The Return of JOY!

bejoyfulWhat a difference a month makes! Last month at this time I was, in the words of Anne of Green Gables, in “the depths of despair.” Would it have helped if I had been warned I could suffer a bout of weepiness and depression after a major surgery? Or would the power of suggestion been enough to bring it on? Not to mention the whole hormonal situation.

But I am back and the Muses are at least whispering great little bits of description and dialog! Life is good and all is well. I’m preparing to be a guest featured author next week at Goodread’s American Historical Fiction Book Club and looking forward to that.  And tonight I have a supper date with dear friend and fellow author/blogger Kelly Z. Conrad!

Not surprisingly, the hypothesis for this 4th book is changing again. At this point I can’t even consider it an idea–not even an embryonic one! At the moment, I have this pool of great characters scrabbling for attention and a home in the world of print, and I just don’t know how best to situate them.

But they are wonderful characters (especially the 3 cats, the gray parrot and the German Shepherd) and I hope one day I can do them justice!

So yes, I am actively writing again, if you consider scribbling down fragments of ideas and journaling as active writing–and I do!

So for all intents and purposes, I declare myself back from my hiatus of recovery and depression.

I’m back, baby!

American Historical Fiction Book Club!

twiiterphoto If you are a member of Goodread’s American Historical Fiction Book Club and a fan of The Puritan Chronicles, I have a treat for you! I will be a guest host author the week of May 27! We will be doing a giveaway and discussing the Puritan Chronicles series.  If you aren’t a Goodreads member, it’s free and easy to join.

Hope to see lots of my readers there!

The Uninvited Guest on our Porch

Before my knee surgery, Dave and I were taking an evening stroll in our neighborhood, and noticed a little gray mouse paying us no attention as it scurried purposefully down the sidewalk.

Then yesterday evening Dave and I were sitting on the porch watching the storm clouds gather, when I looked down and what should pop its furry little head over the edge of our porch but a little gray mouse!

The little guy hoisted himself over the edge of the porch after clambering up our honeysuckle bushes. He saw the porch was already occupied and by the time I pointed and said to Dave, “Mouse!” he had shimmied back down over the edge and disappeared.

So, it got me thinking of the symbolism of Mouse, and I found this :mouse

Mouse symbolism is that of scrutiny. Mouse represents seeing everything through a magnifying glass, up-close and personal. Mouse is a fearful creature because it is food for many other animals. However Mouse has great power that we can all learn from. Mouse has the ability to see the little details that others might miss; the ability to see a situation for what it really is. The insignificant details passed over by the rest of us could become very important to Mouse. This can be a good thing but it can also be the weakness of Mouse if taken too far. Scrutinizing every last detail can sometimes be unnecessary and harmful. If the symbol of Mouse is being presented to you then this could mean that there is something or some situation in your life that you need to look at closer. The opposite could also be true. Maybe the message is telling you that you’re scrutinizing the details of your life too much, out of balance with trust? Mouse could also be warning you of danger and asking you to pay more attention to what you are doing. Is there some details you are missing right now? Maybe you have a business deal shaping up and Mouse is asking you to read the fine print? Mouse is asking you to honor your perceptions, pay attention to the details in a balanced way; stay focused and on track with your goals; be on the lookout for hidden details that might be harmful or beneficial. Examine everything carefully. Take care and look closely. This is the message of Mouse!

So what details am I missing? Am I scrutinizing something too much? I know for the past month I have been worrying about the future. THAT has got to  stop.

I know I need to  stay in the moment. FOCUS! My mind is finally clearing and my attention span is lengthening as I recover from the surgery, and hopefully soon I’ll get back onto the writing path!

So I have to meditate and consider Mouse’s message. Be careful, look closely. Pay attention to detail.

I can do that 🙂

 

 

Why yes, I am a cynical Gen-Xer

cynical-word-dictionary-concept-260nw-1079018858

3.

During my idyllic childhood growing up in North Dakota, I spent the majority of my time writing stories about children living in peaceful valleys with all their family members living nearby. Everyone was within at least a short driving distance from each other and all was well and everyone was happy and safe.
I had no concept of corruption, greed and unfairness. I couldn’t even grasp the concept of war. Vietnam, in my child’s mind, was just “the place the Army people go.”
And then the Watergate hearings preempted our after-school cartoons, jarring my peaceful daily routine. What child wants to watch a bunch of angry old men blabbering on about something so boring and meaningless?  Geez, we only had 2 channels (or maybe there was 3?) to choose from on a black and white Zenith so big you could have gutted it and taken a bath in the cabinet! So I’d retreat to my room and go write stories of happy people living in peaceful valleys with plenty of kittens, puppies and horses.
I think that’s when cynicism took root in my soul. I like to say I haven’t had any faith in the US Government since they preempted our after-school cartoons for the Watergate hearings.
OK so the government is corrupt. But you can trust the medical profession, right? Decades ago doctors promoted cigarette smoking! How insane is THAT? We still have active lobbyists and pharmacy reps influencing our government and physicians.  Every week some new study proves some new health benefit (or threat, depending on whichever way the wind blows). Eggs are bad for you! Use egg substitute instead. No, wait! Eggs are actually GOOD for you! Margarine will save you from the fat and cholesterol in butter. UPDATE: Margarine is 1 molecule away from plastic–eat butter instead!
I used to religiously follow these updates. And then my cynicism grew even more.
Why?
Because you can stay out of the sun, exercise, eat right, do ALL the right things, and still develop a terminal illness.
My generation is listed as 1965-1984, making me the oldest of the Gen-Xers. We are characterized by our cynicism, being the first generation not expected to go further economically than our parents’.
You don’t hear much about my generation; we are already outnumbered by the Millennials. I put whatever faith and hope I have left in them, as a lot of them seem to be activists determined to annihilate a lot of the corruption that’s tarnished past generations. I wish them luck. I truly hope they can save us.
Again, the refrain Attitude is Everything reverberates through my head, and I catalog my blessings in a gratitude journal, truly thankful for all that we have. When life becomes discouraging, the only thing one can control is one’s own attitude.  So I keep as positive as I can despite the bombardment of negative headlines and personal setbacks.
Tough to do when you’re a cynical Gen-Xer, but with a deep breath and shoulders back, I’ll leave the untroubled valley of my imagination and approach the Real World with all the strength and fortitude I can muster.

The Timely Fortune Cookie

fortune

It’s been 2 weeks and 1 day since my knee replacement surgery. Knee is doing great. My back is the main physical complaint right now, but worse than that is my moods.

I’ve been told that after surgery your moods take a beating just as your body has, so that explains a lot. I am fidgety and weepy and in need of engaging with others all the time.  But, every day I do continue to feel better.

Today is the best day yet. I had a good physical therapy session, then of course we went to Supreme Buffet, because that place just makes Dave so happy! The above photo is of my fortune in my cookie, and I thought it was pretty timely because I haven’t been feeling like being creative, not even READING! But if I DO climb out of the muck of inertia and DO something, I feel much better.

So as I continue to recover and heal physically, I am more  mobile now and free to do whatever I like (“as long as you don’t fall,” the Dr. says!). So if nothing else I intend to start journaling again.

Here’s hoping May is a good month for all of you!