Jane remembers the night they got to that island. They were just looking for a place to stay and they happened upon the bridge where signs told them of vacancies. They crossed the bridge, not really knowing where they were. Not really knowing they were going out into the Gulf of Mexico.
It was winter and even in the southern part of America, dark came early. Even so, someone was in the office of the first place they came to. After they secured a reservation, they went to their spot and crashed. Never really thinking about where they were. They had driven a long way. They knew it was warm and they could smell salt water. Sleep came instantly.
It had been a hard year for them before that winter. They were young. They didn’t know that the things that had happened, decisions they had made, would come back to haunt them many years later. They had the freedom of youth without the wisdom of age. Like most young people of ther generation, they worked hard and played just as hard. Too hard. It was the 1970s and their kind of fun seemed innocent then. They didn’t realize that it wasn’t. That the transgressions of youth would color their whole lives. They didn’t know that too much fun then would make the responsibilities of age hard and getting old so much more unbearable.
When Jane’s eyes came open, just a crack, the next morning, she looked around and saw the entire place enveloped in a warm glow. Bare tree branches were on one side of the place with palm trees towering over the other side. They had been lost the night before. She couldn’t imagine where they were.
Jane got up and dressed and walked out on the porch and down the road. The sky astonished her, layered in gold clouds. She had never seen anything like it. As she walked and nodded to the locals, she felt a weight lift off her shoulders, a sense of renewal wash over her. A decision she had been trying to make became clear to her as the tropical birds swooped in front of her. When she came to a general store, she found out the name of the island although in her mind, she’d already dubbed it her magical island. She’d been struggling with that decision for weeks.
After that winter, Jane knew they would spend many winters on that magical island. Looking back, she knows they will go back someday. It might be they should do it soon. Could it renew her once again?
“My blog” is our #JusJoJan prompt for today and that makes me smile. Why? I never dreamed I’d be a blogger! I started this blog in April of 2016. I can’t believe it’s been that long ago. When I started it, all I knew is that I wanted a place to write. A safe place to write on a daily basis. I fully intended to write in the same vein in which I’d always written. Non-fiction. Most likely in my field of business and finance. I hadn’t written much for awhile and I was going to polish up my skills to start selling my articles again. I did, indeed, do that for awhile. A short while.
There were things that I didn’t know. I didn’t know I’d find a community of writers here on WordPress. I didn’t know I’d read other people’s really awesome blogs. I didn’t know I’d become interested in participating in writing challenges. Most of all, I didn’t knnow I’d become interested in writing fiction. Fiction? Me? I had just spent thirty years doing academic writing. Terse and restrictive academic writing. Non-fiction – big time. Writing by formula to some extent. How do you jump from academic writing to fiction? It turns out it was not easy.
I had started writing, and getting published, as a child and then as a teenager. Then life and the 30 years of academic writing happened. My initial efforts at writing fiction here on my blog were terrible. Just awful. I started reading everything I could find about writing fiction. I started reading some of these awesome blogs. I gradually started getting more comfortable. I’m still not totally comfortable with fiction, but I’m better. I can knock out a non-fiction article very quickly. Fiction is a different deal. It takes awhile, lots of effort, and letting myself feel. Something I’m not very good at doing. Fiction involves creativity which I had not tapped into in a long time.
So, there you have my journey here with my blog. I’m not finished yet. I still have fiction skills to build. I’m even moving into different genres that I’m finding I enjoy. Magical realism anyone?
Have you ever talked to someone and, suddenly, you realized that person wasn’t really hearing you? At the very least, they didn’t understand what you were saying and were just being polite? If you’re going to talk, talk to people who hear you. Really hear you. Your words are wasted otherwise.
We all have different kinds of friends and family. Some are more casual. Some are closer. The only ones that can really be closer are those who can hear you. Hear the meaning and feeling behind your words. Otherwise, it’s a superficial relationship.
I’ll tell you what I usually do. I usually let the ones who can’t hear me talk to me. If they ever stopped to think about it, they would realize they know almost nothing about me. Nothing of any importance anyway.
If you try to talk to the ones who can’t hear you, you’ll just be frustrated and you’ll grow to resent them. It’s not their fault nor is it yours.
Welcome to the 2019 version of my blog! A new year! I”m starting this year with a challenge I particularly like. Linda’s #JusJoJan Challenge. You’ll see a post here, based on her prompts, every day of January. It will be fun. Today is just a brief rundown of 2018. In some ways, it’s a year I”d rather forget. More about that in a minute. In one very important way, it’s a year I’ll always remember. I want to share this with you.
When I was growing up, I really only knew one side of my family. I knew them and will love them always. I never had the opportunity to know the other side of my family, mostly, I think, because they were far-flung geographically from me. My dad didn’t talk very much about his family. He died young and I didn’t have the chance to ask. As I got older, I had to do some research in order to try to find my family. In 2018, I worked on my genealogy using Ancestry. About that time, coincidentally, one of my first cousins who I had really never known had been looking for me too. He found me on Facebook and we connected. It has been such a great pleasure getting to know him! Gradually, I’ve connected with most of my first cousins and then, through Ancestry, some of my second and third cousins. How fun it has been to get to know this big family I never knew I had!
Besides that, which has been the highlight of my year, it’s been a tough year and I’m glad to see 2018 end. I have some health-related challenges that are serious and just cropped up this year. Getting old is not for sissies! Because of that, I haven’t made as much writing progress as I’ve wanted to make. I have a novella and a novel in the works and only now am I starting to feel like working on them again. I am even feeling like taking a job again and may be working freelance for awhile.
At my age, you start to lose people in your life and I’ve also had deaths among my close circle of friends. It’s seemed as if there has been one funeral after another. On the upside of that, I’ve had a chance to reconnect with forever friends.
I’m ready for 2019 and am hoping that it will be a better year! Here’s hoping all of you have a wonderful year as well.