I have kept a blog for a long time. Julia came home from China in 2006, my first post on my first blog was in September, 2005. The focus has changed over the years—adoption and its fall out, diagnosis and more fall out, more diagnoses, more fall out, therapy, school programs, transplant, death, single motherhood, autism, attachment, travel with my girl, moving, transitioning, shut down, covid and all of its fall out. And through it all I’ve kept writing, not always every day or even extremely regularly, but I’ve kept at it and, dare I say, somewhat improved in saying what is in my heart as much of the time as possible.
The process of writing is essential in my existence but rarely have I studied the process or routinely subjected my work to critique, save the kind words of friends and visitors to this blog. David was the one who took the courses, got the graduate degree, taught multiple kinds of writing; and he was successful in finishing and publishing novels. I have merely and persistently written—mostly journaling since a teen with a few forays into fiction.
But now. Now. Now. With a new year. I feel the tug of what may be next.
Through HILR, I taken two semesters of a memoir writing class, studying with Judy Foreman, reporter, science writer and, soon to be published, novelist, I’ve amassed somewhere in the neighborhood of 40,000 words on what I remember. I will take another semester with Judy and next summer I will begin to assemble what I’ve written into some sort of large work with the intent of publishing, primarily on Chasing Joy and perhaps in print commercially.
My intent right now for the coming months is to (1) work on the look and shape of the blog, (2) learn about the commercial market for memoirs, (3) find another venue to show my pieces for critique and (4) of course, keep writing.
In other news:
Julia is off with her therapist to shop at Hot Topic. She has a budget and can spend it. I have a few hours free.
After truly enjoying the late service at FUUSN—singing with the choir and reading two beautiful pieces for the assembled crowd. And watching the darkened church come alive with the small candles that were lit one at a time from the front of the chancery to the back. After that, we went home and to bed, waking late, leisurely opening the gifts under the tree for Julia. We expected to return to New Hampshire to spend the day with Justin’s family, still sans Justin and Cheshire, but one of their number didn’t feel well and the roads were beginning to get icy. In crazy addition, Julia took a very unusual midday nap and I had a tickle in my throat. Neither led to anything more than what they were but I did not know that at the time. Perhaps none of these pointed to extreme risk and I should have just gone up for a Christmas feast for body and spirit, but . . . . well, we didn’t go. Julia was disappointed as she had worked on a craft gift. I had not planned any Christmas dinner. The day loomed very long.
And so, we did some drawing, we practiced the new cello piece—a BTS tune, “home,” that Miles found cello sheer music for. Julia is very excited about it—notes are easy, rhythm is almost impossible for me to count so we are listening to the piece every day. We are a week into practicing and I am beginning to understand the shape of it.
We cleaned up a finished puzzle and opened a new one. Then we picked out too many dishes of Chinese take-out and settled down to watch the first Matrix movie. I had worried that the movie was too complicated for Julia. In truth, it was too complicated for me 20 years ago although I considered myself somewhat computer savvy. Back then, I could not wrap my head around systems and a matrix that one could be inside and outside. And who were all those guys in glasses!? The machines I use every day, our saving to clouds, and using multiple operating systems, etc., has allowed my head to finally catch up. I got it this time! Julia had no problem at all. Her only questions were about the dial phones and phone booths and why they needed to use phones to begin with.
After the movie, we cleaned up, threw a load into the washer and retired to our own machines. I changed the blog theme and Julia uploaded a new game.
In sum, it was an acceptable holiday. Not overly jolly or joyful, but not terrible either. Resilience and persistent remain powerful superpowers. And thank all the micromanaging deities for those superpowers.