In this year of 2020, there is a lot of things I could blame on Covid 19. It would be so easy to use the excuse when I drop the ball in getting on with life. I have been trying to finish a book I wrote 5 years ago and being home gave me every reason to do just that. I even joined a writer’s community to inspire and quite frankly kick my butt into doing the work.
But here it is the end of the year. I signed up for the community back in February even before Covid had really hit so at the time I didn’t have much free time to devote to the writing and still, I was frozen. I began listening to all the things one must do to get a book published and got cold feet. Started a number of times and then stopped. Even stopped writing this blog which I have been doing for years.
I tried to figure out why I was so stuck . I had shown my rough draft to a couple of people hoping I would get the thumbs up and get moving but they rightfully so explained I had not dug deep enough to make the novel appealing. Why would anyone want to listen to my story of two hundred and fifty pages when it was mostly surface?
Sitting here now this writing is going deeper than I ever have in the book. That writing is more of me telling a story instead of living the story and up until now, I have been too frozen to go to that place. And then there’s covid…
I can’t explain why I checked out during the six months I had off. I had all the time in the world to write and had a large manuscript just waiting to be cleaned up. And still, I didn’t move forward.
In looking back I am realizing I’m not ready to spill my guts aka Hillbilly Elegy (I’m from Cincinnati) and that is my life. That story is what I lived growing up and have not had the strength or desire to face it in such a personal way.
Let’s hope in ringing in the new year I can find solace in knowing I can go deep without even having to worry about it going public. I think it’s time for me to thaw out what’s been tucked away for so long. I hope this covid thing is allowing some to step into some warmth.
I’m not sure many people have heard of Audrey Winthers. She was the editor of British Vogue during WW II. She commissioned Cecil Beaton, the acclaimed photographer and designer, to photograph a model against the ruins of a bombed out church in London.
She made an appearance in the magazine not in some glamorous cafe but in the basement of the magazine’s temporary office, amide shattered glass and peeling walls. She was determined to tell her audience about the food shortages and clothes rationing alongside pictures of country houses.
She believed it was simply not modern to be unaware or uninterested in what is going on all around. She suggested people harvest their own vegetables, stock preserves, and, rather than shop, to “mend and make do” with items already in their wardrobes. Pretty progressive for an editor of a fashion magazine.
She presented the world as it was at a time that was not what people wanted to see or to read about. But she felt it was her mission to inform her audience not only of the beauty of the world but also the reality of war. Quite brave for then and even now.
Recently we celebrated the 100 year anniversary of the women’s right to vote. It was a hard-won battle for 80 years until finally in August of 1920 the law was passed. One of the senators from Tennessee who was to be the deciding vote finally voted yes after a letter from his mother told him to “be a good boy”. She encouraged him to do the right thing and give women the well deserved right they had been fighting for.
In this pandemic, five countries with the least amount of cases of the coronavirus are all lead by women. And now we have an African Asian American woman running for Vice President of the United States.
If there is any time better than to be a rebel and a woman I say the time is now. Bring it on.
I have two doves living in my yard.
They were born here and are just teenagers right now. They hang out together and are determined to venture out into the world and experience what life has to give them with no expectations or promises. They will do the best they can.
It seems birds are showing up everywhere to teach some valuable lessons. The Wall Street Journal recently published an article about how bird watching is becoming very popular for its therapeutic qualities. Then I just viewed a story on CBS Sunday Morning about David Allen Sibley who is a renowned ornithologist and illustrator. He has written and illustrated many books on the birds of North America.
And if that wasn’t enough someone recently won an opportunity to have their book published on, you guessed it, birdwatching and its healing properties. Seems like the trend is grabbing us to say stop and look around. The author said to look up at the flutter of color to find solace and guidance from our feathered friends.
So back to my doves. This is the second group of doves this year that has been born in my yard and although I enjoyed the first siblings I have really noticed this second pairing. I have gone out of my way to watch their whole journey from birth to teenagers to young adults flying away to start their new life. I wished they would like to stay forever as I did for my son but I know that I have to let go and let them fly.