Thursday, November 26, 2009


Today I'm more conscious than ever of how lucky I am for all the wonderful people in my life--both those who are in my life now and those who were part of it at other times. I'm also grateful for all the dogs that have been part of my life--now and in the past.

I'm thankful for the glorious weather here. I find myself remembering other Thanksgivings and driving places in snow and ice or pouring rain.

I'm thankful that some of my friends are finding their ways out of crises of one kind or another and that others are enjoying remarkable good fortune.

I'm grateful for all those who take my online writing classes and for the communities of writers to which I belong.

I'm grateful for all the little blessings every day--even when there are also challenges.

I hope that each of you reading this have wonderful blessings in your lives, too. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Life Happens

Life happens. A couple I know, friends, found that out last week. He was laid off with only 3 weeks severance pay after more than a decade with his company. Like many people, they lived paycheck to paycheck. They had to cash out their 401k earlier this year to pay off bills. They have medical conditions that will make it difficult if not impossible to get private medical insurance. And she doesn't have a job either.

Life happens. In an instant everything can change. As a writer, I know that it is how people respond to what happens that matters most.

My friends are scrambling to find out options. What services might they be eligible for? What job opportunities can he apply for? Who do they know who might have information that might be useful. They are cutting expenses, pulling together, reaching out for support and finding ways to laugh even when they most want to cry.

Other people might have reacted very differently. As human beings, it's good to remember that. If we're writers, then it's good to remember that it's not just what happens to our characters that matters but rather how they choose to respond to those events. Every person/character will be a little different. It is those differences that are interesting and what we and readers want to know about. Will the characters surprise us? Teach us something new--a way of responding that we wouldn't have thought of ourselves? Or is it an object lesson from which we learn how not to be?

Life happens. We get to choose how we--and our characters!--deal with it.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Doesn't Feel Like November

It doesn't feel like November. In part, that's because I grew up in the northeast and by November it was COLD. It's much warmer here. Still, usually by Halloween it feels like fall to me. Not sure why this year is so different.

Speaking of Halloween, I love that holiday! Maybe because I always seemed to be hungry as a kid and the one time of year I wasn't was when I could gorge on the calories in candy after Halloween. Which means that every year I'm happy to give out candy to kids who come to my door. (I ran out after 70 kids this year!) When I cringe at the cost of the candy I buy, I remind myself it really isn't that much and I'll never know which kids who seem to come from middle class families might be going hungry at home. Plus I love seeing the costumes.

Meanwhile, I'll happily enjoy the sunshine and warmth and shudder every time I see snowstorms elsewhere on the news....