Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I Want You Back

I realize I'm a bit late to this gathering, but still feel the need to comment on the sudden and devastating loss of Michael Jackson, one of the world's most talented, most creative, most prolific artists. His presence in our lives was a blessing.
I was traveling all day last Thursday. A news hound at heart, I felt a little displaced not being able to check in on CNN or MSNBC as often as I normally do to track the days' events. Imagine my shock when my sister-in-law's husband said late that night, "How 'bout my boy, Michael?"
To say I was stunned upon hearing of his death is beyond putting it mildly. I refused to believe what I'd heard. Since I was born in 1967, Michael Jackson and his family have been a constant presence in my life. I loved the cartoon of The Jackson Five and like so many others I, too, watched that Motown special 26years ago. I was 16 years old and I remember sitting on the family room floor, mesmerized as Michael moonwalked and gyrated all over that stage. Billie Jean is probably my most favorite of his songs. And while I never saw him live, and I didn't purchase every one of his albums, I still considered myself a fan. I did appreciate his talent and his music, which dominates the soundtrack of my teenage years. Unfortunately, as it so often happens, I took for granted his existence on this earth. He was always out there somewhere, to reappear occasionally on TV or pop up on newsstands. At least I knew he was out there creating, trying to make this world a more enjoyable place.
I realize everyone has their opinion about Michael and the accusations made of him with the children at Neverland Ranch. I will keep mine to myself; but I do believe, deep down, that Michael Jackson was a kind, caring person who longed for the childhood he never had; who worked to make others' lives happy; who was a loving son, brother, uncle and father; a compassionate soul who was probably too tender for the harsh environment of this world. I think many creative people are sensitive in ways that make survival on earth impossible. Many of these folks take their own lives. Many of them descend into drugs and alcohol in order to sooth psychological cuts and scrapes inflicted by society. I think Michael fell into the latter of these categories. He'd been too caring, too sensitive and he got hurt. He sought relief and, apparently, found it in bottles of painkillers. I am saddened to think he took pills to kill pain he endured.
And while I hope he's at peace somewhere, I'm still self-centered and greedy. I wasn't done hearing what he had to say. I wasn't done watching him moonwalk across the stages of the world.
I want him back.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Okay, So I've Taken Some Deep Breaths...

I put my girls on a plane last Wednesday for the first time ever without me or my husband (ok, so they were with their aunt, my sister-in-law) and watched them fly off to New Mexico. This was extremely difficult for me. At first, when my sister-in-law offered for the girls to come visit I felt excited. Wow...time to myself...to do whatever I want! But as the moment neared for us to actually kiss them goodbye, well, I had some serious second thoughts.
These past several days have been strange. I really miss my girls and although I'm happy to get their phone calls every night and hear them squealing with happiness on the other end, I sort of wish they were missing me a little more than they seem to be!! :o(
On the other hand...I've had a lot of time alone and I'm happy to report I've gotten some good work done on my novel. Thanks to those who've offered advice in my last post. It helps knowing there are so many of you out there who understand and feel my pain! I've done some substantial revising and I think, made some significant progress.
I'm holding off on the book doctor option for now because my writing group is considering inviting a new writer into our midst--someone with some impressive credentials and editing experience. If she joins us I'll share with her some of my book and go from there. So at least I'm back to writing and making headway. I leave on Thursday to bring my girlies back home and then we jump right back into the fire of their activities/camps, etc. And who knows when I'll have this kind of time again.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

This Won't Hurt a Bit

I'm stalled on the third revision of my current WIP. I've received tons of help from the supportive but battle-worn souls in my writer's group and I feel I'm running out of steam. I'm getting to the point where I feel my story is uninteresting and all-too familiar. Yes, I'm peering over the edge, towel in hand.

So I checked into the Gotham Writer's Workshop and after perusing the selection of online courses decided the mentorship program sounded pretty good. Then I spoke to someone there who strongly encouraged the services of one of their book doctors. Now I'm in a quandry. I've heard some negative slants on book doctors over the years. It feels strange to me to have to pay someone to help me w/my book. But this person is professional, with writing and teaching experience; of course they should be well-compensated for their time and energy. But I'm still unsure. Anyone out there with book doctor experience??