Monday, November 29, 2010

Blogging - three years already?


I started blogging on a lark, and here I am three years later with a serious blog on my hands. The first purpose – to use it as a sort of bucket list of my end of life plan – seems to have gone by the wayside. Even though I still think about the choices I have yet to make in life – as long as I stay healthy and together . As Nora Ephron likes to say: it’s as though we at our age are racing with the clock. We keep going on normally until our systems – like the clockworks – decide to stop. And we have no control over when that will happen.

So, I feel that using my blog to post about my writing successes and failures, my family occasions, my book due out next May, my life events in general, and to use it as a place to post poems and photos is all to the good. I’m an eclectic person. So no reason my blog shouldn’t be eclectic as well. 

Over these last three years I feel my posts about the ups and downs of querying agents and publisher in the hopes of getting my book published and finally my ultimate success in finding Janice Phelps Williams and Lucky Press LLC were the most meaningful to me. I also got a lot of value about blogging about my indecision about work: stay, retire, stay, retire. I went back and forth for almost the entire three years on that until finally I made my decision. I retired, went on a marvelous vacation, and then got my book contract. Pure synchronicity at work.

Which reminds me. I don’t blog about where I am when I’m on a trip. I post about the trip when I get home – just for safety sake. And I don’t blog about politics. That’s for the experts. 
But, I did like my blog series about the women in my life – the women who take care of me and nurture me. I found it more than wonderful that I have so many women who do that for me. Perhaps it’s time for an update. I also felt it was useful to blog about my book revision process. I’ll probably divert some more of that to my Red Room writer’s blog in the future.

One thing I do regret is not being able to publish my new poems here. Many publications want only poems submitted that have never been published, and they consider a poem published if it’s been posted on a blog, Facebook, or some other network site, that I feel that my hands are tied. I must comply if I want to get my poems published in other venues. Poems posted here have already appeared in an online or print zine.

Which brings me to where I’m going with Choices in the future.

Of course I’ll be blogging about my book and what’s going on until it’s finally published. Right now, it’s almost ready to go into the hands of my publisher – hooray for that. Then we’ll get the book ready for final review and production. And, before we know it, it will be May and it will be out. Oh my word. Definitely a dream come true.

While the book is being readied for its unveiling, I’ll lesson my posts about the writing process and get more into the subject matter of my book: suicide, mental illness, grief, and survival. I’ve mentioned The Compassionate Friends and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention here before. What I plan to do next month – in honor of Paul’s December 31 birthday – is to provide material about many of the suicide prevention organizations – what they do, where they are, and how people who need them can get involved. Of course there are more than thirty-one of them, but I plan to cover one each day for each of December’s thirty-one days.

I’ll let you know at the end of next month, where I’m heading next.

I must say that blogging has been a major component of my writing life during the last three years. Mainly it has kept me writing. And I’ll tell you a little secret. After Janice found my blog, she was convinced to take me on as one of her Lucky Press authors. I can find no fault with a blogging life that can accomplish that.

2 comments:

Lucky Press, LLC said...

Madeline, I love the way you have summarized the last three years and pointed toward future posts. Your methodical approach overall, and your open-hearted approach in detail, are wonderful and make for a winning blog. You look at the intensely personal and find in it the universal and reach out to others...this approach infuses your writing, poetry, and blog. And, you are right... your query letter and sample chapters were excellent, but it was your blog that gave me a sense of who you are as a person and how your book might fit within my goals for Lucky Press. You found Lucky Press first, and I'm so grateful that you did. We can't wait to see what 2011 will bring for your book and your blog.

We will take special note of Paul's birthday in our home on Dec. 31, and I'm glad you are going to be sharing resources this coming month to help other families.

Madeline Sharples said...

Thank you so much, Janice.