Sunday, January 30, 2011

One of Those Days

I had decided that I wasn’t going to blog this Sunday. It would be a blessing to anyone who actually reads them because I woke up on the wrong side of the world this morning. I wish I knew why.

I know why I shouldn’t have. I got a good night’s sleep. I even got to sleep in, whispering to Shelby, the dog that sleeps at my right side and was nuzzling me with wet kisses, “go back to bed”. Even half asleep, I remember being awed that she understood my words and curled back under the covers; Petie, the dog on the left, snuggling even closer when he heard them. Surrounded by love, safe in a warm bed with a peaked roof over my head, the sunlight streaming in through the window, I should have woken in a great mood. I didn’t. And the day has steadily gone downhill. And I don’t know why.

Is it some kind of body chemistry that alters a good mood? Maybe a food allergy to pizza and the too many sweets that I treated myself to on Saturday? Or is it because of boredom? A lack of motivation, creativity, or any newness in my life that crept in through the night and attacked my feel-good mood cells? I think it must be the lack of creativity for I have no other reason for depression, not while I’m enjoying good health, good friends, and a good job and good life. And to be honest, it doesn’t feel like depression, a feeling I know way too well. Instead, it’s like I’ve lost my footing, a case of mood vertigo.

So, instead of torturing myself and you with a blog, oops, I’ve already done that, I’m going to head to the craft store. I have no idea what I want to make but surely I’ll find something to peak my interest, activate the “I wanna” cells. Maybe next week’s blog will be a “show & tell” or “how not to”. Either way, I promise it will be a better one.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Time For A New Decor

It’s another gray winter morning. It matches my mood today. Perhaps that is where I am in life at this age though. Days turning into more gray than golden. Gray being a color in transition, losing its brightness, a safer hue, a more “content” hue (nicer than saying “boring”) isn’t necessarily bad. The morning gray gives me the opportunity to be just for a while longer; not belittle myself for delaying cleaning the bathrooms, cleaning the closets, clearing the clutter from my desk, and struggling to write my weekly blog. Instead it is letting me go with the flow while typing and nestling a one-eye pup on my shoulder, savoring his warmth, his neediness, and his love along with the peace in my mind and heart.

I’ve always said and believed that I need sunshine to be my best or even to get me moving. It is fuel for my body, the light bulb for my mind, and the matchstick for my emotions. But do I need to be “on” all the time? Can I instead be wise enough to realize that I no longer have the energy to go and do all? That I don’t need to anymore? That I no longer have to prove to anyone that I’ve earned my worth?

No. I don’t. In fact, I think it’s time for a new décor. A mix of grays and golds. With a dash of Cardinal red although he hasn’t showed up today. Hum… maybe he knows he no longer has to hurl him against the window pane to get my attention.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Point of View on Self-Publishing

As I have done lately, my own life being quite comfortably boring, I looked to the Sunday newspaper for this week’s blog inspiration. I opted to disregard the Sunday column that totes another banner for us Boomers who are turning 65 this year by the droves. Old hat news which only serves to make me feel really old. While 65 is a milestone that I’ll be delighted to reach, it’s not the pinnacle, or so I hope, of my life and what I still hope to achieve: becoming a published novelist.

But what I still hope to achieve is rapidly becoming passé and that saddens me as well as depresses me. I am referring to the article in today’s newspaper about e-books and well-known and respected novelists preferring to self-publish. This isn’t new news. I’ve read about it before (and chose to forget that I did) and I’ve had discussions with a friend or two who knew this was coming. I chose to disagree with them. Today the multi-columned article about authors abandoning publishing houses and self-publishing instead wormed its way into my reality which is now being challenged.

I’m of the age where self-publishing, vanity presses as we boomers know it, was the avenue a writer took when all other roads were too bumpy or too hard to navigate, i.e., those whose work didn’t cut the mustard so to speak. Call it what is was and still is for some of us—writer snobbery. I’m not ashamed of it. I received way too many rejections from publishers and editors because my work wasn’t what they wanted or wasn’t good enough for them. I’m proud of those rejections because of the euphoric high I got when I’d finally received those acceptances for that short story or a creative nonfiction piece. The rejections made me want to write better, made me determined to keep trying, and in turn, made me succeed. In other words, whenever I got an acceptance, I’d earned it. My writing had been better than good. You don’t get that validation when you self-publish.

