Well, hello there! It’s been a while, hasn’t it?
For all intents and purposes, I stopped blogging in the fall of 2013, after I posted the book tour details for The Impossible Knife of Memory. I didn’t talk about it too much, but that was when my father took a turn for the worse. He had enjoyed ridiculously robust health, but suddenly he suffered some strokes and started having terrifying delusions. In March of 2014, he fell and hit his head, and died two days later.
To say that I was devastated doesn’t begin to describe my state of mind.
My father was my hero; a WWII veteran who became a minister, marched for Civil Rights and faced down the Klan, wrote poetry, raged at injustice, and tried to make the world a better place. He was also plagued by PTSD, depression, and alcoholism.
When I was a kid, I adored him. As a teen I was afraid of him, angry, and terrified he was going to kill himself. After I left for college we entered the Cold War phase of our relationship.
One of the most delightful aspects of my adult life was moving my parents back North from Florida so we could take care of them. I went to the gym and then breakfast with him a couple days a week, talked with him constantly, and basked in the good fortune that we had so much time together.
When he died, I needed to withdraw a bit. Blogging did not happen and updating my website was not a priority.
We tried to get on with the business of living. Our children started to have children. We hosted my oldest daughter’s wedding at our house. I finally finished Ashes, and went on adventures to China, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. I tried to write and threw out a lot of horrible pages.
But I finally learned how to walk with my father in my heart.
So I’m back. My website has been rebuilt from scratch thanks to my wonderful assistant, Jenn, and Deena Warner. I have a lot of fun travel coming up, am working on several new books, and have Many Big Thoughts that require blogging again.
Do you have specific topics you’d like to see me blog about? Writing advice? American history? How to live out of a carry-on during book tour? Put your ideas in the Comments, or reach out to me on social media and I’ll see what I can do.
Thanks for your patience, my friends!
8 Replies to “Starting Over, Again”
Well done my love! I am sure Frank is grinning from ear to ear.
Love the redesign and very cool to see that you are taking the plunge back into blogging. I know you mentioned it when we chatted for Why I Write and I can’t wait to follow along.
So happy you have found your way “back!” Would love to hear writing advice from someone I hold in such high regard. That being said, whatever you decide to blog about will have me reading! Much love sent your way! ❤️👏🙏🏻
I have learned so much from your example of being an adult child to your parents, and I’m glad you’re back. Two things I would like to ask about:
1. In writing classes, nobody ever gets to subplots…how do you deal with them.
2. Sometimes, when I sketch out the arc of a story, it looks like a series of conversations between two people. Though a talented author/teacher once assured me dialogue is action, I’m afraid arcs like this can become claustrophobic and many of my favorite authors create memorable decisive moments of ACTION. When you know the internal motion of a scene or series of scenes, how do you encourage yourself to imagine some more external variety (beyond just setting)?
Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of my dad’s death, so I get it. It’s all I can think about. But he had a really interesting life and a happy 67years of marriage. I hold onto the memories dearly.
What a beautiful description of your dad, and of your relationship. So much love there, in words and picture.
If you were ever so inclined to share, I’d love to read a blog post on productivity, and how you manage to keep working toward a big writing goal without getting sucked into the black holes of Facebook, Twitter and the news. The news is so awful now, I find myself consumed by reading each more outrageous thing and development, and then losing big chunks of time I could have/should have/need to spend on my writing. Any tips for how you keep working and make progress while staying informed and active in this critical time (which I know you do, thank you!) would be of great help.
Thank you for all you give to readers and fellow writers!
I’m so glad you chose to come back. Many of us still need our hand held.
Death can be hard (DUH), but you still decided to get back to writing to your heart’s desire and do what makes you happy, and that makes me happy