Tuesday, July 31, 2007

mating squirrels

As I was trying to decide what to blog about this morning, I looked up and saw two squirrels on our back deck. They were quite rapidly enjoying adult relations. (I'm assuming they were adults... perhaps they were horny teen rodents, which would be a great B-movie title.)

I don't know what this has to do with writing, life, death, or anything that happens, but I find it amusing. And it reminds me of the last time my little buddy and I witnessed such sport.

My son asked, "Why is one squirrel on the other's back?"

I, the liar, answered, "Oh... they're probably playing."

Then he said something about them hugging one another.

Ah, innocence. It's refreshing, but I wouldn't want to go back.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


I'm not sure if this is a legitimate 'net word or not, but I'd like to discuss it here at Recess for Writers:

blastard: someone who leaves quite unnecessary, overly negative feedback on others' blogs, ostensibly to make him- or herself feel better or more important.

I've just noticed that there are so many blastards in cyberspace, and it really has started to irritate me.

I mean, come on... do you have a pessimistic opinion about everything?


I realize that certain blogs actively seek negative comments by discussing highly controversial subjects; therefore, I do not count those commentators among the blastard species.

Instead, I'm focusing on people who have no other enjoyment in life but to leave anonymous (it's almost always anonymous individuals... or, as Writer, Rejected calls them, "anonymice") messages just for the heck of it. That's rotten.

I'm fortunate that there have been ZERO blastards who have commented on this blog (I'm sure this will change if some blurking blastards come out of the woodwork now.) I've had one Portuguese spammer, but his offense, though annoying, is not blastardy.

So... what do you think? Have you encountered any blastards lately?

Friday, July 27, 2007

All jazzed up

It's rare that I allow myself to write for the sheer fun of it anymore.

Don't get me wrong. I truly love putting together nonfiction pieces, and I adore interviewing and researching; however, my volume of work has gone up considerably in the past few years, so I simply don't make much time to devote to recreational writing.

HOWEVER, that all changed this week when I submitted an entry to the "Halo" short story contest at Jason Evans' site, Clarity of Night.

It was so satisfying to tackle a project that required me to use creative skills that have lain dormant for quite a while. And while my 250-word piece is hardly worthy of a multi-million dollar contract (or even a publisher's nod), I'm pretty pleased with the final draft. (It's Entry #7, in case you want to check it out.)

If you have the chance, drop by Jason's blog and read the entries (all based on a picture that Jason displayed.) Oh, and if you're inspired, send him a story of your own!

The contest ends August 1st, 11:00 p.m. EST. You can even win a cool prize!

All-in-all, this has made me remember just how much fun fiction can be.

Maybe I'll have to work on this kind of writing more often in the future...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Do you feel lucky?

I don't give much credence to the concept of "luck"; I tend to believe that we make our own good fortune by our deeds and attitudes.

However, I watched a butterfly float in front of me the other day and it reminded me (though I'm not sure why) that many people have a "lucky" something. Maybe it's a butterfly pin. Or a collection of elephant knick-knacks. Perhaps it's a rabbit's foot (dear God, let's hope not.)

This led me to ask myself, "Is there anything I own that feels 'lucky' to me?"

The answer, in short, is "no".

I tried to think of something (other than my husband and son) that always makes me feel that Fortune is smiling upon me, but I just couldn't. There's no little trinket that calls to me, no special rock I found at the beach that's smooth on top and rippled underneath, no photograph that I keep with me wherever I go.

Of course, I have no clue what this means... or if it means anything at all!

But I am curious to know if any of my readers have "good luck charms" of any sort? And do they seem to "work" (even just on a psychological level)?

Monday, July 23, 2007

Leaving cubbies behind

As some of you know, I left the corporate world almost four years ago to stay home with my son.

Although I have never regretted that decision (I would never have been able to rev up my freelance writing career if I hadn't escaped from high heels and annual reviews), there are some aspects of the business realm that I do miss.