For those novelists who’ve already proved their work’s worth, if they are writing purely for money and their egos are so secure that they don’t need to fear their work isn’t as good as it could be, maybe self-publishing is the right path for them to go. I also realize that there are those successful writers who choose the self-publishing route to make their books more affordable to their readers. That’s a good thing. But I’m not in that writers league, so if I ever get that novel or memoir published, I want to know it was because someone else besides me and my friends recognized that it was worthy of the publishing investment and that I earned that advancement check.

P.S. The Cardinal is back at my window this morning doing his best to get my attention. I learned from my dear niece that seeing a Cardinal in winter is a blessing. Since he only shows up for certain blogs, maybe this is a sign that I should finish this last novel that I’ve been working on.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


It is a rainy, cold, and dreary Texas winter day but I wasn’t too depressed until I read a column this morning about Hugh Hefner’s engagement to a 24-year old Playmate. Woe is me. I never was a Playmate and never will be. Never got to out with the likes of Hef when I was young and sure can’t now that Crystal has snagged him. Oh God, please let me count my blessings!

What depresses me, if I force the issue, is that I wouldn’t want an 84-year old geezer no matter how rich he was. Heck, I wouldn’t want a 70-year old. So where does that leave me? I’m not rich enough to be a cougar nor do I look the part. I’ve kept the nature look going except for the hair color, not because I don’t care anymore, but because I’m a wuss. Pain doesn’t interest me nor does injecting myself with poison. So that means that I’ve reached that age when any sex appeal I had went south with everything else. Don’t tell the old farts, but so has theirs!

I confess I’ve looked on the senior online dating services (for pure writing research only of course) and I ain’t seen nothing that I wanted to buy a subscription to the service for. I admit I’m shallow. Looks do mean something and a photo of some ogre who should have a number tag hanging under his double chin doesn’t peak my interest. Nor does the some of the profiles these senior charmers write. “Love to skinny-dip with that special one.” OMG! Hey, Crystal, have you and Hef gone skinny dip yet? Bet if ya did, you’d break off the engagement. Or about the one that writes “Am extremely affection and will smother that special someone with kisses.” Hum, I’ve got two adorable little dogs that do that.

Nope. Now that Hef is taken, I’m going to give up on the hunt and resign myself to my life of singleness. It’s a good life filled with family, friends, books, and puppy dogs to give me all those kisses. But hey, if you know of a handsome, well-built and fit senior between 62 and 66 who would be interested in someone who’s not beautiful, well-built and fit, but is funny, reasonably intelligent, love dogs, and hates to cook or clean house, well….. I guess you could give them my name and number. Or maybe not. I really am quite content with my singleness at this stage of my life.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2011 New Year's Resolution

I’m not an especially religious person but I do consider myself spiritual. I am also a superstitious person which, to me, is a direct conflict. (Maybe that explains some of my personality quirks.) Now I’m not the kind that throws salt over my shoulder or believes that if a black cat crosses your path, it will bring bad luck. I’ve had four black cats in my life and I’ve never blamed them for any of my bad choices: the cause of most of my bad luck. Yet for some reason, I avoid walking under a ladder, mostly for fear something or someone will fall on me, and as a child, I always was careful not to step on a crack so I wouldn’t hurt my mother’s back. Unless I was roller skating, playing hop scotch, or running away from the boggy man. But I do believe in omens—sometimes.

The reason I chose this theme is because there was a beautiful scarlet cardinal hurling himself again my window. I was afraid he would hurt himself so I went outside to chase him away. Several times. He'd fly a few feet then relay his message with loud chirps. I didn’t have a translator. I wondered if maybe a dear friend was in distress but I didn't call them. They might think I’m crazy. But they know me and love me so they already have accepted my eccentricities. My neighbors not so much so I can only imagine what they were thinking as I stood outside pleading with “Pretty Bird, please go away” or when I brought out wind chimes and a decorative wooden bird cage to distract or catch the manic cardinal, neither of which worked by the way.

The cardinal left yesterday afternoon when I did or so I assume since I did not find a corpse when I returned and I no longer hear or see him. But I can’t help thinking he was trying to tell me something and that I didn’t get the message. That has happened so many times in my life. I didn’t get the message or the invitation. When I told my friend, Lesly, yesterday about the cardinal, she said, “He’s trying to tell you to open the damn window!” So that is my 2011 New Year Resolution – Open that damn window! I just might be surprised at the friendships, joy, beauty and music that fly in. Now if I could figure out what that damn ugly possum sitting on my fence is trying to tell me…