I used to take a “writing sabbatical” during the final quarter of the year. That was back in the days before self publishing and writing fiction, when the inspirational markets would close submissions in November and December. My, how things have changed in the past ten years, and not just because I switched to fiction and got published. Self publishing and ebooks have really changed things in the writing industry. Now, it’s more of a “switching gears” from actual writing to promotion and reaching readers. I still write new stuff at the end of the year, but I tend to focus more on revisions, edits, or shorter works during this time. Except the one year I did National Novel Writing Month in November which was great, but intense. I don’t think I could handle that again with a full time job but hey, I never say never. Maybe someday. Just not today.
My writing isn’t the only thing shaken up these days. I seem to have a bad case of nostalgia. Things from my childhood keep coming back to me. It’s mostly little things, like hearing country music songs that my parents listened to, or catching snippets of TV shows and commercials that were popular in the early 80’s, or even the scent of Oil of Olay soap and Palmolive dish soap that my parents and grandparents used back in the day. I even caught myself saying “moving right along” (from The Muppet Movie) on a busy day this week. It's not just childhood, either, Snippets of memory from high school, college, and my 20's and 30's come back as well (as evidenced in the previous paragraph). Regression, maybe? There’s something nostalgic about the fall, probably all of the memory ques from school and holidays. Or it could be part of my grieving process from losing Dad and the cousin I was close to in childhood this summer. I often say I believe I had the happiest childhood possible, so naturally I probably look back to those days for the joy and security of that time in my life. I guess an identity crisis is natural after loss, and the first step is that you look back to who you were to figure out who you are now. 45 seems kind of old to have an identity crisis, but here I am killing it. And, I suppose, it never really ends. Life goes on and redefines itself, and you. Change is constant. We’re always figuring out life and how we fit into it. Sometimes are just more active and apparent than others.
But the present marches on, and I am making an active effort to move right along with it. It seems it’s been busy trying to get things taken care of, wrapped up, or put in motion for the new year. Another hallmark of the final quarter of the year. Time to renew stuff, check stuff, set stuff up for 2021. And, of course, your flu shot. Heck, I even wrote Quarantine about a misadventure with that. It was the first fiction piece I wrote, and will always be close to my heart. But look, there goes that nostalgia again. Good grief, send help!
Honestly, I’m plugging along well these days. Ups and downs, but on the whole it seems I’m adjusting well. At least I’m having good days now, and sleeping better. That’s good. Any progress is. They say grief is an active process, and I’m trying to stay active and engaged. The road to life goes ever on - didn't they say that, or something like it, in either The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings? There's that darn nostalgia again - I really need to get a grip! Focus, Sherri! Here and now! You're in it to win it!
I am determined to come out of this stronger, better, more mature, and to find contentment and joy again. I already see glimpses of it. I know it's possible and will find my way to whoever I'm meant to be now.
So that's where it's at today. Just the ramblings of day to day life that, I hope, will lead to inspiration for short stories in the future. I do need more marketable stories. Now I just wait for the muse to wake up. It will happen. It always does.
That’s all today. Take care. Have a happy Friday tomorrow and a wonderful weekend.