December 2022: Waves

Anyone older than a New York minute knows that bad stuff happens seems to happen in waves. There’s a year or three where everything goes ass-over-teakettle: skin cancer, fractured ankle, job loss, death of a beloved pet, divorce, heat wave/drought/flash flood, new wrinkles that you think are from sleeping hard on a creased pillowcase but no, they stay all day and then you look exactly like your grandmother but your knees are too achey to sit and meditate long enough to come to peace with that reality so: back to the blank page, where we are only as old as we feel/write.

Feeling younger inside than we are outside is kinda funny, for a while, but it’s also kinda stagnant, to stay the same despite having wheeled through multiple decades. It perhaps has to do with our culture’s ageism, and the ways we’ve all internalized prejudice against aging/elders (see Priscilla Long’s latest book, Dancing with the Muse in Old Age for some terrific wake-up calls about the results of that bias). When I heard that a story I wrote when I was younger will be in Little Patuxnet Review‘s forthcoming Winter 2023, I was of course tickled: Publication is how writers share our work, but it is not, for me, why I write. I write because I can’t not write; I write because characters keep showing up and yammering at me. And getting that particular story published didn’t fix the thorny patch my current story is stuck in. It didn’t mean the perfect word for my current character’s ennui magically appeared without me hunching over the thesaurus for half an hour (still looking, BTW).

Ten days after that good news I learned a flash essay that was published back in 2014 will be republished this coming weekend, through Creative NonFiction’s “Sunday Short Reads.” (You can sign up here.) I had a half-day of feeling that all my best writing happened when I was younger (see internalized prejudice reference above), and then realized that I didn’t submit my work regularly when I was younger, because: life. Duh.

The empty nest has given me the gift of enough time for the administrative aspect of my writing life, and the good stuff happens in waves, too. I’m going to enjoy riding these until I’m tumbled ass-over-teakettle back onto the shore, and then I’ll pick the sand out of my undies and dry off and find the thesaurus and spend half an hour looking for the best way to say: still going.

May it be so for you, too.

20 responses to “December 2022: Waves

  1. Gorgeous wave songs from Rob Young: [] Dean Lewis – Waves (Official Video) – YouTube Official video for ‘Waves’ by Dean Lewis.Listen to more Dean Lewis now: to Dean’s YouTube channel: https://DeanLewi

    Robert S. Young, PhD (Licensed Professional Geologist in NC, SC, FL)

    Director, Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines

    Professor, Coastal Geology

    Western Carolina University

    Old Student Union

    Cullowhee, NC 28723

    Recent Op Eds:

  2. Pingback: December 2022: Waves — the Art of Practice – The Corrigan Encore

  3. Love it!

  4. …and congrats on your publications!

  5. Hi Lesley! So happy about your publications. You have survived some wicked changes and, well, here you are! Of one piece. So happy you’re still out there batting words onto paper. I think our time together often. I reposted this to LinkedIn. Stay your wonderful self!–Val

    • Ah, Val! wonderful to see/hear you here. One either survives the changes, or not, as we both know. You are well? I have VSC fantasies every time I get one of their newsletters in my in-box … that was a glorious and important month.

  6. So nice to see you pic up the blog again! And congrats on the publications — well-deserved, for sure. And yep: ‘still going’ is a great direction. ♥️

  7. Beautiful reflections.

    Appreciate you.

    And, love your storytelling.


  8. “After.” Beautiful. Made me come here to see more.

  9. I just read your stunning piece in CNF short reads from Under The Gum Tree. Read it twice; such beauty. Love the blog posts too. Thank you!

  10. Just read your piece in Creative Nonfiction Sunday Reads and wanted to find out more about you and your writing. It’s such a relatable instinct to me to take good news like publication and then turn it into a “but what about … “ moment. I appreciate you acknowledging that. Congrats on the two pieces coming out. LPR is a great journal too and you’re inspiring me to get back in the submission game.

    • Thank you for taking the time to read my piece and then connect to the blog–and yay for getting back into the submissions game! It is just … a long haul. Hot tasty beverages are an important part of the motivational process, IMO.

  11. I arrived here via your piece published as the Sunday Short Read #213 on Dec. 11. I enjoyed that writing very much, and I also enjoyed this post on your blog. Keep writing! Success (whatever that means) comes in waves. Ride ’em with joy. And then get back to writing.

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