Sunday, August 4, 2019

No News?

My kids don't watch the news.

I don't really blame them. I didn't watch the news much as a child either. Only big moments intruded on my world, such as the Three Mile Island scare, the hostage crisis in Iran, Mt St Helens erupting, Reagan getting shot, Challenger blowing up.... The rest of whatever was going on was confusing background noise. My parents were well informed, and I figured if there was anything I needed to know they would tell me.

Now I'm the one in the position of deciding what events in the larger world I want my kids to know about. It makes me feel like a purveyor of doom much of the time. We've had frank discussions about racism and war and violence against women as they relate to stories in the news. And of course, mass shootings. Because this is America.

This weekend I didn't even have time to tell them about one mass shooting before two more happened. It's too much. I feel like I should join them in my avoidance of the news at this point since all it does is make me want to scream.

Every day there is another story of people suffering by the design of our government and no one cares. Children are shot and people toss up their hands and say nothing can be done, and it's more important that whoever wants one have a gun anyway. I'm tired of people saying women use sexual assault accusations as a weapon, when the only people I see punished for speaking up are the women themselves.

And the environment. The number of protections and regulations being rolled back regularly is frightening. Our embrace of greed over all is so short-sighted and disgusting I barely know what to think. Ignoring science rather than listening to it, shutting down research because it may not come to the conclusions that support what we feel like doing rather than what we should....

I'm tired tonight. In my own little corner of the world I do my best to be helpful and kind. I work hard. I try to do what is right. But I'm tired of ignorance and cruelty. I'm tired of people who would rather poke the hornets nest than try to bring someone peace. I'm tired of how cheap too many people find life if it is a life not connected to their own. I have no power over the impending doom and some days all I want to do is cry.

And I don't know what to tell my kids anymore. I keep thinking about the first time my son heard the expression "No news is good news," and he was confused that it was supposed to be positive, because he thought it meant there was no such thing as good news. I'm starting to think his interpretation may be a better fit for the times we live in.

Because maybe it's wrong to shelter them. But honestly? I'm starting to wish nowadays that someone would shelter me.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Creative Hours

I belong to a few different online groups for writers. They are filled with helpful, supportive people and are good places to ask questions, bounce around ideas, and occasionally simply vent or share success stories.

A few months ago, a writer in one of the groups was musing about how there was a book she really wanted to buy by a writer she really liked, but the price was five dollars, rather than the usual one dollar she'd become accustomed to through online promotions. She regretted that she couldn't get past the price tag and I think was looking to commiserate.

Honestly, this shocked me, along with many other writers in the group. Not because we don't know people are generally cheap and don't want to pay more for things than they have to, but because she was a fellow writer. She knows how much time and effort it takes to publish a book.

Five dollars? Five dollars is nothing compared to the hours upon hours spent creating characters and story lines and editing and editing again and suffering as your test readers have your manuscript and you have to wait an eternity wondering if your work is garbage or not. There is the struggle for the right cover design and chasing typos and formatting issues. And then there are the elusive bursts of inspiration that you have to harness while you can in order to turn them into a story worth reading. The core of what you do is dependent on something you can't even predict or rely on. It's hard. Writing is hard. (Super fun when it's going well, but still...) A fellow writer should more than understand why a book might be five dollars.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Dear Dad (2019)

Hi Dad.

I wish I could call you today. So much has happened, and I hate that you're missing it.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

No Way To Turn

This has been a rough week, logistically.

Ian's out of state doing Army things for two weeks, and we're over halfway through it, but boy there are some times handling everything alone is okay, and other times it's hard, and this time I am barely hanging in there.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Mom Time

I've been making a point this year of pinning people down for commitments to actual face to face time.

We have the illusion through technology of seeing people we don't really see, of being with people who aren't really there. I know through years of blogging there are people who feel they know me, but the information doesn't often go both ways. I know there are people I feel connected to, whom I don't reach out to either.

I don't take for granted that I have remarkable friends whom I only know through social media and would not know otherwise. I value those friendships and relationships. They matter.

However, there is nothing quite like real time with old friends and new, where you can share a bite to eat and catch up and laugh. That is life sustaining.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Varnish Workshop 2019

 This was my fifth time at the violin varnish workshop.

The joke (for people like me, who have now been to this varnish workshop multiple times) is that we must be slow learners. But the truth is, I learn something new each time, I add to my knowledge and skill set, and find ways to improve.

Plus there is the company.

For one week I get to be with people who enjoy violin work the way I do, but in a hands-on way. At Violin Society of America (VSA) conventions there are hundreds of like minded people to spend time with, and that's great, but sometimes overwhelming, and somewhat clinical. However, to spend time in a small space with about a dozen people who are all working is amazing and rare. I love it.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Seducing Cat

My book is done! My book is up on Amazon! It's called Seducing Cat, and if you like it please leave me a nice review.

There is a print edition and a kindle edition. Buy my book!

This book is potentially more interesting if you've read my first novel, Almost There, which is also available at Amazon in print and on kindle.

I'm in the process of figuring out an affordable way to make my book available on other platforms, but in the meantime, Amazon is the way to go.

Didn't my mom and brother make a beautiful cover? My mom did the artwork, and my brother did all the design work and fussy tweaking. (They did the last cover, too, and I can't wait to see the next one.)

I've actually written a lot of things, but I'm only now getting around to finishing them up and getting them out into the world. The next novel is almost ready to launch as well (hoping to have it out before the year is up), and I'm over halfway through two other books that I keep moving back and forth between. I also have an interesting project that I need to find time to finish that is a repair diagnostics book for teachers to help them troubleshoot violin problems. That one I need to do illustrations for, and that takes more time for me than writing does.

In the meantime, read my new book! (And I hope you enjoy it.)