Below, I've listed some of that stuff.

If you hail from the Land of Cubicles, feel free to add your own observations in the comments section.


Health insurance.
Public speaking.
Attending conferences.
That first cup of coffee that's been made by someone else.
Vacation pay.
Sick leave.
Personal days.
Lunch meetings at nice restaurants.
Conducting interviews.
Mentoring other professionals.


Bastard weasel bosses.
Being told, "You look too young to be a manager."
Having to "suck it up" twenty times a day.
Being expected to kiss derriere (it tastes about as good as you'd expect.)
Meetings that never should have been called in the first place. ("Let's have a pre-meeting to discuss what we'll talk about during the meeting..." -- I've actually heard this. It's steaming bulls*&t at its finest.)
Someone asking, "Have a minute?" and then taking up two hours of your time.
The words "paradigm shift".
Getting phone calls while on vacation about "urgent" crud you can do nothing about unless you leave immediately. (And even then, it's never life and death.)
The monotony of cubby life.
Overhearing coworkers' conversations (yeah, they might be titillating 1% of the time, but the other 99% they are talking about their damn gyno appointments or fighting with their significant other.)
Being taken for granted every freakin' day. (Parenthood is kind of like that, but the rewards are HUGE!)
Always wearing a "mask".
Being asked to lie ("It's really a half-truth... and it'll make him/her feel better!")
Getting yelled at by someone who really has no business yelling in the first place and deserves a good swift kick in the pants rather than an apology.

Have I missed anything?

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Is Knowledge Finite?

Forgive me for waxing so philosophical on a blog that was originally intended to be entertaining and not overly "deep". However, I've been musing about the notion of knowledge and wondering whether there was a point at which we could no longer absorb more?

For instance, do we learn and learn and learn until supersaturation occurs, thus requiring us to get rid of one thing in order to make room for something else? Or can we conceivably keep learning (without having to engage in any mental "spring cleaning") until we die?

Obviously, thoughts and ideas take up no physical room in our three-dimensional world, but surely there could be limits as to how much information our brain matter can reasonably hold. Or maybe not and I'm full of baloney and obviously need to learn more about the science behind the question.

So I'm throwing it out to any visitors to this blog:

What do you think?

Are we limited not only by how much time we have to learn, but how much space we have to "shelve" our boxes of knowledge? And does it really matter? (Let's face it... few people reach their limits in terms of knowledge.)

~ just wonderin' ~

Friday, July 20, 2007

Medicating "Genius"

It's no secret that some of the world's most renowned artists (both visual and literary) had or probably had some form of mental illness. Hemingway wasn't exactly Mr. Happy most days, and Van Gogh... well, he snipped off a part of his freakin' ear.

That being acknowledged, I wonder what would happen if these "disturbed" individuals had lived in today's society, where depression *must* be immediately controlled? Would they have ingested copious amounts of Prozac and Lithium, warned that their feelings were "wrong", encouraged by friends and family to "get over it"?

Would our culture of "gotta-fix-it-now" have medicated away some of art and literature's biggest names?

Honestly, I don't know.

But I have noticed a rather interesting trend among people (at least in America). They expect everything to be great 100% of the time. That means if you're feeling out-of-sorts, you need to do something to get better. You need to see a therapist, you need to take an antidepressant, you need...

What if all you need is to wait a few days for the feeling to pass?

Now, before you assume that I'm anti-medication, let me assure you I am most definitely not. I have a great respect for what responsibly prescribed drugs can do for individuals. However, I also am concerned that we're not allowing ourselves to learn how to take the bad with the good.

Case in point:

My son (almost four) awoke one morning and said, "I feel sad today."

What was my first inclination? To "fix" his "problem", of course!

I tried to talk him out of it. I tried to make him see how positive his life was. I tried to make him laugh. But he still, as he put it, "felt sad."

