The Dealeo?

I was fully prepared to write a glowing review for Balboa, virtually retracting my prior bouts. But that is not going to happen. Not today.

The reason for this, is that the call I was to receive this morning, by a new Check-In-Coordinator, never came. Zilch. Nothing. Nada.

Really? Am I paying good money – thousands of dollars, to be ignored, dealt with shabbily, have my time disrespected? As I shake my head and work to control my rising anger, my closest friend calls. We discuss her son’s wedding.

It takes a conversation with my daughter for the fog in my mind to clear, and to realize that the day I sit at my computer, waiting patiently (or otherwise) for a phone call from a publishing business – is Sunday. To compound the issue – because I am nothing if not fastidiously detailed (except, apparently, for the day of the week) I wait a reasonable thirty minutes, then make phone calls to the dear Coordination Manager I spoke to last Friday, and the friendly woman who initially signed me up.

The conversation with my daughter goes like this:
“Where are you going?”
“I’m going to Dara’s.”
“But don’t you have things to handle today?”
“Mom, it’s Sunday.”

And that’s when it hits me, like a ton of bricks. My hyper-vigilance, my micromanaging, my lost day. I immediately re-email these women, who I am embarrassingly aware must think I am insane, and apologize.

There are reasons, justifications, considerations. But still. I was presented with myself full on and I had to take a deep breath and a hard look. I was feeling insecure about the competence of the help I was receiving from Balboa and I turned a bit looney in the face of it. And I had gone to an afternoon backyard party Saturday that felt like a Sunday.

The lesson for me, when I feel this way, is to slow down. I jump onto the fast track, and I speed along like a racing interstate locomotive. I take no prisoners. Nor do I apply brakes. And, an even harder lesson for a perfectionist like me, is that I make mistakes, too. Like. Every. Other. Human. It’s humbling, and I clearly need the reminders: Stay focused, stay kind, and still do what I need to do. It’s a hell of a lesson for a Sunday morning.

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Balboa – Bout Two

It has been a while since I signed up with Balboa, and a while since I last wrote about the process.

Suffice it to say, I’m not having fun.

The gentleman I’m working with, let’s call him WE (as a metaphor for all us authors and what we’ve got to deal with when we choose to self-publish). WE, has a very long turn around time responding to emails. So much so that he either responds after the email was relevant, as in: “Oh sorry, I just saw this, I didn’t know I should’ve called,” or he misses the emails entirely, as in: “I apologize, I didn’t even see your last email.”

This has caused frustration (What else is new?) and more importantly delays in handling issues and moving forward. My timeline for services has been pushed back. Daily. I became so annoyed at his fourth or fifth apology, that I called the woman who originally signed me, convincing me, sucker that I am, of the benefits of using a self-publisher that puts the name – HAY HOUSE – on their books. Quality control. Would HAY HOUSE let anything important slip by? The implication, I am now only assuming, being that it does not.

Well guys, so far, not impressed. But let us not put the cart before the horse, I have a 10 a.m. phone consult with WE, in which I plan to address – and handle – any and all outstanding impediments to moving forward. He assured me it was “on his calendar”. I am unable to rush the process on their end, but I bloody well can make sure he and I are on the same page and up to date.

Once again dear friends and readers, stay tuned…Bout Three is right around the corner. Perhaps with a surprise ending.

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Writing is a sign,  an expression, a sharing of the soul. Today I read a creative nonfiction project that my son wrote for a writing class in college. Four years ago. It turned up randomly, accidentally, intentionally. Regardless, it was really good. 

It makes me happy to see how good a writing class can be, especially when the person has talent.

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Worst Is A Five Letter Word

My worst day was the day I understood with my mind, and felt in my heart, that my marriage had ended. That it was really, actually, fully, over. My wishes and hopes for my future and my children’s future, vanished. Like a well-executed magic trick.

The white dove in the magician’s hand – gone. The colorful scarf pulled from his sleeve – gone. The lady sawed in half, lying in a wooden box – gone. How is it possible? It makes no sense. And yet, it happened. Everyone saw it.


But it wasn’t until I lost my parents, that I understood the concept of worst days. Days so meaty I felt broiled, burned, thick with never-ending grizzle that strangled me. It was heavy and out-of-body. An experience I wouldn’t recommend – except that it’s a wake-up call, the likes of which I haven’t felt, before or since. Reminds you you’re alive. Reminds you to be grateful. Reminds you how often we are consumed with very unimportant matters.

