Category Archives: reflection

A Different Style of Writing

Got these blocks sewn over the last few days; I didn’t want Little Miss to pull them off the big quilt wall in what will be her room….

So much for chapters akin to those of previous.  After reading over yesterday’s output, it seems Chapter One didn’t need anything added to it.  And now, a couple thousand words later, Chapter Two is in the can.  Perhaps I need to face that the way I used to write has permanently changed.  It’s not merely breaking a chapter into two or three days’ worth of writing, but shorter chapters, and more of them.

This is the bottom half, which I’ll sew to the top next week, freeing up space on the big wall just in time to design a Christmas quilt, hehehe….

That’s quite an altered method, and I wonder if it will persist, or once I get past the first part of this story, I’ll turn back into my verbose self and….  I won’t know until that time arrives, and in the interim, chores await; Little Miss will be here in time for her afternoon nap, so this abuela needs to prepare the guest room, run to the store, clean the shower, ahem….  I won’t write until next Monday, but that’s fine, because even if these initial chapters are brief, they are written, whew!  Maybe in this book’s Liner Notes I’ll mention how these two stories differ, the one written five years ago as though I had all the time in the world.  Now there’s more filling those hours, but thankfully the writing is adapting, for which I am most grateful.

Today’s word count: 2,236

Art amid the flames….

Binding is attached, now to hand sew it to the back of the quilt.

A delicate balance exists in my heart right now; the devastation from the Sonoma, Napa, and Solano County fires is hard to wrap my head around, although every time I step outside I’m reminded by the smoggy sky and smoky aroma.  I’m feeling blessed to be out of the danger zone, but helpless when considering all that has been lost by so many.  I’ve written about this sensation recently,yet here are those emotions again.  In a matter of minutes homes were destroyed, whole neighborhoods wiped away.  The awesome power exhibited by these fires is chilling, and I struggle to find words strong enough to convey my thoughts.

My hubby came home early, and assisted in this photo shoot.

The last few nights I’ve been completing a quilt started months ago, but set aside for other projects in need of my attention.  Amid baseball playoffs, my husband would switch to the local news as I attended to a comforter meant for dear friends who before the end of the month will become first time grandparents.  This quilt was made for that coming nieta, but abuelos require a blanket too, for future days of cuddles and fortbuilding.  I’ll send it off once the good news arrives, so when they return home after meeting their newest family member, a quilt will remind them of love far away.

I had worried about over-quilting it, but I’m pleased with how it looks upon being washed.

And therein lies the basis for these reflections, how life continues even when so much seems impossible to believe.  I have to admit that once I had attached the binding on this quilt, joy overwhelmed me, for how long it’s taken this project to come to fruition and the bliss attached to it.  Yet to go outside to photograph it immediately hearkened to tragedy and ruin.  I tackle these themes in my writing, how much good can come from what seems so bleak.  But reality is a sledgehammer compared to fiction.  It’s a lot for this grandma to ponder.

The back is probably one of my best efforts. A nice contrast to the blues….

One thing I can do is use my time and talents to lessen the pain of others.  The second set of plus blocks still waiting to be sewn together will be donated, along with a few other of my creations, once I turn those blocks into a finished comforter.  There is of course prayer, which I have offered fervently on behalf of those who are now homeless, as well as all those working above and beyond the call to contain these fires.  Then there is a focused appreciation for my quiet little neck of the proverbial woods; daily irritations slip away when the massive scope of such desolation is considered.  And finally a post written to somehow take stock, even if just a few scattered words trying to make sense of what seems so senseless.

Special thanks to my better half for making these shots possible.

What comes back to me is how brief are our lives, and how vital it is to do good, to love, and to hope for the best.  Sometimes that is all we can do.

Different Rhythms

Photos from The Hook in Capitola, California, October 2013…

So I guess a post with this title shall appear.  My cold has abated, and the laundry is done, five loads yesterday that usurped the writing which I had planned.  Initially I felt a little guilty, but assuaged myself that unless I felt so called to create, best to get the washing done instead.  And today I was rewarded for my patience by managing an entire chapter, albeit on the concise side.  However, a chapter is a chapter, and at this point, I’ll take whatever words emerge.

Big splash!

Ten years ago I couldn’t have halted the words with a steamroller, but that isn’t what I want to address today.  Today I’m fifty-one and grateful for whatever prose I can muster.  And lately I’ve been wondering if once I complete The Hawk, will I even embark upon another fictional project?  Right now I’m feeling rather drained, not sure if it’s the dregs of my head cold, or just age.  It’s also due to other concerns, not of a bothersome nature, but of sheer joy; grandkids are a hoot, and I’m so pleased to be as involved in their little lives as I am blessed to be.  And there’s the sewing, coming out of left field like a shot off of Babe Ruth’s bat.  Years ago between novels I checked out the ocean, but I haven’t been to Capitola in….  A very long time.  These photos are from four years ago, my goodness, as if the Pacific disappeared or I forgot my way there.  Instead of traipsing off to photograph the waves, I stay home and fashion quilts, or spend my time with wee ones.

Yes indeed, different rhythms have overtaken me.

So, how to write a book when my time is so splintered?  Others do it, lots of others, but my technique has previously been that of a horse with blinders, only the story in my view.  That was fine when my kids weren’t parents, lol.  I could accommodate their solo needs, but now all bets are off.  Not even my father’s battle with cancer impeded upon my word count; I wrote to maintain a modicum of sanity.  But this new generation is another kettle of fish entirely, and I suppose I’m glad to have released The Hawk in installments, providing impetus to finish it.  For the first time in a long time, the urge to write is diminished, although thankfully not absent.  But has that waning desire set a precedent for future stories?  Only time will tell.


What I need to remember is exactly what saved my bacon yesterday; when it’s time, the words will come.  Trusting in that is essential, because it’s not merely about writing fiction.  It’s about any such project that needs my focus.  Age has affected my authorial drive, but I can’t just throw up my hands and whine that I can’t do it.  I can write, it’s a matter of accepting where writing now falls within my life.  And that for now, it’s okay to move other items up on the list.  Nietos won’t be toddlers forever, and perhaps as my forties was the decade to learn to write, my fifties will be more about reflection.  I have to evolve, even if it means a reduction in the output.  What I write now is certainly better than what I was spewing in 2007, ha ha.  Better to honor quality over quantity.

One day I’ll bring the nietos here and we’ll chat about nature’s awesome beauty….

And the best of all is to take this journey one step, or word, at a time.  Again it’s about trusting in a greater good, as well as not taking myself so seriously.  And to remember I will never write this story again (thank you Jesus!).  Each day with these characters is a gift all its own.  I’ll revel in that when feeling uninspired, then wait for my brains, heart, and soul to be equally engaged.  When that occurs, no steamroller around can stop me.