Suddenly, it occurred to me that he was just experiencing what a lot of us do--a "down" kind of morning. He wasn't shaking and crying in a corner; he was just naming the way he felt, which is actually very advanced.

Once that realization hit me like a two-by-four, I switched tactics and gently told him, "You know, I sometimes wake up feeling sad, too. It's weird, huh?" And he smiled and responded, "You do?" Then, we talked for a while. But I never told him to get over it, just tried to help him work through it.

Again, I'm not belittling those with serious mental health issues, and I'm not suggesting we stop all medications.

I'm just concerned that perhaps we're dulling some intense emotions rather than learning how to work with them.

Think I'm full of cow pies? I'd love to hear your opinions!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

NEWSFLASH: one size doesn't fit all

Growing up, I never felt like I "fit in."

As a kid and teen, I always thought I should have been born into a past generation, should have lived in another town, should have attended a bigger school, should have... well, you get the picture.

As an adult (at least chronologically-speaking), I still feel like I'm on the edge looking in most of the time. I don't mean to imply that I somehow feel superior (or, for that matter, inferior) to others. I just feel... well... different.

Maybe it's just the awareness of my uniqueness. Alternately, maybe what I think is original about me isn't at all and I'm just living in a cloud of self-created illusion.

Have any of you have ever felt like you just couldn't relate to today's world, that you belonged somewhere else but couldn't pinpoint where that place could be?

If you feel like commenting, I'd love to hear your thoughts...

Perhaps we could all get together someday and start an annual Conference of Misfits. Then, we could all feel different together.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Do You Blurk?

I'm not much of a "blurker".

(You know what I'm talking about, right? "Blog Lurkers"... those folks who regularly read a blog but never reveal their identities or presences. They prefer to exist in the shadows, like guardian angels or phantoms of the blogpera.)

For me, blurking never seems to work.

I mean, I'd love to blurk because it just seems so doggone cool.

You're basically a "fly on the wall", reading others' thoughts, trials, experiences and comments without their collective knowledge. You can anonymously be "part of the action", never exposing yourself (in a G-rated way.) Kind of like "Harriet the Spy meets Cyberspace."

Theoretically, this concept tantalizes me. Yet I'm never satisfied with blurking.

Maybe it's my natural extroversion that keeps me from remaining on the sidelines for long. Or perhaps I'm just unwilling to let my brilliant advice and opinions (that's a joke, by the way...) pass without sharing them with others. It could be that I'm just an intrusive blowhard.

Whatever the reason, I've failed at the blurking game. So if I ever visit your site, please know that if I plan on coming back, I'll be making an appearance sooner or later! And if you're a blurker of Recess for Writers, I encourage you to keep popping in. Hopefully, sooner or later you'll feel compelled to step out from behind the curtain... but if you'd like to remain a blurker, that's a-okay, too. I'm just grateful for your blurking support.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

When Did You Start Writing?

I have a theory that the love affair with writing usually starts very early in life.

For instance, I have been writing books, poems, short stories, song lyrics, plays, magazines, and newspapers for as long as I can remember. (As a side note, as a child, I tried to "sell" subscriptions to the last two items to my mother who willingly purchased them though the quality was rather, shall we say, lacking.) I'm not saying any of my creations were or are great works of literary art, mind you, but they rarely make readers regurgitate, so I consider that a positive sign.

However, my own experience does not make my hypothesis accurate.

Consequently, I'd like to ask visitors to this site who are recreational or professional writers the following question:

"At what age did you begin to write for pleasure?"

Please share your info and we'll see if my theory holds water or sinks like a cement block tied fast to a snitch's ankle.

(Incidentally, if you don't have a blogger account, you can still post! Just sign in as Anonymous and leave your name--if you want to, that is--at the end of your comment.)

Monday, July 16, 2007

A Meme about Me... ME! [insert diabolical laughter]

I actually looked up the word "meme" when I was tagged yesterday by Jennifer from Offbeat Homes (one of my faves--check it out!) I just wanted to see the etymology of the word before I tried to write about myself.

