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One Writer's World

Changes

A few weeks ago I tried to get into my late husband's laptop. I thought I was thinking ahead to tax season and it would be a good idea to see what might be in there that I'd need. Instead of taking a leap forward, I took a huge one backwards. Somehow I managed to lock the laptop. This has led to various complications and now I find myself changing my email, scanning old files, and wondering when I'll get back to my current writing project.

 

Almost exactly a year ago I began this story about a social worker whose traumatic event of her teen years comes back to haunt her and the community. The story flowed from a photograph I saw once, back in the 1970s or possibly earlier, of a number of organized crime figures leaving a motel early in the morning, possibly after a meeting or perhaps just a friendly all-night poker game. (Do they even have those?) The image lingered, the story developed, and I began writing.

 

Caring for my husband on hospice took over my life, and though I finished the ms, it wasn't really finished. My agent kindly read it and made numerous suggestions, and now it sits in front of me. This is what I expected to be doing this fall, but with the problems with my late husband's computer and the overflow into mine, I'm wondering when I'll ever get to it. Fortunately, the story has remained warm, and even has grown while I've been coping with other things.

 

So this fall, as the leaves turn gold and red, I'll clear my desk of the pesky details of real life and sink into a world of danger and death, which is preferable to lost emails, locked laptops, and the upcoming tax season.

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A New Site

If you are reading this, you have found my new website. Over the last several years I've tried various ways to have one, and this is the latest iteration. So far this one is the easiest.

 

Part of the motivation for a new site was the inclusion of a newsletter. I don't know if I need one, but I know I'm supposed to have one, so I can procrasticate no longer. I'm not sure how long it will take me to get it out there, but know that it's coming.

 

I would be lying if I didn't mention as another motivation the unsolicited review of my former website by an outfit I'd never heard of, probably hoping I'd hire them to make my life better in the eyes of readers. They, whoever they are, sent me a list of my website weaknesses: no newsletter (the very first one), no clear platform, too academic looking, no pizzaz or romance in the story, no group blog (so?), and poor sales (I sold nothing from the site). Depressing but accurate. Except that I really liked the photos I posted, and that was partly why I had that site. Nevertheless, I hung onto the review, considered its value, and here I am.

 

In 1985 my husband brought home a Compaq computer (anyone remember those?). I had just signed my first book contract and had lots of material to type into a manuscript. The home computer was new, and it was so complicated to turn on (boot up) that I had to call my husband at work and ask him what to do. He walked me through it—every morning. I grew so frustrated with the machine that I finally "threw" it off my desk and went back to typing the book. And now here I am, along with millions of other low-tech folk, setting up and managing my own website. 

 

If the Universe is kind and fair (I like to think), this will be the first in a new series of posts and a more active website. As I often say, more to come.

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