writing has improved. My new editor likes my unique voice and style, likening me to some greats like Carver, Bukowski and Victoria Erickson. Not sure of the high praise, but I am sure that the advice and guidance on my work is helping me understand the process better and to “bleed on the keyboard.”
I’m making the work more meaningful. I am grateful for this. You will be seeing my new tag line from this thought. It is “Writers, they say things.” I have completed serveral stories and have a huge backlog of ideas. I need to use my time and focus to continue with building inventory and begin submitting. Good news is my short story “Finished” has been accepted for publication. I learned of it this month and it will be out this spring. Other things on the to do list are to restructure my files, social media pages and website. Yep, lots to do. But the group is nearly 500 members and I need to care for them.
What I am most proud of is the number of professional and fellow writers which have been kind about my work. The feedback has been positive and that has lifted my hopes and increased my drive to do more. Thus, finally getting back to the blog. I hope to write once a week and hope you will enjoy the read and the path with me. One such author suprised me today. I shared a rejected work with her to get feedback on improvement and she blogged about me, much to my surprise. Here is what Lucie Guerre had to say:
” … I read a short story by one of my author friends, and her attention to detail was just fabulous. The story is not published yet, but every so often, I would just let out a little sigh and wish I had a physical copy of her story because I would underscore sentences that just rang as visceral truths to me, whether it was “the silence eating my mind–shredding my guts” or “the endless water torture of days”, I was simply blown away.” via Just Musing — Inside the World of Lucie Guerre
Thank you Lucie in the sky for your diamond heart and kindness. I am grateful for this last then months. I have changed more in the last few months than I have in decades. The darkness life brings is powerful, as powerful as the light. Embracing both has brought me closer toward balance. I don’t know what the future brings, but I know that I will be able to handle whatever comes my way. I have learned to March forward.
Be you. Be grateful. Be reading!
C.L. Steele, Author
Writers, they say things.