Monday, June 19

The midyear report

Doesn't that title look official, like we actually have a midyear report!

I wrote "The End" the other day and celebrated by having lunch at a favorite place with the roommate. Not that the story won't have to be ripped apart and sewn back together, but the first telling--that's the biggie.

Just as I start each year wondering where publishing will take us over the next 12 months, with Harlequin's heartbreaking decision about closing lines, I'm wondering the same thing about the next six. On one very personal hand, since I don't try to make a living with my writing, I'm very que sera, sera; on the other, since I love the imprint I write for and feel loyalty and concern for the writers and editors who've been disenfranchised...well, I worry. I worry a lot. (Clarification here--Heartwarming wasn't one of the lines that was discontinued. However, I think most of us fear for the lines we're most closely connected to.)

I'm halfway through the great 50-book challenge of 2017. Actually, I'm more than halfway because occasionally I forget to write one down, especially if it hasn't left much of an impression. What cool things have left impressions, though! I just read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society for the first time (it was published in 2008) and loved it. I don't write many book reviews because I'm so terrible at it, but let that suffice--I loved it. Just the other day, I found a Carla Kelly I'd missed somewhere along the line and I'm loving it, too. 

Occasionally, in the flotsam and jetsam of life, you have "terrible, horrible, no good, very bad" days, to quote Judith Viorst. They are endless and excruciatingly painful and even though you know you're going to live through them, it doesn't stop you from hating every minute. I've had a few--okay, more than a few--of them this year.

Then, on the flip side of that occasionally, you have days that are so good you're afraid to say it out loud. Days when you're watching TV or eating dinner or playing Farkle or lying in bed and you or someone you're with says very quietly, "What a great day it's been." You get to hug those days close--they help with getting through the other kind. How nice it is that I've had more than a few of the good ones this year, too.

There are things that stay the same in a constantly changing world. I'm looking
out my window at the green fields, the cottonwood trees, and the clothesline. A hummingbird is hanging tenaciously onto the feeder while he's being dive-bombed by his cohorts. I've worked in this office nearly every day for the five years or so since Duane and our boys carved it out of part of the garage. The desk has never moved, the view only changes when the seasons do, and my heart is at rest here. I am so grateful for sameness.

I'm reading through what is finished of my MIP, the one I deserted to write the novella that will be out in October. I hadn't opened the file for weeks and was afraid that when I did, I wouldn't like what I found. But I do. Now I just have to get comfortable with it again, have to slip back into the POVs of the protagonists I ignored and remember whose eyes are green and whose are brown.

I thought I could write two stories at once since so many people do. Apparently, I'm not one of them. I wonder, as I'm on the south end of my writing career, if I'll be discovering things about myself as a writer right up to the very last day.

When that last day comes, I hope I don't know it's the last day. (I read this thought on Facebook, having to do with something else, and it resonated with me. Thanks to whomever had it first.)

So, all in all, things are looking good at my midyear. How's yours going? 

Have a great week.


  1. It's been a crazy 2017 so far here...but I just turned in a book, and I'm working on a new project, and I've found some really great reads this year (i'll update my reading challenge in July) I can't complain!

    1. I've seen what all you've been doing--you don't have TIME to complain! :-)

  2. Nice report, thanks, Liz! Mine will be tomorrow's post because you know how I love a theme! ;-)

  3. Great report, Liz! Hope your end-of-year report can be more of the same, if not better!

  4. I didn't hear about Harlequin pulling the plug on Heartwarming. I'm sorry to hear that. Just remember those good days.

    1. No, they didn't. Heartwarming is still good.

  5. I think I'm going to copy and post my update on Thursday--Great idea, Liz! Good to read your update.