Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Finding Yourself

I remember hearing a young man say, "I can't do that until I find myself." I thought that was an odd statement. Find himself? But as I continue down this path of living I think I know what he meant. At first I thought he was just dodging responsibility but now I think we all find ourselves at various times in our lives. Each year we live brings new frontiers and pushes old ventures away, sometimes so far away that they are no longer parts of our lives. We're finding new phases of this life God has provided for us.

Even now I've found a new frontier. I've been a writer most of my life. Unfortunately, not much of it found it's way to paper for much too long. But, when I got started—Wow! I've written and published eleven books and created more poetry and short stories than I can count. Most of the poems and short stories are lost because I didn't think they were worth saving. I've since learned otherwise and rued that original thought.

But, on to the new frontier I've recently landed upon. A couple of months ago I received a call from a dear friend, also a wonderful author, asking me to consider editing a book she was ghost writing. The offer include a nice compensation. For a long time I've been writing, learning about writing and taking part in all phases of writing. For some thirteen years I've been a part of and chaired a writer's critique group. Along the way, other writers I have met have asked me to 'help' edit their work and I did, not for money but to help. I've been asked to teach creative writing at the local community college and in preparing for these activities I've studied and learned, mostly for my own edification, but also to share with other writers. You see, I feel so blessed to have made this obscure dream of writing come true that I have to give back in whatever way I can.

In doing the editing and providing an editorial review I, again, learned a lot while doing what I love. It was an engrossing job that took many hours. But part of this new frontier is another request for an editing job. This past week another author, a past student of mine contacted me about editing her latest book. A frontier I never expected but I'm enjoying!

I've always said, echoing my father, never say never and when something comes up and it looks interesting or challenging to you—grab on to it and have fun. I'm really looking forward to editing this new book. Maybe I've found another 'self' along with a new frontier.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


I have a new pet. Not an earthshaking statement unless you know that I'm not a pet person. Don't jump to conclusions -- I'm not a pet person because I'm allergic to cats and dogs. Put me in a room with a cat and within a half hour my eyes are streaming, my nose is running and I'm gasping for breath. Dogs don't do quite as much damage but they still go into the allergy category. I love dogs and believe it or not usually watch the entire Westminster Dog Show, marveling at the little balls of silky hair that sweep across the floor and the tall and majestic mastiffs that lift their heads in disdain at all the fuss. My friends have pets and I'm pleased to see them on a limited basis. No one, however, has a pet gecko.

When I was a child we had a couple of dogs and I loved them but the allergies came later and pet ownership just wasn't to be. Ah, but now I have a pet. A small gecko has taken up residence in my bathroom. This little guy must be almost two inches long and most of that is tail. How he got in is a mystery. Living in Florida these little creatures are a normal thing. Flitting across the driveway, diving under the house, we must have a hundred but one has ventured inside, how he got there I don't know. But, I'm not getting rid of him, he'll just have to find his own way out. I can't imagine how you would go about evicting a gecko anyhow. You can't catch them, they're lightning quick and if you tried to contain him you might hurt him, or worse.

Of course, we've had more interesting pets along the way. When my children were young and whined about not having a dog or cat, I bought them fish or parakeets. The fish were definitely not exciting but you could teach a parakeet a few words and he tipped his head as if he was really listening to you.

I discovered my pet gecko a few days ago when I opened the blinds in the dining room. He clung to one of the slats, raised his head and tried to stare me down. "Go back where you came from," I said turning away. When I looked for him and couldn't find him I assumed he'd left the way he came in however that was accomplished. But, two nights ago I found him glaring at me from my bathroom floor and last night he was still in the bathroom resting next to a small table with a pot of fake flowers on it. "So, you're still with us," I whispered wondering what does one name a pet gecko. I still haven't named him and if he stays I don't know what he'll live on. What do geckos eat? If he's going to stay, I hope he has that cute Australian accent the green gecko on television has.