A major task in my city is freeway driving. Trying to get from Point A to Point B is an impossible issue. Traffic is a snail’s ride on a parking lot, causing significant irritations, especially when time isn’t on your side. Recently, when I was in a holding pattern, within a ¼ of a mile from my exit—a thought came to me watching all those solo drivers. ‘How many were alone, had family, or had friends.’ Continue reading
A tree is in my house. A tree in my house is unadorned with lights, ornaments, or presents. I’ve been studying its shape and its nakedness.
Over this past week, its image has become a focal point for my morning meditation. The tree’s calmness and the stillness of its branches, resonates inside me, a reflection of this year.
There is a song written by Yoko Ono and John Lennon~~~Happy Christmas (War is Over). The first two lines are in my mind as timeless and poignant, as any sung this time of season….
So this is Christmas and what have you done
Another year over, a new one just begun
The naked tree standing before me represents the present and future.
The tree’s trunk is the present, my foundation. My thoughts of who I am, not just as a writer, but of a person filled with empathy for those who have less than I do. I walk past the homeless, no longer labeled as men or women—just homeless. I feel empathy because I know (and have to believe in my heart) that not one of these people was born with the main thought, When I grow up, I want to be homeless. My empathy as I meditate fills with sadness, for there are so many homeless sleeping under the naked trees.
The naked tree’s middle is the future. My future as a writer is slowly moving into the light of recognition. I’ve met thousands of authors, filmmakers, poets, teachers, photographers, and actors who have inspired me with their support, amazing dreams, and fearless projects of past, present, and future. Humility fills my heart for the tremendous and most glorious house, full with people who have asked me to be a part of their network-community. Our trees grown together are a wondrous forest. I know for all of this: I am blessed. My future as a writer has many branches. And I will water its root. And I will eventually form a foundation—for the homeless whose words and art have been buried inside the threads of their coats—as they sleep under the naked trees.
The future is the top of the tree. We need the tree’s crown. Is this why we put a star or an angel on its branch? Are we secretly praying for a better future, a time when all people can awaken with the basic necessities—food, clothing, love, shelter, and happiness?
As I meditate, this very chilly morning, I think of the beginning of Louis Armstrong’s song~~~What A Wonderful World
I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom, for me and you
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world.
Writing is not an easy answer to a question that occupies the time. I achieve a form of satisfaction when people read my blog or books and compliment me, but the reality is I write because I enjoy it. My success is like an imaginary playmate, sometimes it appears, and sometimes it giggles, running away.
Any writer taking years or months to finish a project deserves an award. If marketing isn’t a skill, then a slow start is fueled by endless cups of caffeine, sleep deprivation, and self-doubt. Continue reading
I’m always reflective in the last two months of the year. I’ve always been this way for as long as I can remember. The changing of the seasons from fall to winter brings thoughts of the end of a year, and more often, how fast time has passed.
Time, as I age, becomes no more of a number, or a nail waiting in the wings ready to seal my coffin. In my mind, I’m still the wide-eyed, huge-smile child, the one whose picture is on my dresser—she’s in long, pig-tail braids and fashionable cat-eye glasses. She reaches through the frame and hugs me when I need it. She is my past, present, and future. Her voice is mine. Continue reading
The journey, when writing a story, is a ticket with no expiration date—It takes as long as it takes.
There are many things I look at when thinking about my next story. One is the PLOT.
Are the characters compelling enough to evoke within the reader a range of emotions: from sadness to happiness, to anger, to sympathy. . . . remorse, guilt, understanding, anxiety, fear, disappointment, romance?
I believe the reason why my writing resonates is I cut to the chase and give believability to my characters. I feel the most memorable plots are ones when life traps characters between a rock and a hard place. Urgency is the time bomb—minutes and seconds wasted can change life’s course. Think of Casablanca, The Christmas Carol, It’s A Wonderful Life, or Saving Private Ryan. Each story has a do-or-die-plot. Continue reading
Writing is a job, a skill, a passion, and a journey. In all its hard work, there is nothing better than seeing the results, of what took a VERY long time laboring. Finding my path, and hitting the mark—it is tremendously rewarding receiving the praise of what I’ve written.
My novel, The Last Merry Go Round—takes a knife and skillfully slices off the skin of marriage—will be released before the end of 2019.
“The brief segment I found in the ‘Future Books’ section of your blog site already tells much about Diane, so poignantly depicted as ‘lost between the beginning and end’ of her husband’s sentences. I must say this is one of the best descriptions of suffocating repression I’ve ever read. I also came across the Toni Morrison quote you’ve clearly chosen to live by. You’re obviously flying with little or nothing weighing you down.”‘-Irene Kavanagh, Owner, Final Writes Editing & Writing Services
I dedicate this novel to all people trapped and lost somewhere between the beginning, middle, and end. Continue reading
The unknown for me is scary. Sometimes, fear grips me, and I become very immobile. I admit this is a life-long exercise, and most times, I WIN.
I can count my demons, and wonder, how will I ever be able to put one foot in front of the other, to fill a blank page with my imagination? Am I alone in this thought? Writing cultivates fear. It strips away all clothes and reveals a writer’s words—naked—or the world to either love or hate. Continue reading
As a writer, a real fear of oblivion is EDITING.
Looking at what you wrote, believed in, and sweated over… isn’t easy taking a red pen to slash words—written out of passion—to tell a phenomenal story.
What are some words of wisdom for the dreaded editing process? Continue reading
After a long time, an agent in London expressed interest in representing me. I can say from all the solitude, self-doubt, re-writes, and happiness to have completed The Last Merry Go Round two years ago—I’m numb. Continue reading
Summer brings many things to mind, and one is the sense of space I had as a child. School recess went from June to September. A grin filled my face when the final bell rang. Happiness meant a reprieve from classmates who got on my nerves and unimaginative teachers, whose play-book was rule-driven. Finally, freedom from peer pressure about which suitable school (aka-hip) outfits to wear, or how to maneuver a full-throttle class load (parents insisted on me maintaining honors). Continue reading