Thursday, December 24, 2009

New Year, New Beginnings

I know it's cliche`; but I love the new year. I love the beginning of things, first day of the week, first day on the new month. I even get a little giddy over the new network shows that premiere every fall.

There is something comforting about the process of starting over. Mistakes? That was last year. Maybe it's all in my head, (maybe?), but it's almost like a mental block goes up protecting me from that embarrasing moment at the bank or awkward slip of the tongue at a friend's party. When it's the new year, we get a do-over.

What would I like to do-over in 2010?


For one, I'd redo all of those moments wasted worrying over the things I cannot change. Things like, what the people in line at the store think of my outfit; or whether the lady on the phone meant to be rude. Maybe those things just don't really make all that much difference in the grand scheme of things. So, maybe 2010 will be the year I forget to worry so much about the thoughts other people may or may not have about me; and a little more about the things I can do to clean up the place a bit.

Another thing. Who needs anger? I want peace. Anger is so overrated. For a long time, it was the fuel of my resolve, the power in my conversations. More than anything, I want the elusive element of peace in my life. I wish for it in the lives of friends and loved ones; most especially for those who have drifted further away from me.

The new year is so fresh and new. It's the clean slate that has yet to be marked; the story yet to be told. I have so much hope, so much to look forward to. In this next year, may all of us have peace, prosperity and love written all over 2010.

Peace be with you all,

Saturday, December 19, 2009

My Favorite Accolade

As a writer, especially in the very beginning, words of praise and compliments on your writing mean a great deal. When a customer or an editor calls your work 'excellent' or 'very well written', the reassurance hits that maybe, just maybe, you are a talented writer.
Up to now, by far my greatest compliment came just a week ago. A large group of people were coming to my house to celebrate my daughter's birthday. My dad came up early, spending a good deal of the morning with us as he often does on a Sunday. A first draft proof copy of The Starter Life was sitting out on the dining room table, (begging to be edited as it does most days.) Well, as I was bustling around the kitchen preparing dinner, I looked over to see my dad sitting at the table, reading my book.
My dad is a man of few words. He does not throw compliments away. He does not spend excessive amounts of time on flattery or flowery adjectives. Watching him sitting in my dining room reading The Starter Life spoke for itself.
Time passed and dad turned several pages. I'm not sure how much he read in total; but he sat there for a long time anyway. Dad and I don't sit around talking about how much we mean to each other; but we both know. There is a priceless mutual respect I treasure; which is why the hour he spent reading my magnum opus was the best accolade I could have.
Thanks, Dad.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Glorious Freelance Life

Okay, so maybe glorious is a bit of a stretch; but so far freelancing has treated me very well. As a writer, I have picked up ghostwriting work on Textbroker and continue to seek work elsewhere. My day revolves around one exciting project after another. Maybe it isn't exactly the glamorous life of a best-selling novelist; but for the first time I am finding an outlet for my life's passion. As editorial reviews trickle in, my confidence builds and I learn more and more about the craft of writing; and the pursuit of excellence in it.
I know I am an incurable goof; but some mornings when I open my laptop for the first time, steaming cup of coffee in hand, somewhere in the back of my mind I can hear Jim Croce crooning "I've Got a Name" and I see pines and winding roads. Something about this has to do with writing, though I haven't figured that part out just yet.
For what it's worth, I've decided to reacquaint myself with my dear old friend Freddie, who, like me, is too adept at bouncing all over the place, though I am happier about it than she is. (Just to catch you up, Freddie is the main character in my novel The Starter Life, which is still in its adolescent-not-quite-edited stage.) I had an epiphany the other day about my life; and I think dear old Freddie fits the same bill. I am like the air bubble in a level; I bounce around outside of the level marks, but sometimes I get dead solid centered. This is the place to be, where inspiration flows and the words just hum.
For now, my freelancing profile keeps building; and the novel collects less dust on the shelf. The good news is that I find myself consulting the AP writer's guide less and less. Semi-colons are, after all, not the enemy.