What I found was rather complicated, to say the least.

Suffice it to say that I found references to both Darwin and technology. Interesting, but too complex for this posting. So I decided to just push on. If I make any mistakes in blogger etiquette, I'll simply plead guilty and throw myself on the mercy of the court!


Being the wacky blogger that I am, I decided to "switch up" the traditional blogging "meme". Though I'm supposed to post eight items my visitors don't know about me, I'm going to leave some blanks for you to fill in (just use the comments section unless you prefer to remain a "blurker".)

Additionally, I'm going to eschew tagging anyone else right now because I'm such a newbie blogger. (Unless any of you want to be tagged. Jason.. Lori... either of you up to it?)

In any case, here are my eight personal factoids, sans a few key words (those will be supplied by you!) Consider them Monday Mad-Libs for the Mind! :)

Random Stuff about the Quoibler:

1. When I was about five, I wrote a song a bit disturbingly entitled: "She's Got the ______ in Her Hair."

2. It's tough for me to enjoy going to indoor pools because I hate the feeling of walking on ______. I do it, but it makes me cringe.

3. I refer to airplanes as big metal _______. But I still use them for travel.

4. My least favorite musical in the world is _______. Consequently, I hope my son is never in a production, because I'll have to sit there, grin and bear it!

5. I haven't eaten a ______ since August, 1993.

6. About a year ago while on vacation in North Carolina, I discovered my first ______. It wasn't a fun experience.

7. I think men are sexiest when they are wearing ______. Purr, purr!

8. My ideal "date night" would include a trip to ______ in NYC.

Have at 'em!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

a world without punctuation

can you imagine
a world without punctuation
where wont and wont are stripped of their individuality

a universe without hyphens or commas
nothing separated
chaotic muddled
garbled jumbled

no parenthetical asides
no memorable quotes
just one big blob of words
without context
floating in space

will you know a question when you see it
will you hear the emphasis on the page
will you know i mean were
ooops i meant were


we live each second
afraid of the period that indicates closure
fearful of the semicolon that joins us
terrified to reveal our true feelings with exclamation points
devastated when an umlaut challenges our comfort zone
worried that an ellipsis will force reevaluation


its time to add color
its time to add spice
its time to add sorrow
its time to add joy

its time to punctuate

starting now.

Friday, July 13, 2007


Happy Friday the 13th (a lucky day for those who dare to see positive outcomes in the midst of change.)

Instead of a traditional horoscope, I thought I'd offer a relaxing nature-based horoscope. So...

FIND YOUR NATUROSCOPE - July 15-July 21, 2007

Aries: Engage in a nature-loving activity you normally would avoid. Turn off the air conditioning, take a stroll in the rain, play in the mud (whether you have a child with you or not.)

Taurus: Stand still for a full five minutes. Listen to the sounds of nature. Embrace the music.

Gemini: Eat a food or herb fresh from the tree, bush, or soil. Take special note of its texture, flavor, and temperature.

Cancer: Make eye contact with a creature that does not speak your language. Try to communicate visually and experience a special moment between the two of you.

Leo: Observe a domesticated animal's movements and reactions. Watch for instinctively "wild" tendencies.

Virgo: Enjoy a picnic meal on the grass (not at a table) alone or with friends and family. No cell phones, iPods, or Gameboys allowed.

Libra: Examine the movement of a bug you would normally avoid. Marvel in the intricacies of a spider's web, the speed of a running beetle, or the strength of a tiny ant.

Scorpio: Spend an afternoon looking up and around. Take note of all the creatures and objects that make the air and sky their sometime homes.

Sagittarius: Watch the clouds and allow yourself to spend time enjoying their free television in the sky.

Capricorn: Using only natural objects (stones, sticks, grass blades), make music alone or with a special someone.

