Good morning! I’m so sorry that I wasn’t able to invite all of you for coffee until today, the last day of Labor Day weekend, 2020. I’m so glad you could stop by. Grab a cup of Blue Mountain coffee or a cup of tea and I will fill you in on the past week.
Life is so busy in semi-retirement! I find myself wondering how in the world I ever had time to work. My career as a college professor was long and required long hours of work doing research and preparing materials for teaching, not to mention the time I had to devote to committee meetings. Life isn’t that busy now, but I still work part-time. This second career is that of a professional writer. I’ve been lucky that I have been able to find freelance, paying gigs for over 20 years now.
At this time, I’m trying to slow my life down a bit. I’m working freelance and part-time. A lot of my writing is for a company I’ve been associated with for over 12 years. Isn’t it funny that life seems so busy and complicated? Sometimes, I think the advances in technology have made life more difficult and complex instead of simpler.
It’s a beautiful fall here in Kentucky in the U.S. Cool nights, but hot days with bright blue skies. It will start cooling off here soon, although September and even October can be hot during the day. I find myself looking forward to fall. Summer is not my favorite season. I prefer cooler temperatures and rainy days!
The pandemic, despite all the deaths and illness, has forced my husband and I to take life a bit easier. We have been hiding at home, for the most part. We live in the country, or what used to be the country. Civilization is encroaching. My neighbors, even though we are all an acre apart, seem too close. When I moved here 22 years ago, mine was the only house on this road. Now, there are a number of homes on my road and I’m not particularly happy about that, even though we have good neighbors.
I spent this past week on a number of varied things. I’m putting together a book of flash fiction to independently publish on Amazon. I have several books that I’m working on, both fiction and non-fiction. I try to write 4 – 6 hours per day. Of course, I also have my job and I have three articles due soon.
Besides writing, I spend a good amount of time on food preparation, particularly since the start of the pandemic. We try to buy local, so I go to various vegetable markets and country stores to get the freshest food. We buy meat from a local farm and chicken from the Amish. I buy seafood and fish from a company on the west coast. Almost everything we eat, I make from scratch. All of this takes time, thought, and preparation. We’ve had a lot of wonderful fresh vegetables this summer.
I don’t have tales of travel this summer due to the pandemic.We have been homebodies, but in two weeks we’re taking a week long RV trip to a lake that isn’t too far away. It seems that RV travel is the way to go this summer since you don’t have to be around people because you are self-sufficient. I’ll be sure and report in during and after the trip.
Can you name on thing you particularly enjoyed during the past week? I’ll start. I heard from two old friends, both live far away. I hadn’t talked to either of them in many years, so I enjoyed our conversations a great deal. It’s interesting. The pandemic has made me appreciate the simple things in life.
Thanks for coming! See you next week.
You are living the life I might well have chosen for myself. Love to teach, would have loved to taught college but only got the chance to teach for UC Berkeley “Extension” here in Calif. but what a treat it was… I’m fast approaching retirement and have developed my story writing/telling to be much more successful than I expected, but still short of publishing anything and certainly not making any money for it. I’d love to be published and making decent money for it, but worry about the simple economics of the idea. There are way more writers looking for an audience, even for free, than there are readers looking for something to read. Good writing is harder to find as are good writers of course, but I sense that the economics are not (yet?) in my favor.
About things I enjoyed and am thankful for: it just so happens that this is what I shared about in my own coffee share essay. I invite you to give it a read, because I did have a very good week. Here’s this link if you’d like to check it out.
I’m particularly happy about finally making a decision about a story I just produced and found well-received. Most of my readers wanted the story to be longer – which given our meme- oriented culture, surprised me. Most of my story collection is in the <2K words range, but I decided to allow this one to grow to 4K and still folks wanted more. My decision is to let it go to 6K words and I'm pretty happy about it because I threw out so much material to limit the word count — and I've grown very fond of the story. I'd love to hear your thoughts on at its present size.
Finally, I really enjoyed your coffee share. You might want to make one correction. The version I read somehow has much of the essay duplicated. From your very first line, "Good morning…" to almost halfway through, is repeated as if you copied what you had to a new line and pasted. Then at the end, you finished the thought about checking in during your trip and added a few more sentences. Your writing is a delight to read, but in your place, I'd want to go back and delete out the first incomplete essay.
Anyway, it was great sharing a bit of virtual coffee and discussion. I do wish some of these virtual meetings could be face to face, but such is the medium we work in. Have a great day and I'll be watching for your posts.
Hi Gary and thanks for the note and comments! Don’t know how that partial essay wound up in my post, but thank you for pointing it out so I could remove it! Appreciate it. So, you like to teach? It was my life for a long time. One thing you shouldn’t miss about university-level teaching are the politics of academe. Difficult to navigate, but I did. BTW, the only way to publish and get paid is to develop a non-fiction area of expertise. Mine is business/finance and I was able to capitalize on that. It’s almost impossible to get fiction published except in literary journals and you sure won’t make a living doing that. So, I write non-fiction for money and fiction for fun. Hopefully, I’ll soon have several books and novels ready for publication. It’s a hard road. Loved reading your coffee share! I have your story on my list of things I’m going to read when time permits. Looking forward to it. Rosemary
Rosemary — you and I could easily blow away a whole afternoon chatting about your points above and I’d be buying just to hear your insights. But yes, I did love my time with UCBX. I made just enough to keep coming back but it was kind of a loss-leader and, on the other hand, made a connection for me that changed our lives right about 40 years ago. I got an amazing chance to do something spectacular and make a name for myself. It worked wonders and I’m so blessed to have walked that path.
I get and understand you point about fiction for fun. Too bad, but economics is really hard to argue with.
I look forward to your thoughts about my story and hope, of course, that you love it.
So nice to see you’ve revived the weekend coffee share, Rosemary. We’ve stayed close to home from spring through summer. Four to six hours of writing is impressive for someone who is still working. I feel lucky if I get two in. I guess I’m not as driven.