Monday, December 31, 2012

The End of 2012

How does this year end, then? In sorrow for the loss of children's lives? In astonishment at the folly of some solutions to problems of too much violence? In shame and dismay that in the 21st century, women in India (and elsewhere) must still fear for their safety? In hope that this will change? In panic at the future of the only planet we can call home?

I'm beginning to think that if there's one thing we can count on in life, it's change. Like it, hate it, resist it, deny it, change is the only real deal. We'd better embrace it, or we'll fool ourselves into extinction.

Tim Wynne-Jones's beautiful post on the VCFA faculty blog speaks to many things but what struck me as I read it is how often it made me change my mind--just when I thought I understood where he was heading with the anecdote, the perspective shifted, the ground fell away beneath my logical mind.

Peace to all, if only for the moment. 

Monday, December 03, 2012

Interruptions, the Passage of Time, and Happy 90th Birthday, Barbara Brooks Wallace!

On November 11, I was at the SCBWI-NM retreat at beautiful Hummingbird Music Camp in the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico. I'd cranked out a couple of new chapters of a work in progress and was planning to write another 500 or so words, only that never happened. I ended up rushed to hospital, then in surgery a couple of days later, and then flat on my back hooked up to IV's for a few days longer. I learned the Latin name for the malfunctioning part of my innards--appendix epiploica, take that!

And I was very, very lucky. I received terrific medical care at the Sandoval Regional Medical Center, a brand new facility in Rio Rancho, NM. There were no complications. Surgery took all of 15 minutes. And I'm fine now, thanks, having learned something about time and its passage.

That whole week dragged on so painfully while it was playing out, yet now that it's over it seems to have passed in a flash. It makes me pay more attention to how I treat time when I'm writing, and by that I mean both the fictional passage of time in my stories (When do I slow time down and zoom in on it in a scene? When do I speed it up and summarize its events?) and managing the time I spend writing them. It just somehow makes me want to be more attentive and intentional about it, to appreciate time more when I have the ability to use it, treat it, shape its passage.

And so I want to end this post with a shout-out to my friend Bobbie. Barbara Brooks Wallace is the author of Peppermints in the Parlor, Ghosts in the Gallery, The Twin in the Tower and other marvelous middle grade Victorian-era mysteries set on the east coast of the United States.

Bobbie turns 90 today. That seems such an accomplishment to me, something completely admirable, getting to a huge marker in life's marathon of experience and endurance and wisdom.

I wish I were there to help her celebrate in person. Some us did manage to send flowers and gifts, however.

Happy birthday, Bobbie!