Aquarius: Take off your shoes and walk in the grass, dirt, or sand. Remind yourself that it's the earth that keeps us grounded (with a little help from gravity.)

Pisces: Notice all the colors that nature gives us. Imagine what pictures and designs you could create using the earth as a palette.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


I've been mulling over a concept (which may already be available) for a few days and wanted to see what readers thought... how about an "Adopt-a-Writer" program where seasoned writers (preferably those who are garlicky or spicy) help out novices?

I'm thinking about a 30-day mentoring relationship whereby newbies can ask questions, get advice, obtain realistic (but not constantly pessimistic) feedback, and generally receive support ("You can do it, Junior! Rejections are part of the business! Use 'em to paper your walls!")

Of course, I realize there are always problems with such coaching programs:

A. Mentors are nasty or consistently unavailable.
B. Mentees are demanding and unreasonable.
C. Mentors and mentees don't "mesh".
D. Everyone becomes disgruntled (instead of "gruntled".) The whole project fizzles into a cloud of dust and an angry mob (carrying torches) turns on the program's founder a la Frankenstein.

And then there are more conundrums:

1. Would "matchmakers" be needed or could mentors/mentees choose each other without assistance?
2. Would mentors pick mentees... or would it be the other way around?
3. Would someone have to oversee each relationship to make sure it was working for both parties?

Geesh. There are plenty of kinks to work out. And, quite frankly, I don't think I'm the one to organize such an undertaking. (Right now, I can barely match socks, fold them, and get them into the proper dresser drawers.) But I still think the program has value.

I know (as someone who is about mid-career in terms of freelance writing) that it's very satisfying to help others just breaking into my specific field. Consequently, I'm happy to give feedback on query letters or pay rates. Sure, I don't know it all. Who does? But what I do know, I freely share because I think it's important to help others achieve their aspirations.

It still seems to me that an Adopt-a-Writer program would be a low-key way for knowledgeable writers to help novice novelists, fiction/nonfiction authors, and/or poets in a one-on-one environment.

Blogs are awesome... so are writer development/advice sites and books... but there's just something magical about being able to turn to a specific someone for advice (with no strings attached.)

So... do I live in the real world? Is this type of mentoring program even possible? Or am I just a crazed author looking for a way to avoid writing this morning?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


I have a confession to make.

I only recently lost my "bloginity".

Sure, I'd been reading other people's blogs for about a year, engaging in titillating cyber voyeurism as I followed others' musings, but I wasn't ready to make any commitments. So I didn't blog, and I never left comments lest I wound up with regrets.

I held on to my bloginity for all it was worth, treasuring it and even touting it at parties and to friends.

However, in April of this year, I willingly gave it away.

It was a spur of the moment, back-seat-of-a-car-after-the-prom-type occurrence.

I'd been thinking about losing my bloginity for a while, was swept away and threw caution to the wind. I signed up on Blogger and plunged in, engaging in the activity that had so fascinated me but had seemed too foreign to try.

Yes, I allowed the Internet to take my bloginity.

At first, I was nervous. Would I know how to do it correctly? Would my "partners" mock me? Would I get a bad reputation? Would I be respected in the morning?

As it turns out, I'm thrilled to be free of my bloginity.

Regardless of puritanical warnings, I've suffered no viruses, have not sullied my good name (if it ever existed), and haven't engaged in any unethical activities.

I have finally become a "real" blogger.

Mind you, I'm not what I would call a "cyber slut"... but there's always time!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Happy Birthday to Someone Who Knows My Darkest Secrets but Won't Sell Them

It's my best gal pal's birthday today, and like the crummy buddy I am, I haven't even gotten a card in the mail.

Shame on me!

She and I have been partners-in-crime for 25 years next month. And she's going to end up sporting a crewneck that reads: "Twenty-five years of friendship and all I got was a stinkin' blog entry... oh, and this T-shirt, too."

Oh, well...

"Happy Birthday, Sarah!"

