Buddhism, Broken Ribs and Writing

It has been a slow couple of weeks in the writing department.  First, I had my sister staying with me for a few days.  Then I fell off a ladder and cracked a rib. Yes,ouch.  I have a huge old Live Oak looming over my house in Florida.  It constantly sheds acorns, leaves and sticks with a limb falling, too, now and then.  I had a mild leak during the hurricane in September and needed some screws on the roofline sealed, but the leaves and debris had to go first.  My neighbor Larry got on the roof with his leaf blower and I got to work cleaning the gutters.  On my first descent from the ladder, I missed the lowest rung slamming my chest against the ladder and hitting the ground.

I got right up and finished the job and have not really curtailed my activity as much as I should have. I raked up all the debris and bagged it up, re-arranged the furniture in my main rooms and moved my bed.

My rib only hurts when I move or sneeze or cough, but gets a little less tender every day.  My approach to writing is the same as my approach to injury — keep working through the pain and eventually it won’t hurt any more!  Lately, I have been having trouble working on the sequel to Bea’s Tale: The Next Chapter — Chasing Bees.  I instead reworked some of my old English teacher stuff and self-published a writing manual for essays about literature. My proof copy should arrive today!

I did get some news about Bea’s Tale: The Adventure Begins.  I sent a manuscript off to Austin Mcauley — they are publishing my memoir Like an Elephant.  They offered to publish it in partnership with me for an investment on my part of about $2500.  That was good news, but I have not yet decided what to do there.

I had a free offering of Bea’s Tale: The Adventure Begins through Amazon Marketing Services and had about 25 downloads.  I need some reviews; perhaps one or two of those readers will write a review.  I added about 30 key words so that the book will come up on more searches. Actually my little pamphlet Three Buddhist Treasures has the best history of views and clicks.  Maybe I should write a story with a Buddhist heroine, lord knows Buddhism is an adventure!

AMS photo



Writing Habit

For decades, well two anyway, I have been telling my students that writing takes practice.  I encouraged them to write every day with journal prompts in a writer’s notebook.  We read how famous writers tackle writing: Annie Dillard, Stephen King, Anne Lamott and Alice Steinbach, and Tim O’Brien to name a few. I talked the talk, but never really got down to walking the walk.  Too busy reading papers and books to prepare lessons, too busy with graduate school, then too busy traveling.

Things changed in October 2017.  I retired from teaching.  I spent months and endless hours in the night worrying that I would find retirement boring and purposeless.  Instead, I find I am busy and satisfied.  Why?  I have developed a writing habit.  I get up when I want, drink my coffee, then sit at the kitchen table soaking up the sun and writing.  I begin by skimming over what I wrote the day before then going from there.  I write in the afternoon for a couple of hours, too.

Since I retired three months ago, I have written over 90,000 words!  Unimaginable even a year ago!  During November, I participated in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and finished a 50,000 word novel — the first in a series:  Beas’s Tale: The Adventure Begins.  Since then I have written 32,000 words in the next book:  Beas’s Tale: Chasing Bees.  AND I am having fun.

Most of the habits I have developed over my life have been not so inspiring: swearing, smoking, biting my nails — the list goes on.  I like this habit and am proud to be a writer.