“Grammy, did you know I’m a mind reader?” my grandson Eli asked me one afternoon while we sat playing cards at the dining room table.
“Really?” I responded. “Well, read my mind.”
We put our cards down on the table, and Eli concentrated for a moment, staring at me intently. Then he said, “Hmm, you got nothing, Grammy.”
That’s how I feel lately when I sit down to write a new blog. Like I got nothing! That’s in part because I can’t read my readers’ minds. I’m not sure what content they are interested in.
I began writing this blog after Ed died in 2010. I wanted to reach other people who had lost a loved one and were grieving; then, after several years, when my life shifted, and I began to heal, my topics shifted as well. I began writing about love and life and my progress in writing books.
I wrote about my fabulous month-long journey to the Marshall Islands in a series of blogs I will one day turn into a memoir on the trip. And I’ve also had interns and colleagues expand on the blog’s subject matter by taking a close look at the writing lives of authors and poets in the Pioneer Valley.
My passion is telling stories about life, so that’s what I’ll do today. I always have passion for stories.
My latest story is that my boyfriend of four years—do you remember Poor Guy?—and I have broken up, and it’s taken me back to the loss I felt after Ed died. It’s sad and confusing when a relationship comes to an end, and you don’t know what to do with the good memories and history.
It also has not helped my creativity that my daughter Molly is home from Majuro and will head back on July 31. I am enjoying her company but can’t help ticking off the days in my head, marking down to the time when she will disappear again for another year. I don’t do well with all this change and all the goodbyes.
At first, I worried that the break-up would halt my work on Unleashing the Sun because it was this relationship that was the muse for telling the story. But then I realized that this life transition was freeing in a way, and it gave me a new freedom to really imagine what could be in the book, what could happen with Alex and Roxie.
Becoming single again brought my learnings from the Bay Pay University Writer’s Day into greater focus. It was at Bay Path that I heard authors talk about imagining “what if?” and it seems that, for the first time, I really got it.
I had some great “What if?” thoughts about both Alex and Roxie that have led me to writing new scenes that I feel good about when I read them back to myself.
Here’s the rest of the good news: Molly and I are planning to meet in Hawaii this year around Christmastime for a few weeks. (I’m sure I will find blog inspiration there!) And after I finish Unleashing the Sun and the memoir on visiting the Marshall Islands, I am planning to make a cross-country trip to do readings and sell books. (More blog fodder, totally!)
So, please keep reading and do post a comment, telling the interns and I what blogs you most enjoy. We’d love the feedback.
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