(P.S. The Christmas present is still in the basement, and I'll get a birthday card to you somehow, someday. Maybe when we're in nursing homes...)

Sarah is not only a beautiful, intelligent woman, she's also a huge inspiration to me and someone who should be writing for a living.

No one can be as funny on paper as Sarah. No one.

She was born into a naturally witty family and she honed that wit over the course of her life. Now, she can turn a phrase as easily as most people turn on a light switch. (And she uses metaphors that are much better than my lame-o one!)

As it turns out, Sarah embarked early last year on making a living out of her first passion, cooking. She's a personal chef (visit her site at http://www.copelandcuisine.com/ and hire her if you're in the Westchester County, NY area!) and doing a damn fine job of feeding clientele the most awesome creations they've ever tasted.

It's good to have friends.

And it's GREAT to have Sarah as a friend.

Have a super-duper-pooper-scooper day, chickee!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Who Votes for Dog Ears?

When I was younger, I read voraciously.

As a result, all my books had "broken" spines, were "dog-eared" and looked very (in my opinion) loved.

But throughout my childhood and young adulthood, many people admonished me for "abusing" those books:

"Look what you did to that paperback!"
"You should NEVER crack the spine!"
"What happened? There's a rip in one of the pages!"

Of course, those scoldings didn't change my reading "technique", which was (and is) to bend and twist my books as needed, using their pages as instant "bookmarks" by "flipping down" an edge to retain my place.

To me, this method shows how important and useful my books are.

I don't want my books to sit pristinely on shelves as room decorations. I want them to exhibit an "I've been handled time and again" appearance.

I don't coddle them as if they are made of porcelain. And I don't care if they aren't perfect.

Like people, shouldn't a book's wrinkles, age spots and flaws be celebrated and encouraged?

Sunday, July 8, 2007


Almost every Saturday, I teach students ages 12 and up modeling and acting techniques. Doing so provides me with a nice change of pace, as well as allows me to practice my third love: public speaking. (FYI, my first love is acting, my second is writing.)

That being said, I've noticed a highly disturbing trend among my students (including those who have graduated from high school, college or trade school and are currently working):

They cannot write worth a hoot.

I'm not talking about minor errors or oversights. Almost every student I have exhibits major flaws in terms of both spelling and composition.

I've seen horrendous misspellings, run-on sentences, half-thoughts and just-plain-sucky grammar. It's downright shocking.

I wonder whether these individuals were simply "passed" from one grade to the next by teachers who didn't care or felt it wasn't worth the trouble to educate them in the art of writing?

I don't remember my schoolmates being such awful authors (granted, this was when dinosaurs ruled the earth and we wrote on cave walls.) Actually, I went to school with some outstanding writers who are working in and around the publishing and reporting industry today (I know of one who has won several journalistic awards.)

What are your experiences in this realm?

Are my observations anomalies? Or do they indicate a major problem in our American society?

P.S. I don't mean to put all the blame on educators, either. I know some of them would love to help students but aren't given the backing by their districts. Parents have much more influence on their offspring than the school system, so I question their desire to bring up literate kids, too. Am I being too hard? I really don't think so. Being able to communicate clearly and intelligently is critical to succeeding in life.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Fun with Astrology

Something different for today...

* * * Find your astrological sign and finish the sentence. * * *

Aries: "When I'm in a really bad mood, I..."

Taurus: "Rainy days make me feel..."

Gemini: "If I couldn't be a writer, I'd be a(n)..."

Cancer: "My favorite source of almost instant creativity is..."

Leo: "As a child, I often thought I'd grow up and..."

Virgo: "My energy comes from..."

Libra: "When I look in the mirror, the first thing I notice is..."

Scorpio: "There is nothing as inspiring as..."

Sagittarius: "I would like to experience..."

Capricorn: "When I'm long gone, people will remember that I..."

Aquarius: "When I'm not writing, I'm usually..."

