5-Day Positivity Challenge–Day 1

Karen Hogenauer, my chassis-shaking, booty-bopping friend tagged me to participate in The 5-Day Positivity Challenge. For five days, I have to write three positive things about my life on my Facebook wall, as well as tag three friends to do the same. I’m going to run with this. For one thing, I have so much to appreciate, and for another I’m going to use this as an opportunity to get back into blogging. For all those people I tag as I go along, you DO NOT have to blog, just post on Facebook.


Here goes:

1. The way the sunlight illuminates my bonsai Horton-Hears-A-Who Bottle Palm in the morning, (no, it’s not really called that, I just made up the name–looks like those trees in Dr. Seuss’s book, don’t you think?).

2. Whole Foods $1 oyster sale yesterday. Yess!! Only thing, I didn’t have any fresh horseradish, and the brine was missing.  Maybe it was because the guy shucked the oysters and then placed them on ice, which melted by the time I got to them that evening, drowning the oysters. Next time, I’ll eat them right away.

3. The War on Drugs song, Lost in a Dream.



Celebrating My Book Cover

It’s Celebrate The Small Things Day. Something I’ve achieved each week, no matter how small. If you’re interested in doing the same thing sign up here at Vicki’s blog. But before I tell you what I’m celebrating today, I have a little catching up to do since I’ve been missing from this spot for an entire month. And I’ve got to thank Kate Larkindale over at Fiction and Film for commenting on my last blog and inspiring me to get back in the game. Thanks Kate!

I’m blaming my absence on summer. I just gave into it. I put off all my writing projects, including finishing the proofs for Loveyoubye and choosing the final cover for the book. Instead, I danced my ass off at Laguna’s “Music In The Park” every Sunday, sometimes after which me and my girlfriend Laural would stop at this or that little rooftop or beachside bar and have a nightcap before heading home. Then there were those sunset dinners with friends and that wonderful spur of the moment day spent in Studio City with my five brilliant writer girlfriends, the trip up to Sierra Buttes in northern California (woods and lakes and cooler than here) with my son and two granddaughters—damn those little girls are fun!

But then I got an email from She Writes Press; my decision on Loveyoubye’s cover was due on Friday. Time to call it. Now, I’m not that hot on making decisions anyway, but this one has been agonizing. What if it’s crap? But time was up. That’s where the celebrating comes in. Yesterday, I took a deep breath and in the early morning chill of approaching fall, I submitted my book cover proofs!


One Week Later

I’ve got to tell you, not having to blog every day is not a good thing. It was a relief for the first couple of days and then I lost track of time, and here it is already an entire week since I last blogged! I’m realizing that I need to blog, it forces me to stay focused and to think on my feet; it forces me to extend myself, to move beyond my writing insecurities. But the thing is, I really do need to get my YA novel Monkey’s Wedding ready for publication.

And now that I’m in there with fresh eyes after finishing my memoir, Loveyoubye, and all my blogging adventures–which really gave me a handle on immediacy and brevity–I’m seeing flaws I hadn’t noticed before. There’s that information download on the third page, that I can parse in later, that labored description of one of the characters. And then worst of all, a time issue. A time issue! After all my plotting, all those charts. Well, it’s a good thing I love to edit.


Moving On

For the past two weeks I’ve been sitting on the second round of edits I need to make to my memoir Loveyoubye and then it will finally be done.

Five years of working through all the emotions, the tears and anguish. Five years of waking in the middle of the night, filled with doubt that I had the right to tell my story. Five years of sorting through what to put in and what to leave out. Five years of memoir writing classes and workshops, learning how very different memoir is from fiction, getting past fiction’s iron clad rule to “show don’t tell.” In memoir, it’s tell, tell, tell.

I spilled my guts. And then I sent the manuscript to Thomas White, an editor recommended by my memoir writing mentor for a comprehensive edit. I didn’t realize just how comprehensive his edit would be. He picked up each line, turned it over, examined the bottom, sniffed it, held it up to the light. And asked questions. Difficult penetrating questions that made me realize that I’d held back, that there was still more to tell. His questions took me down paths that unearthed tiny pieces of the puzzle of my experience I didn’t know were missing.

And now all I have to do is make those last few changes. Easy ones, especially after what I’ve been through. But there’s been a force field around my manuscript. I haven’t been able to crack that file. I’m anxious and miserable. I think what’s happening is that I’m afraid of finally being done. I’m afraid I will have nothing more to write. I’m afraid of sending Loveyoubye out into the world where others will get a peek into what I’m about. But you know what, I have to do it. Writing this book revealed a whole lot of me to myself and provided a healing I wouldn’t have found any other way.

Maybe now that I’ve been able to write about it in this blog, I can make those changes. And get on with writing.

Receiving the Liebster Blog Award

Thanks so very much to Irma of lilyandrose for nominating me for the Liebster Blog Award. How lovely is that? Especially since the German word, Liebster, can mean dearest, beloved or favorite. Makes me feel that way. This award is given to bloggers with less than 200 followers, and is traditionally accepted and passed on as follows:

  1. Show thanks to the blogger who awarded you by linking back to their blog.
  2. Pick 5 blogs with less than 200 followers and let them know about your nomination by leaving a comment on their blog
  3. Post the award on your blog

So here are my nominations:

Samantha Stacia

Jodie Aman

Kelley Harrell

Nancy Hinchliff

Thelma Zirkelbach



I’m Drowning Not Waving

Truly.  I’ve been drowning in a sea of other people’s blogs, envying everyone’s facility with words, unable to write one word of my own.  It wasn’t that difficult when I started the blog, I was still in the process of editing my memoir, in the groove.  That was four months ago.  And then the words started to trickle away.  So what is it?  Blog block?  Writer’s block?  I don’t think they’re the same.  After all, I’m able to write in my meditation journal after contemplating the world at large, the greater purpose in all things, and my frustrations with an ease I didn’t feel before; the words just flow.  This is what I wrote yesterday: “I do believe this (my inability to blog) is a necessary phase, a deepening, gestating phase and my fear and doubt that I have nothing more to say as well as my pattern of balls-out pushing all the time is making it more difficult.  All in good time.  I just have to let go.”

I can’t.