Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Unguilting Judy

So the Dreamland Series is relaunched. I did the marketing thing. I’m done. I did next to nothing when I launched the Penelope Pembroke Cozy Mystery Series, and it sold like wildfire. Inexplicable. If Dreamland does half as well, I’ll be a happy camper.
But here’s the bottom line: I’m retired. This is my time to do all the things I never had time to do before what with teaching, raising two boys on my own, and later taking care of my parents when they both became terminally ill at the same time. I spent a lifetime feeling “guilty” in one way or another about not doing enough for my students, my children, and my parents. Refer to paragraph #1: I’m done.
Oh, I have a slew of WIPs (works in progress) which will eventually see the light of day, and yes, I’ll ‘put the word out’ when the time comes. But spend a ton of money? Nope. I’ve never done that anyway. Make the conference circuit and ‘network’ or ‘connect’ or whatever the current buzz word is these days. Nope. I’ll go if it looks fun. That’s it. Set up/participate in ‘events’--maybe occasionally but then only to meet other interesting authors and find out what they’re up to. Lugging a ton of promo material and setting up only to have to tear down again is o.u.t.
I’m not writing for a living but rather for the love of writing, and somehow that’s come close to getting lost this last year or two when I started feeling like I had to do more. What more is there to do besides doing something you love?

View of the Arkansas River from atop Petit Jean Mountain

So what have I done this post-launch week? Monday I drove about 60 miles to beautiful Petit Jean State Park and enjoyed the sunshine, took some pictures, and met a lovely older couple (probably MY age, actually) who noticed my comfy t-shirt with the logo CAREFUL OR YOU’LL END UP IN MY NOVEL. She wanted to know about my books and wrote down how to find them. I didn’t even have a card on me!It was a conversation,  not a sales pitch. 
Being in no hurry, I took a different route home and got ‘the lay of the land’ for another trip someday soon. Finally, I retired to my big chair with the laptop and did some revisions on Ruthann’s War, a novella I’ve really gotten into--and not because I hope it ‘sells big’, but because I’m in love with the characters and invested in their lives.
Yesterday I did some reorganizing and getting rid of in my house. I enjoy keeping a clean, organized house. It’s my home, my nest, my refuge. In the afternoon I attended an informational meeting and came home to the budding romance between Ruthann and Jeff, Joan’s secrets, and the wicked Merle Fulton!
Today I’ve folded laundry, put away summer quilts, done a mid-week wastebasket emptying, loaded the back of the Trailblazer with the recycling, and sat down with something cool to drink and the inspiration for this blog--which should have gone up earlier this morning, but who cares? I don’t.
I’ll stop at the recycling place on the way to the library for some browsing in that wonderfully welcoming place. Then it’s back home to Ruthann and Jeff and. . .well, you get the picture.
Tomorrow I’ll be able to help out my d-i-l by picking up the Small Person and the Wee Bear Cub from school (always a joy). Friday, there’s a webinar on my calendar--always fun to learn new things, and it keeps the aging brain active.
I have at least two trips to anticipate this fall, and as the weather changes, they are more reality than thought.
Young or old, today is all we have, and I’m not going to fall into the chasm which almost engulfed me when I began to fancy myself a writer. Of course, I’m a writer. I write, don’t I?
And, I’m going to enjoy it.


Katy Huth Jones said...

Thank you so much for sharing this, Judy! I needed to read this today. :D

Onisha Ellis said...

Unguilting should be an everyday event!