Hello, I’m so happy you’re here! And I’m happy I’m here. And I’m happy we’re here together.
Here are three things I’m excited about this fall.
1. Very Good Dogs
Okay, full disclosure, that isn’t my house in the picture but it IS our dog. I joke that we got him special for Pumpkin Spice Season, because his leaves-turning-rust-red color gives me all the fall feels.
2. VERY NOT-SO SCARY PODCASTS
This fall has been all about (not so) scary stories! I’m the lead writer for a great new kids horror podcast called Camp Redrum. Click the image to check it out!
3. Slowing Down
If I could have, I would have liked to ask the Amtrak conductor to stop the train as we passed this stand of yellow trees. I would have liked to have gotten off the train and sent it on its way so I could stand in silence with the trees and just listen for a while.
Wishing you a happy fall and the time and space to listen.
I’m so glad you’re here!
It’s been a weird, hard couple of years, hasn’t it?
Are you okay?
I’m okay, except when I’m not, which I’m okay with if that makes any sense. We’re allowed to be okay and not okay, sometimes at the same time.
Anyway, like I said, I’m glad you’re here. And I’m glad I’m here. And I’m glad we’re here together.
Want to know a word I’ve been thinking a lot about? It’s the word: hiatus. Meaning: a pause or gap in a sequence, series, or process.
I think about this word a lot because, for a long time, I was using it to describe myself. A writer on pause. In a gap.
If you and I were meeting for the first time, maybe at a kids’ soccer game or because you moved in next door or because I stopped to chat about your Bikini Kill t-shirt, and you asked me what I did, I’d say, “I’m a writer, but I’m on hiatus.”
What I would really mean by saying that was: “I’m a writer, but I am not writing. I am a writer, but I am stuck on pause, screaming at you from the bottom of a gap. Why can’t I write? What’s gone sideways with my brain? Days and weeks and months and years have gone by, and the books I start remain unfinished.”
That would all be a little much for sidewalk talk, so instead of saying all that, I’d say, “I’m a writer, but I’m on hiatus.”
Eventually, I stopped even saying that. I’d just tell you about my Office Day Job. Let me tell you about my nice coworkers and my office cardigan and the flats under my desk. I wouldn’t even mention the writing. Because my life as a writer was starting to feel past tense. Less like a hiatus and more like something that ended. More like, I used to be a camp counselor, I used to stick black olives on my fingertips and then eat those olives one by one, I used to be a writer.
But then I was restructured out of my Office Day Job, and I suddenly found myself with a decision to make. I could find a new Office Day Job, a new desk under which to park my sensible flats.
Or I could realize that part of the definition of hiatus is that a hiatus comes to an end. And that sure it may have felt like I was screaming up from the bottom of a gap, but if I listened close what I was screaming it was, Take your time. It’s okay. It’s just not time yet.
But now it is time. I didn’t get another Office Day Job. I started work on a new novel. And because it will take a while before anything happens with my new novel, I started my own business. It’s called Story Joy Creative [https://www.storyjoycreative.com/], and it gives me a chance to help people write their own stories.
I’m writing every day now. It’s not easy, but I’m okay with things not being easy all the time.
I’m glad you’re here. And I’m glad I’m here. And I’m glad we’re here together.