“Back at It”

It’s been a while since I’ve done much writing.  My wife and I have been too busy enjoying ourselves for me to sit and comment on much of anything.  My creative juices seem to have gone more into perfecting my golf game (ha), watching our grandchildren grow, and finding ways to spend time with friends and neighbors.  Of course, dealing with the pandemic has been both depressing and debilitating.  Recently I’ve decided that my 71st birthday would be a good time to get back to being more productive with my writing.

I did quite a bit of writing in 2014.  It was therapy after the trauma of 2013.  Many of you don’t know that in the beginning of that year I lost my wife of forty years to a brain tumor.  That was just a week or so after my father passed.  Later that year my mother finally succumbed to the stroke that had kept her in a nursing home for ten years.  All of that was also the reason I retired from forty-one years of teaching.  Lots of changes.  In order to deal with those events, I wrote.

With the help of Michael Campbell (MC Writing) I published my first book, Dandelions and Other Flowers, a collection of poems from my college years in the late 1960s through early 2014.  This month I published Howling at the Moon—Blood Moon, a few poems and short stories inspired by my affection and affinity with wolves and other canines.  (Both are available from Amazon.)  I’m working on another collection of pieces—blog posts and short stories—that I hope to have finished early in 2022.  The whole self-publishing process is interesting.

I’m using Kindle Direct Publishing.  It has been quite the learning experience.  I think I had to re-submit my text four times before I got it where I wanted it.  At least for this one.  I’d like to do an e-book with Kindle, but the formatting for poetry has me stumped.  Word placement is very important to my poetry, and I haven’t been able to figure out how to get that to happen with the KDP software.

My wife keeps prodding me to finish the novel I started several years ago.  That’s another project I hope to get back to soon.  We’ll see how it goes.  In the meantime I plan to keep busy with golf, camping, grandkid sporting events, holidays, hiking, exercising, going to live music events, opera, ballet, symphony, neighborhood gatherings.  Something in that mix will surely give me inspiration for writing…if I can find the time.

Stay with me.  I might write something interesting.

We managed to survive the “flash” storm on 12-15-2021.  Had to hunker in the basement for a while as the wind howled.  We had gusts in Omaha over 80 mph.  No real damage at our home except for Christmas decorations.  I have about 20 strands of snowflakes high in the trees in our back yard.  I knew some would come down and was prepared to put them back up (it took me two hours just before Thanksgiving to get them up), but the stress of the winds seems to have short circuited some of them.  Most of them.  I think maybe four are still working.  Oh, well.  My three reindeer were blown over, and three of my oversized ornaments were blown out of a tree.  It’s frustrating, but I don’t have a tree in my living room and the roof is still intact.

The worst outcome of the storm is that my Internet seems to have short circuited somehow.  I spent almost all day on the 16th trying to get a human from CenturyLink to interact so that I could schedule a technician to come and figure out what was going on.  I hate the AI “help” systems.  Even so, when I finally got to talk with a tech, he said “your modem is working, so I can’t authorize someone to go to your residence.”  BestBuy and the Geek Squad was much more accommodating.  Bourbon was even better.

Surely there’s inspiration for writing in all of that….

The Christmas season—and my birthday—are always my special time of the year.  Unfortunately, it also seems to be a season of loss.  A couple of months ago one of my first cousins didn’t wake up from an afternoon nap.  Last week his twin brother passed from suddenly-discovered esophageal cancer.  All around us people are suffering from the ravages of this damned plague.  Despite it all, I keep my optimism, or try to.  I am lucky in that I am surrounded by people I love.  To paraphrase Clarence, I am the wealthy man who has many friends.

All of these things about living this life I’ve been given will keep inspiring me.  Maybe some of it will become topics for writing.  Keep checking, if you’re interested.  Look at my author page on Facebook and my blog at drdancox.me.


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