Vacations are great. They’re so nice, sometimes I need a break from real life after a vacation—the old “I need a vacation to recuperate from my vacation” situation. That’s about what happened, but now I’m here, and this week marks my first full one back in the old routine.
Boring, you might think, but it’s not so. Structure is a good thing in my house, as highly sought after as a trip to “The most magical place on earth.” When living with autism, there needs to be a sense of balance in day-to-day life. My oldest son loves his wall calendar. He needs to know when to expect certain activities and send reinforcements if the month doesn’t have a “Play Date” listed at least once. Our schedule might not be as hectic as yours, but both he and I need to know where we’re going in the days ahead, even if it’s just a “work” and “play” day at home.
Where does all this talk lead me? To the realization that even though I didn’t finish the first draft of my current work-in-progress, THE UNRAVELING THREADS OF KYNDRA FIELDS, before leaving on vacation like I wanted to, I will finish by the end of this month. That might be a big leap for some, but hang in there. When (not if) I complete this draft, it will be my quickest completion to date. Granted it will also be my shortest manuscript, but taking a full story from idea to finished first draft in six months is amazing for this writer.
More on this forth coming miracle in the next two weeks, for now, let’s savor in the vacation memories.
Where have you gone lately?
Last month I posted about my photographic journey through the backyard while seeking inspiration. Among images captured were items in various stages of rust.
For the newer visitors, CORRODED is the (working) title of one of my finished manuscripts. Since writing the novel, I’ve been seeking out corrosion and rust in everyday life. There is a beauty in the patina, art in the rainbow of colors on the different objects.
Since this has been a week of sorrow and reflection for many, please remember to seek for the good. Hope can be found all around, even in a rusty pipe.
Happiest of Book Birthdays to one of my critique buddies, Joyce Scarbrough!
AFTER Me is ready for purchase for your Kindle or Nook.
I’ve got my copy ready.
My blurb: AFTER ME is a hilariously dark look into the afterlife of a privileged teen who had a less than ideal home and personal life. Given a chance to avenge her death by taking on a new identity, readers will laugh and root for Jada during her adventures in the world of the transdead living among us.
Creatively, it’s been a rough month. Literary rejections and a house full of visiting kids are the two biggest factors. Both of these can provide inspiration, but dished out simultaneously over the course of the past few weeks, my soul was beginning to wilt.
What could I do to find peace and inspiration while keeping watch over seven kids? Trek around the backyard, while tuning out the noise of the kickball game for a few minutes.
My goal was twofold: find examples of FORTITUDE in nature as well as the beautiful patina of CORRODED metal.
Mission accomplished, spirits lifted!
With the help of my camera, I recorded these wonders in abundance and will share them over the next few posts. Today, I’m skipping Fernando (though there is good news from his neighborhood) and going straight to the back fence. When my family moved into this house nearly two decades ago, there was a tree growing through the fence, just one or two links worth. We left it alone, and now it looks like this.
It’s sad, in a way, but a powerful example of growing despite trials and perceived road blocks.
What could have halted progression became woven into its life, making the core stronger. (It’s survived several hurricanes.)
Not only is this tree still growing, it’s providing a craggy surface for other living things. Love that moss!
The textures are amazing.
Where can you find inspiration today?
Sixteen years ago today my oldest was born and things haven’t been the same since. I can’t imagine life without him (or the other two that followed.) We have a special bond, in part because of my husband’s job but also because our personalities are similar. We were solo a lot of the time during his first several years of life, but when he was diagnosed on the autism spectrum at three years old, my world opened up. Without my son, I wouldn’t understand myself as well as I do, my other kids would probably have health issues, and I wouldn’t have found a good percentage of the books I read. His autism has enabled new understanding, peace, and preventative strategies for health and well-being. It’s allowed me to make connections with people I wouldn’t have otherwise met and inspired several of my articles and manuscripts. My son has motivated my life, from writing to relationships, from reading to travel. It’s been a journey of love, with plenty of ups and downs to share along the way. Here’s to more years of sharing.
As noted in a previous post, my life fell apart sometime late spring. True, it was nothing disastrous—more like a mini-emotional breakdown—but it was a call to action.
My reading slowed.
My writing was non-existent.
My health and sanity = Scary Carrie.
I’m happy to report the past six weeks have proven productive, as well as enjoyable. I started charting monthly goals, and while June’s targets were a call to action, I’m pleased to share that I met half of them (plus made progress in the other categories.) I’m in a much better place than I was just over a month ago.
And it feels great!
Even though the elements maybe stacked against us—see, even Fernando is battling wilt—fortitude works. Whether it’s through service to others, improving your own health, or embracing faith, life is about making this day better than the one before. Goals help me focus and stay accountable, how about you?