Here I blog about writing, editing, reading, books, submissions, freelancing, getting published (and rejected), journalism, revisions, life after the MFA, teaching writing, and living the writer's life. Welcome. BUT -- if you are a writer: Write first, read blogs second.




Tuesday, May 3, 2016

From Lemons to Lemonade, with Writing, Loss, and a Speeding Car in Between

Winter and early spring have been a chaotic few months, bitter and a little hard to take. It began with knee surgery for my husband, followed a few weeks later by the loss of his much-loved father, with whom he worked, side by side, for nearly 40 years. 

Then, about three months of  recurrent illnesses (and tests and a bit of surgery) for me, and finally--as if my family wasn't already feeling like we'd gotten hit by a speeding vehicle, an actual speeding vehicle turned a quarter of my husband's  brick and concrete warehouse into a drive-thru. (Fortunately, hubby was 20 feet away from the crashed wall--though 20 seconds before he was right behind it.) Seeing your husband bowed first by loss and then by the physical destruction of the place where he and his father built their business, is something I don't yet have words for.


Yes, life goes on. As life went on the last few months, I kept writing, because--well, that's what we writers do, right? We write. Nonfiction writers especially write about what's swirling through our lives, buffeting us with emotions and situations we'd rather avoid, or don't understand, or find confusing, stressful, emotionally demanding. We write, not sure why some days, or where any of it may lead.

What I've been scribbling over the winter of discontent may or may not ever amount to anything. Right now all those hand written pages are just pages, just notes and half-simmered thoughts and ideas of what may make a good essay--one day. For now, it's just marinating. Another day, I'll peek under the lid and see what the stew holds, maybe ladle out something that looks or smells promising.

Meanwhile, the writing life went on, goes on...

~ The academic semester is ending, and later this week, I'm heading to the campus of Bay Path University in Massachusetts to see our first creative nonfiction MFA class graduate--and meet most of my online students for the first time, as they read from the creative work I've witnessed them conceive, craft and revise and rewrite, for the past two years. 

~ My fingers are crossed that a 2017 AWP panel proposal will be accepted. 

~ Fall courses are penciled in.

~ The rejections arrive, are duly noted. And the essays and short memoir pieces and pitches go out again.

~ An essay close to my heart has been accepted by a print journal I admire (with a fall publication date).

~ I've sent off a rewritten memoir manuscript--this time a more traditional linear narrative (transformed from a linked essay collection). Will YOU cross your fingers for me on that one?

Meanwhile, it's spring (though the continuing cold weather in New Jersey suggests otherwise). The crappy winter is in the rear view mirror. Summer is ahead. And, lemonade.

Onward...


Images: Flickr/Creative Commons -- Lemons (BobBertholf); Lemonade (LaurenAllik-Floating/Vibes)



14 comments:

Linda K Sienkiewicz said...

Fingers crossed for the AWP panel proposal AND the revamped memoir!

Terri Jackson said...

Fingers crossed! "We write." Yes! I found myself sitting in swirling pet fur and I wrote. Wishing you a beautiful spring soon, we are in MD and I am tempted to turn the heat on just to break the chill!

Shari Eberts said...

Good luck with the proposals! Life does continue. Can't wait for the weather to warm up too!

drew said...

So good to see you back here at the blog.
Press on, dear one.

Janice Wald said...

Hi,
What you wrote: trying to write creative nonfiction, I feel like that's what I'm trying to do as I blog about blogging tips.
I am sorry you've had personal struggles.
Janice

Rena McDaniel said...

So sorry that your family is experiencing such a hard time, I really hope things go up from here.

kimtb said...

It sounds like you've done an awesome job with your lemondade, in every way. Also, I'm going to poke around on the online MFA program! I hope you're breathing again soon.

Middle-aged Diva (Carol) said...

The only good thing about bad things happening is that it gives the writer plenty of material to write about. That being said, I am so sorry for the losses that seem to keep piling up.

Anne Louise Bannon said...

Ouch. Why does it always seem like these things happen all at once? Like they can't be spaced out every couple years or so. Glad to hear you're making the best of it.

Risa Nye said...

Good luck; there, there; congratulations. I think that sums it up! Hope the scale tips over to more positives in the days to come!

Kitta MacPherson said...

Fingers crossed for one of the most talented people I know!

Fondly, Kitta

Adela said...

It's been a while since I checked in with you, Lisa. OMGosh, what a lot has happened. Can't help but think the crashed warehouse as a metaphor for all that's tumbled.

I'm keeping my toes and fingers crossed, and entering your desires into my prayer box. Good luck.

Lisa Romeo said...

Thank you all very much! It's very gratifying to *see* you all back here on the blog again. With all of you praying, wishing me luck, and sending positive vibes, it might be a fabulous spring and summer after all.

Cathy said...

You continue to amaze me. I'm not shocked or surprised at the literary achievements in your life. When I met Laura G. I told her the same. I am in awe of all you do. Be proud! Your work has touched the lives of so many. You can include me in there, my friend.

P.S. I am so sorry for all your family has had to go through. Let's hope this is the beginning of wonderful things about to unfold. You certainly all deserve it!