Sunday, September 16, 2012

You don't have to hunt for buried treasure...

Having decided to cut back on a few writing-related pursuits in order to enjoy some long-neglected activities (like genealogy), I've uncovered some real treasures.

First, while unpacking some stored genealogy forms, I found the ISBN (numbers) I'd purchased about a dozen years ago when you had to buy them in batches--and they weren't cheap! I'd been quietly sick for years over their loss--but five moves and many real life events almost justified my disorganization. But there they were--fresh as the day they were purchased (and still good), nestled among a ton of blank genealogy forms to be sorted. So the question of whether or not to use ISBN (numbers) as I go 'indie' is now moot.

Second, I attended a meeting of the local genealogical society recently and came away with a whole new concept of incorporating writing into genealogy and preserving my memories and tons of family history for my children and grandchildren. Rather than explaining it here, I'll direct you to Legacy Stories where you can read about it for yourself. You won't regret it. Even if you're not in to genealogy, you still have stories to tell and pictures to share, and someday, a great-great-grandchild will bless you for it! Besides, that's what writers do, don't they? Write?

Third, at the same meeting, the speaker mentioned a ring belonging to her mother and how she wore it daily. When she explained how her mother came by the ring, I felt the stirrings of another short story. It just goes to prove ideas are everywhere. Jot them down in that notebook all writers keep stashed...you DO keep one in your purse or tote, don't you?

Amid all the uncovering of treasures, I've had time to think about myself as a writer, and perhaps the revelation which has come to me is the greatest treasure of all. Growing up and through young adulthood and middle age, and now in my 'golden years',  I've always wanted to write--and so I have. The thought of being published crossed my mind occasionally, but it was never the reason I wrote. So, now that I have five novels and assorted 'shorts' in print (one in ebook), I still want to write for the same reason--because I love it. Publication is, as it's always been, just an afterthought. I'll still pursue it, though not tenaciously, and it won't be the reason I turn on the computer and pull up a blank page.

Writing is a way to express my feelings, to preserve the past, to meet like-minded people, to experience the world more fully. What more can I ask from something that gives me pleasure?

I can't close this blog without mentioning that yesterday I strolled in to Best Buy to inquire about the new Kindle Fire HD, expecting to be told it must be preordered. Instead, I danced out of the store in possession of that very item AND all my books transferred from Kindle #1! Did I need it? Well, not really. My "old" Kindle hasn't reached its first birthday and is sufficient for the basics. Did I want it? YES. It's a new frontier to explore, and I always wanted to live in 'pioneer days'.

For someone who is approaching the milestone of seven decades on this earth--who grew up in an era of clunky typewriters, ten-key adding machines, Saturday morning radio programs, boxy telephones which could be moved no further than the cord would reach, clotheslines instead of dryers, evaporative coolers in summer and gas space heaters in winter, three-cent stamps and air mail or special delivery for a bit more, record players (78rpm, 45rpm, 33rpm) and cool, quiet libraries--the advent of the cell phone, the internet, e-readers, calculators, and all other technology has gifted me with my dream.

Though not trudging along behind a covered wagon pulled by oxen, I am still traveling to the new and unknown, and it is a true adventure!
 ~~~~~
 PS Watch for the new Penelope Pembroke website coming soon! And she may have her own blog, too!
~~~~~
PS PS My website has had a facelift--per the advice I passed on in a recent blog. Check it out! 


1 comment:

Liz Flaherty said...

A great post! I still love cool, quiet libraries and clotheslines, though. I think your attitude is just excellent. At 62, I'm still pushing the writing as hard as I can--maybe I should back off a bit and see if the words come easier.