Pisces: "I like to be anonymous when I..."

As a Sag, I'll start the chain:

"I would like to experience an epiphany soon. And not just a tiny one, either... a rip roarin', change-the-course-of-your-life realization that rocks my world."

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Dream Publications

While avoiding doing my mounting pile of work yesterday (yes, I admit it, I played the role of a July Fourth sloth), I started ruminating about my "dream" publications.

I'm talking about the magazines and newspapers in which I'd love to be published but with whom I currently have no chance in hell (and I have the rejection slips to prove that's true!)

In no particular order, my top five "stretch goal" pubs are:

Ladies Home Journal
The Wall Street Journal
Runner's World

Quite a lovely list.

And as I look at it, I keep thinking, "Why is it that I cannot seem to 'break in' to these markets?" Is it a problem with the quality and/or clarity of my writing? Is it the fact that I live in south central PA? Is it that I have no direct "contacts" at these publications?

Or... dear God... could it be worse than that?

Could it be that I have simply given up trying to achieve my goals?

I think I know the answer. Which means it's time to do something...

* gulp *

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy Fourth !

I have to say it:

Happy Fourth of July!

In celebration of Americans' love of picnicking and barbequing each fourth of July, I have a very important question to ask my fellow writers:

If you were a condiment, what would it be?

For me, I'd have to say tangy mustard. It's deceptively "normal looking" and then packs an unexpected wallop.

How about you?

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Are You Afraid?

Like most writers, I have a complex relationship with the emotion called "fear". After all, it can be a terrific motivator at times. But it can also lead one's creativity and acumen to lock up for lengthy periods.

Each year on January 1st, I honestly examine my personal fears and attempt to tackle one or more throughout the upcoming year. Since we're halfway through 2007, I'd like to introduce a new concept for me - My Biggest Writing Fear.

Last night, I thought long and hard about what I fear the most from a freelance writer's point of view. Was it the fear of success? The fear of failure? The fear of rejection? "No" to all.

What I fear the most is burnout.

If you've ever overextended yourself in any aspect of your life, you'll immediately understand what I mean. The exhaustion. The depression. The lack of motivation. The oversleeping. The underperforming. It's a real bitch-and-a-half.

Of course, now that I've named my fear, I have to work through it so I can leave it behind me and pursue my future goals.

But first, I have an assignment to finish by close of business today... then another... then another...


(Did I mention that overcoming your fears is a hell of a lot more difficult than it sounds?)

So this leads me to a question for any visitors to this blog... what is your biggest fear as a writer?

Speak up... no need to be... afraid. : )

Monday, July 2, 2007

Healthy or Not?

Obviously, writing is mentally taxing, but it's also exhilarating (most of the time.)

Still, then and now we writers (and our dependents and spouses) become ill, requiring trips to the doctor's office (and perhaps some prescription meds as long as they don't turn our musings into garbled rants.)

This leads me to scribble on a topic I've wanted to discuss for a while... health insurance costs.

First, let me say that I believe in health insurance. But I think health insurance should be set up in a manner similar to auto insurance - only for big emergencies. I wish we could simply negotiate a fee with our family physicians and pay out of pocket for "routine maintenance" (just like you do with your car or truck.) When crises occurred, we could then "fall back" on our insurance.

However, our system isn't set up that way.

Thus, my family (consisting of a freelance writer and a contract lawyer who is desperately trying to escape the legal profession) pays a whopping amount each month for insurance. Again, I'm not against paying something; after all, when my husband busted a rib and practically wrenched his knee out of the socket while playing ice hockey, we would have been broke had we not had a decent health insurance company.


I keep wondering if there is some discounted "freelance writer" health insurance available on the market? (Yes, I know it's a pipe dream.) If you've heard of anything for Pennsylvanian authors, please pass it along!

P.S. Sorry this post lacks any humor whatsoever. I'll try harder next time to be a perky turkey! : )