Sunday, July 21, 2013

i'm not complaining

I'm not complaining. Even though the temps have been in the 90s with 90% humidity, even though my plants are wilting in the sun, even though I'm sitting here in a pool of sweat--I'm not complaining.

Six months ago, I complained, and look what happened. I griped about having to put on a jacket, hat, scarf, and mittens just to take the dogs out. I cursed the icy roads. I couldn't get warm. I longed for the day I could step outside in just a tee shirt and shorts, hop in the car and take off without worrying about snow, warm my bones..., I'm not complaining about the heat.

Six years ago I remember complaining because I longed to write but couldn't make time for it. I was still in medical practice and I didn't like the direction the American health care system was taking. I longed for the day when I could set my own hours, make friends with my muse, and write in blissful solitude. So I retired...and for a couple of years, I wrote my little heart out.

Then...I tried to publish what I had written. 
If medical practice with its frustrations and disappointments was winter for me...then trying to get published is like trying to survive a heat wave. I don't want to go back to winter, but summer isn't what I had hoped for, either.

When I started to write I had no MFA (nor do I now), no acquired expertise, and no prior experience. I was generally clueless about what to expect. It turned out to be harder than I imagined. Still, I wouldn't change things for the world. I can put up with a little heat if it keeps winter away.

The moral of this post is:

Be careful what you ask for...and don't complain when you get it!
It's time to turn the AC up and get back to work.
"If you don't ask...
they can't say yes."
--quoting my friend Nancy--
 ps.: During a heat wave, ice cream is your best friend.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

a perfect week for writing

My definition of a perfect week:
  • An empty schedule
  • A daily work-out or long walk
  • Nothing else to do but write
My coming week:
  • A meeting to prepare for an up-coming spiritual retreat
  • A road trip to Pittsburgh where my son is recuperating from a bad mountain biking accident:
  • A meeting to prepare for an up-coming medical mission in Africa

    Sue RumbaughInstructor Bio: Sue Rumbaugh is an Associate Professor at Carlow University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she teaches creative writing. Prior, she spent two decades writing for newspapers and the nonprofit sector. Today, in addition to her book-length memoir in progress, she writes short stories and personal essays. Sue's work has appeared in newspapers, literary journals, Western Washington State Reflections, Western Pennsylvania Reflections (History Press), and Travel Writing Handbook (Leromi Publishing ), as well as Story Circle Network's True Words anthology. She has presented to audiences in Pittsburgh and Carlow, Ireland.

  • Nothing else to do but write! 
Oh well, there's always next week, right?

 What's your ideal writing week like? Has it ever really happened?

Thursday, July 4, 2013

happy independence day

Ah, the 4th of July! A good day to kick back with a cold drink by the pool, to relax with friends and family, and to anticipate the fireworks that will bring this perfect midsummer day to an end.

The 4th of July--a hard earned celebration of our nation's journey to freedom.

I can't imagine what it must have been like to risk everything--everything!--to escape religious and political repression. To venture off into the unknown never to return again. To put your family at risk.

Would we have survived the voyage?
That first winter?

Would we have succumbed to disease? To starvation? Would my children have survived?

Would I have been willing to fight for it?
To die for it? Because that's what has taken throughout our history...again and win this pleasant, easy-going holiday for us.

If I had lived back then, would I have taken the risk? Would you?