Friday, October 27, 2017


This is not me. I feels like me, but it's not.
I’m still writing! It sounds strange for someone who calls herself a writer, teaches writing, and publishes writers to announce that writing is indeed happening, but it is and it makes me happy to say it. As I’ve said previously, I was worried that all of my creativity was being spent in other places, but it turns out, nope, I just needed a few moments where I wasn’t worrying about someone else’s writing to focus on mine. So, writing is happening. Completing writing... that’s another story.

Focus. That has been a loaded word for me lately. Yes, I've been writing, but…I haven’t been able to concentrate on any one particular story or essay for long periods of time. My mind wanders more than it used to. I was blaming my concentration problems previously on being overworked, overextending myself, or generally not taking time to rest. While to a certain extent this may play a role in my problem, I’ve recently discovered that it is possible that my lack of focus and concentration could be from the car accident a few months back. See, I’m still suffering from whiplash. I do have a follow-up appointment with my doctor next week to check the extent of the damage. I am hoping that there are therapeutic options to fixing it, but I am afraid that I may have spinal cord damage. Of course, I’ve been playing internet doctor and, based on my symptoms of constant mild headaches, tinnitus, and never-ending pain in my neck and shoulders, I have self-diagnosed to the point I am scared it may be worse than I originally thought. It’s called chronic whiplash. An inability to concentrate for long periods is also one of the symptoms. It makes me tired. I don’t want to do much once I’ve worked a full day. It’s hard for me to even think about socializing.

Am I going to let this keep me from writing? No, of course not. Will it slow me down? Probably. At least I’m still writing, as long as I remember where I was when I started staring off into space!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Last Book Launch of the Year= FINALLY WRITING!

My view from the publishers table, October 7, 2017

This last weekend Sleeping Panther Press held its last launch of the year, Heath Dollar’s Waylon County: Texas Stories. It was quite the party. I’m glad I don’t have to do any more launches for a few months. Prepping for them, then pulling them off wear me out. Now the process of marketing the books published over the last year so that money is actually made back! That starts this coming weekend with the Fort Worth BookFest, which is a new book festival right in Downtown Fort Worth.

I’ve been worried lately that my ability to write has gone away since I hadn’t made time for it in the past… year. This fear has made me anxious about sitting down to start. This anxiety has gotten stronger as I’ve racked my brain to decide exactly what I should start writing about. When I get my butt in the seat, I still draw a blank. This isn’t unusual, though, considering how focused I’ve been getting Sleeping Panther Press started and keeping the momentum going on my librarian job.

Luckily, yesterday during my lunch duty at the circulation desk, I started writing. It was just about what was going on in the library at the moment. This would absolutely appall most people, but is the everyday life of a modern high school library: kids eating lunch at the tables, browsing the shelves, working on homework off their laptops, printing off massive pages of work (yep, despite the fact they have laptops, they still have to print). When I saved the document at the end of the day, I found the folder with all of my writings- mostly frustrations- from my other library school experience, and it came to me-- I should write a book based on my time spent in a modern high school library! I’m not sure if I should just base it on what has happened, or if I should make it a memoir, but it would be the easiest

This was quite the revelation to me. I had always toyed with the idea of writing a book about my experiences, but I thought it would probably be after I retired so I wouldn’t have to face other educators who may possibly see themselves in the book. Of course, I reminded myself of my favorite quote from Anne Lamott, “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should’ve behaved better.” Yes. They should have.

Once I got home from work and went on a walk with mom, I had a solid idea about what I wanted to do with it. She had a few ideas as well, which include my teaching experiences, making it about my entire career as a reluctant educator. That may actually end up being the title, “The Reluctant Educator.”

So, that is what I’m going to start working on. The outline will begin today, as soon as I finish editing and posting this update. It is exciting to get the writing tingles in my fingertips. I can’t wait to get to it!