Sunday, November 18, 2012

Writer's Double Life

The hardest part about my double life is I don’t have any time to dwell on the victories of my writing.

I remember when the copy of my first printed book came in the mail at work.  I wanted to shout and dance and grin broadly and call everyone and post it on Facebook and then dance some more.  Maybe even have a cup of celebratory tea and toast to the sunshine streaming in the windows!

But a tape was waiting and my boss was pacing and eyeing my allegiances and so I put the box under my desk and smiled to myself and got back to work. The bills have to be paid and I can’t be without a job.  Tucking myself away, I set it aside.

My second book, like the first, crossed my desk in similar fashion with similar squelched happiness.  

And now, today, I have officially sent a proposal with real terms to be agreed upon by real people who have asked me to get their stories in print for other real people to print and read and share.  I want desperately to talk the terms out with everyone I see.  To pontificate and regurgitate and reassess the pros, the cons, the fears, the accomplishments.  

But no dancing aloud, no celebrations ensue, no reveling here, no discussions, dissertations or detailing allowed!

Dictation and filing and other important tasks demand I retain focus.

Someday, when I grow up, I’m going to be a writer at my own desk in my own space and I hereby proclaim every noteworthy event will be celebrated with tea, crumpets and loud voices!

But not today.  Today, I get back to work.

At lunch time, if you look over my shoulder, you might find me tossing words about the page.  Not so they become memorialized, but simply to empty them from my consciousness so I can concentrate.

Like this:

Let me just put it out there.  If they reject my offer, I am in the same position that I was in August before I knew such a thing could happen.  If they send a counter-proposal, I am in a better place than I was in August.  

What have I got to lose? 

This constant going back and forth in my mind only serves to distract me from the tasks at hand and could ultimately jeopardize my job.  That is the great frustration of working and not only writing.  The words chaotically chorus circling my days refusing to behave while I do what must be done if I will have a roof over my head and a car to drive.

I chase away jealous thoughts of those who wile their days away complaining about a husband gone too much or children who crawl into their personal time.  What do they do with all that free time I imagine they own?  What I wouldn’t give....  But then they likely wish they could trade my perceived freedoms and independence in exchange for their routines.  

Since my mother’s mind knows that no one wins the green-eyed battle, I construct a wall between my perceptions of them and their realities of me and get back to dictation while the words dance behind my eyes.

The worst part of being a writer who happens to be single is that there is no one to celebrate, contemplate and commiserate with me over the process.  I’m quite sure my friends are tired of my endless bragging and complaining, by turns, about the process.  If I were married, or even dating, surely Prince Charming would understand my fluttering mind and give me a place to rest.  I had a friend once whose voice alone I could rest in.  Something about his tone and understanding would instantly calm the fluttering phrases.  I miss that, honestly.   

Another friend rested my mind once by saying she was quite sure I wouldn’t want to write professionally.  Not that she didn’t think I could, but she feared that if I made the thing I love into the thing I must do it would tarnish its authenticity.  As the contract ballasts are built, I understand what she meant.  I only want to write, but if my writing is valuable, then I ought to get paid.  I’m not sure how to reconcile the two.  

Lunch hour has wound down and the timeclock is ticking.  Again I set aside the writer's dream until the day the words can play.  I put the worries with them in the box beneath my desk.  

For today there is only the hum of the air conditioner, the stacks of filing, the mail to prepare, the e-mails to read and the bills to be paid.   

Today I’m a writer with a job.  

 To order a copy of A Book of Pages About Crossing Bridges or a Friend Named Jesus, please visit my website:  Writer's Pages

Facebook:  Author Kris A. Newman

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Simpler Thoughts

For those of you who need something simple and plain to think about today, here's a little flashback to a quainter subject.  A couple of years ago I was involved in a platform boosting campaign that did, surely, boost my readership.  I posted the piece below as part of that.  I find this list of ten things about me to be interesting in that they are still ten things I would list if someone really wanted to know about me.

But what would really be interesting to me is if you, my readers, would tell me some things about you!  Drop me a comment, stop by the website listed below, friend me on Facebook.  My writer's mind is so curious to know your story!

So, dear reader, tell me ten things about you!


Well, this whole campaign and reading what everyone else is writing has done wonders for my motivation.  That's a fact.  Those of you who know me will find this list redundant.  Those new friends I have connected with, may find it a bit eclectic.

But since Kelly lured me into this and Kelly has just posted ten things about her, I thought I'd see if I can find ten things about me to say.  Not sure how this will go....

1.  I was raised in foster care.  That's an important fact about me.  It says how I view relationships, money, time, responsibility and family.  Please don't assume any negatives from my experience.  There are so many more positives that they far outweigh what might have been.  I had amazingly good foster parents.  I hope my life honors their memory.

2.  I love to read.  All kinds of books.  Always have.  L'Amour to Paul to Tolstoy to Fitzgerald to Castle.  Biographies are my favorites, but I read all sorts of random things.

3.  I hate guns.  It's my right as a patriotic American to hate guns.  Think what you will.  Tell me again that guns don't kill people..... I hate guns.  Hunting rifles used to feed your family, that's different.  I mean handguns and machine guns.  The kind of weapons only used to take life.  They only brings sadness - whether they kill someone or not.

4.  I love Jesus.  I am an outspoken born-again believer in the name of Jesus.  True story.  I try to follow His teachings and live to please Him.  I don't know if I'm a very good Christian, but I try.

5.  I have four official angelbabies and many, many more extras.  Angelbabies are grandchildren.  They call me Bapka (Polish for Grandmother according to Google translations).  They make me smile constantly.

6.  I love kids.  I have two sons and one daughter-in-law, but have been adopted by a wide range of kids - some barely younger enough to be my children.  They are all colors of the rainbow and come from many cultures.  I love them each individually and am proud to be owned by them.

7.  This is getting tougher....  Let's see.... I am a writer.  I suppose you already know that.  It took me a long time to believe my 7th grade English teacher who first labeled me.  I think I was 40 when I started to call myself a writer.  I was 44 when I published my first book.

8.  I am divorced.  That's hard for me to remember, too.  I know I'm not married, but it's hard to remember why sometimes.  Mental block, I suppose.  It's an important fact about me, but I don't always advertise it.

9.  My bucket list has a lot of traveling on it.  I love to go places and meet new people.  I like to see the world through their eyes and experience their lifestyle.  Such an amazing diversity in our world.

10.  My house decorating theme is "My Stuff."  Strewn about the walls and bookshelves and floor and cabinets are stories collected from people who have crossed my path.  Grandma's PianoOrgan, books from friends long gone, Angelbaby toys, gifts from my sons who were once little boys, pictures of my sister and I.  It's my stuff.  It's not much, but it tells the story of me.

There!  I did it!  Ten things about me.  Well, if you are still reading, thanks!  Now.... tell me about you.  At least tell me where you are from and how you found this writer's words.


To order a copy of A Book of Pages About Crossing Bridges or a Friend Named Jesus,
 please visit my website:  Writer's Pages

Facebook:  Author Kris A. Newman