Sunday, October 13, 2013
It’s been eight months since my big journey south this past winter. Some of the reasoning for undertaking the trip was the need to get away from the New Hampshire winter, get out of the house, get away from grieving the loss of my mother, give myself something else to think about, and find and stabilize a life direction.
The adventure was exciting and I saw things I’d never seen before. There was fear and wonder. I visited many places and fit more in during those 33 days than in the past fifteen years and when I got home, I buckled down to put the experience into a book. Words cannot describe the intense joy that I felt over my discoveries and I was eager to share.
I never got a big revelation during the journey about my life’s direction. (Then again, I know it doesn’t really work that way.) I simply delighted in each experience whether it was exploring a plantation or wild life refuge or feeling homesick and missing my kitty. I bowed down to writing when I got home knowing that it might take up to a year to finish the book. I was a little disappointed to not feel any great life-changing event, but such as it is. The months began to pass.
I ran into obstacles with the book. I had many questions and was finding few answers. I know what I wanted with the book, but was it reasonable? If I could pull it off, it would be amazing! Unfortunately, I had to be realistic and consider what such a book would cost. Then in mid-summer, I was dealt another emotional blow with the loss of my bestest best kitty. I was devastated and I floundered.
Bringing a new kitty into my life helped me move on. She distracted me from the grief and I was able to get back to the book. I decided to make changes and dealing with those set me back as I changed photos from color to black and white to save cost. The writing of the book itself is finished and now it’s about fitting the text from the 8 ½ x 11 MS Word document into a 7 x 10 Open Office template and inserting the photos and maps. It’s tedious and frustrating. I thought the hard part would be the writing. It’s not. It’s this other stuff. Plus I have to do Table of Contents and Lists of Photos and Maps.
In the meantime, I took on another project, another of photo and writing. Oh, yes, I realized I’d been bitten by the travel bug big time. So, now I have multiple books going on at the same time even before the first is completed. But, this is exciting. I am excited and inspired!
I still want to do my other art, the charcoal landscape drawings, but I AM foremost a writer and I always have been. I also realize that this new life direction isn’t really new. It’s been on my mind for a couple years. It’s just today it feels like I’ve been hit in the head with a board that THIS IS what I am meant to do! (Almost like a du’uh, I should have known.)
This has certainly been a year of learning about myself. I’ve become a better writer and the biggest thing is that I not only honed my writing style, but I’ve come to accept that this IS my style. It doesn’t matter about all the other writers who have gone on before me. I am not them and I cannot follow their styles. I am me. This is who I am. I have to be able to FEEL my writing and I want to bring that to my readers.
Today, almost eight months to the day I returned from the big adventure, it hit me; the light bulb went off. That trip south DID do what it was supposed to do! I am re-inspired about life. I have a life direction and this new big project WILL take the rest of my life. I’m excited about life again.