And it reminds me that worst is relative. My imagination cannot successfully conceive of worst. And this, my friends, is a problem for which I am grateful.

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The Problem With Prolific

Since I was a pre-teen, and emotions swept through me like the raging storm they were, I wrote. There is hardly an extended period of time I can remember, except when life was boringly easy, that I wasn’t expressing myself in poem, song, prose, story or journal. It came as naturally as summer breezes and winter frosts.

4675450200_fab91ffb75_sI am, at times, so abundantly productive that I literally lose myself in writing. Unfortunately, as easily, I lose the writings themselves. This morning I scoured my computer looking for a fictionalized story of my life that I began writing yeas ago. I found it (thank God I printed it out) when I was looking for the email list I lost – which was to be fodder for the sale of my memoir. Another topic entirely – to which I promise to return In time.

KoalaAs I age, I get more involved with more dealings and I find myself less organized. Or perhaps it’s a memory issue. Anyway, I was looking on my computer for this fictionalized story because I was editing the hard copy and that was becoming cumbersome. I did not (of course) locate this story anywhere – on my hard-drive, in my documents, downloads, Microsoft word files, writing folders – but I did come across something else. Chapters of beautiful writing for my book that I entirely lost sight of, forgot was there, remembered I even wrote.

roaring tigerThe heartache, the tears, the self-flagellation that took place – nah, just kidding. It was more shock, surprise and pride. I was amazed at how much and how well I could express myself. Then my pride turned to overwhelm. I sat starring at a computer screen of lovely words, and I wanted to crawl under my desk, like a child, and hide. From myself. Because I questioned my memory, my commitment to myself, my career, my future, what exactly I was doing. I was not proud now, I was frightened – because an old friend, rather an old energy, known by the name perfection – had found her way back into my unsuspecting brain.

saying for self esteem'happinessJudging. Myself. Not an unfamiliar feeling, and I don’t usually measure up. Especially if perfection is hard hitting, which it is by definition (to say nothing of impossible to achieve). So, the healthy side of me chose to write about it in a post, bringing it into the light of day and out of the recesses of my enabling mind. And I feel better. A little. Because I see it for what it is (although the organization and memory issues are not un-disturbing), a blue dragon with fire breath that will never be satisfied. On the other hand, while imperfection abounds, I can still be pleased with small successes achieved and a talent I relish. Regardless of the outcome.

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Thirteen Days

Scattered and happy, I haven’t been writing much. It has been thirteen days since my last post. Yoga this morning was peaceful, invigorating and educational. This young yogi is not your typical instructor. She doesn’t look or act the part. But she delivers. She chants, has you hold poses longer than you think possible (sometimes longer than is possible) and talks about heavy stuff that she effortlessly infuses in conversation throughout her hour and a half class.

She gets what I wrote my memoir about. Death, and how awareness and compassion can teach us how to live. “Have your goals” she says, “but remember to live your life in accordance with your values as you move toward reaching them. Bring peace into your life outside this studio, every day.”

She’s surprisingly wise for a person so young (20’s) and I find her funny, engaging, approachable. Today after class I walked up to her, threw my arms around her in an embrace, and stood there. I am a hugger. It grounds me, particularly when the embrace is returned, no hurry, no sense of moving past it, just the two of us there, with it, in it, sharing energy and space.

My energy mingles well with hers. You know how you just know, with certain people, that it’s working. Smooth, effortless, amicable, combining. Two different people, sharing a space, comfortable in their own skin.

We inhaled breaths filled with white light from the crown of our heads to the base of our spines – inspiration. We exhaled white light that expanded into every cell within our bodies – transformation.

One leaves peaceful. One leaves clear. One leaves connected. 



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Day of Reckoning

Make that days of reckoning. It feels as though I haven’t posted in ages. There is a reason for that. I’m working diligently on filling out the submission form to Balboa Press – which sounds simple.

The form wants a lot of information. The manuscript (which is the easy part), a bio, blurbs for the back cover, blurbs for the front flap of the hard cover, keynotes, inside the book sections, size of book (which would have been easier if they made available the sizes I want), pictures for the front cover, pictures for the inside of the book, I can go on. A simple task this is not. But it is progress. Be careful what you wish for, I was told.

I work to balance my excitement with reality. Some moments are more jam-packed than others. I missed yoga today to work, but I will not miss James Taylor tonight at Jones Beach! I speak with a team member tomorrow, and I promise to keep you updated. Please feel free to ask questions regarding this self-publishing process – it is important that we writers be here for one another!

And ‘shower the people we love with love’.

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