The officially stated theme for the 2016 Camden Writers Anthology #2.
Starting in January, I pulled about four pieces from my stash of vignettes relevant to the 2016 anthology theme – some started but unfinished, others already firmly written and in need of my critique group’s keen insights and suggestions, still others with germinal ideas and notes-to-self on how to proceed.
I discovered early on during critique presentations that even the one piece I thought was 99.9% ready to go, wasn’t. And that really was fine with me. I decided I’d use the submission deadline as the catalyst for getting those pieces and ideas in shape for publication.
Meanwhile I was deeply ensconced in a regular routine spent on the practice stool prepping in anticipation of upcoming recording sessions for my Swimming with Swans: the music project.
Progress towards both project milestones were rolling along smoothly. However, I didn’t factor in the possibility of Dad entering into hospice care in April.
Thus began my precious Summer of Dad.
The first trip out to see Dad during the beginning of my Summer of Dad I brought along the hard copies of those critiques to begin further re-writes on two of the original four pieces. I also planned on keeping my chops up for when I could continue on the recording project. I thought I’d work on the vignettes and practice during my ‘down time’ – those days not spent with Dad.
The importance of those projects quickly faded along with my own ability to maintain the focus necessary to do such work. While in the midst of a major transition – an end-of-life journey with Dad – the irony and timing of the Camden Writers Theme was not lost on me.
Transitions are life evolutions: beginning-middle-end to another beginning-middle-end to yet another until one reaches the Final Transition. That being: beginning-middle-end to new life in another realm; which was where we were with Dad during my Summer of Dad.
His ‘end’ was his new beginning outside our realm of being an active part of it.
As diligent work was being done on the anthology in South Carolina, Jayne and Kathryn of the Camden Writers graciously allowed me to submit two different pieces (both poems) during my time in Colorado. They hadn’t been critiqued by the group but fulfilled the thematic aspect of the ever-growing manuscript.
A few days ago, I went to my first writers group meeting since March. It was a marketing meeting where we discussed details of the two book signings we have this month for our newly published anthology “What I Wish I Could Tell You.” The book’s cover art puzzled me since it didn’t seem related to the transition theme. Turns out, submissions migrated towards end-of-life transitions and the photo is of a local hospice out-reach fair.
Many of the published pieces are familiar to me as I helped critique them early on in this project. But the group’s hospice and end-of-life stories will be fresh reading for me as they emerged while I was away during my Summer of Dad.
Note: I’m offering a free copy of “What I Wish I Could Tell You” to one lucky winner to be selected at random. Just comment below to be entered in the drawing. Winner to be announced a week from the date of this posting.
‘Tis the season for taking a blogging break. This website/blog has been in need of revamping for quite some time, but the learning curve for doing that was just too time consuming. It seems I’m running out of hostgator storage space for the blog. As it stands, as long as I don’t upload too many photos, I’ll be fine for a while, but it’s hard to not decorate posts with graphics! As a compromise and in order to buy some time to figure out how to best utilize available space, I’ll be limiting my post frequency for now.
In addition, I’m re-starting steps towards finishing the recording of my Swimming with Swans: the music which includes finding a new recording studio and perhaps making revisions to the present set list of pieces. I’m also researching options for building my own music specific website and am getting pretty excited at the prospect of doing this.
In general, things that have been on hold for the past seven years are beginning to open up again. Opportunities on the horizon are inching nearer and becoming more visible to my husband and myself…close enough to taste…
Reminder: I’m offering a free copy of “What I Wish I Could Tell You” to one lucky winner to be selected at random. Just comment below to be entered in the drawing. Winner to be announced a week from the date of this posting.