In Life by J J Dare

Life is what you make it. Mine stays busy. I have a perpetual to-do list growling at me, except for those times I hide it under a couch cushion. I’m involved in my daughters’ lives on a daily basis (by their choice, most of the time). I still write when the muse makes her infrequent visits, I constantly battle housework apathy and I’m nursing three of my four cats through upper respiratory infections.

Fall has finally arrived in the South. It’s the most anticipated two weeks out of the year for many of us. My expectations are running high this week. The cool weather is a refreshing change from our normal humid heat and if the temperature drops low enough, the mosquitoes die off for a while.

October is the month for a horror-movie-a-day. My Yankee daughter and I pledged to watch an appropriately scary movie each day in honor of Halloween. I’ve unearthed some classic favorites along with some campy fun ones. In December, we plan to do the same thing with a holiday-movie-a-day.

There are days I wish I could clone myself or sprout a few extra arms. The creator was onto the right thing when octopuses were designed.

The to-do list contains a lot of carryovers from previous lists. There are twenty-seven listed things . . . so far. Just a few of these are:

  1. Clean out the back closet (portions of four different households reside there. Yes, it’s a big closet, but it’s bulging and spilling over into the rest of the house),
  2. File (the bane of my bookkeeping existence. My excuse is classic: these papers aren’t going anywhere),
  3. Light bulb in living room (it seems minor, but it’s a major task since I have high vaulted ceilings and the only way to reach the light is to stack two chairs on top of each other and balance on them like a high-wire act. Some have suggested I get a ladder, but it’s an adrenaline rush to perch precariously and not fall),
  4. Fix leaky refrigerator (growing up with tales of poverty in my mother’s early life and living on the edge myself taught me how to pinch a penny until it screams).

I expect November to be crushingly hectic. I usually celebrate Thanksgiving two or three times during the month. This tradition started long ago with my late partner because of his love for roasted turkey and my fattening cooking.

In addition, I’m signing up for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I did it last year and have another completed book under my belt that I need to do something about. When my busy niece told me she was thinking about joining the NaNo bandwagon, I told her to call me Aunt Crazy because I’m jumping off the cliff, too.

I don’t have to put everything on paper. My life reads like a book. There are some chapters that are painfully sad, some that are hilarious, some are mortifyingly embarrassing and some that I would give anything and everything to redo. The edits of my life are long and when I have time to think about the hurricane of my past, I sit in the calm eye of my personal storm and cry.

Tears are a good, yet, temporary release for the grief of life edits I cannot fix. Busy helps, too, but life isn’t all about action – sometimes, life can be about doing nothing and enjoying it. It’s a lesson my late partner tried to teach me and one I’m trying to learn.

How does your real life translate to your writing or reading habits? Do the different stages of your existence influence your writing? Have you ever read a book and sensed that the author had slipped inside your head and written about you?

~

J J Dare is the author of two published books, several short stories and about thirty works-in-progress.

Current enthusiasm is sharpening intangible knives and co-authoring at Rubicon Ranch.

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6 Comments

Filed under books, life, musings, writing

6 responses to “In Life by J J Dare

  1. Stephanie Ravencraft

    Wow! didn’t know you were an author. I will check out your books. Haven’t read for pleasure since I started going back to college. Love your blog.

  2. Rach

    Did you really just call me a Yankee?

  3. I could have called you a transplanted Southerner in Yankee territory, but you’ve been there so long you’re technically a Yankee to the rest of us in the True South 😉

  4. I can’t say I’ve ever read a book that felt as if its author had written about me; but in my own fiction, yes, I largely am influenced by where I am in my life—fifty-five, divorced, childless and alone now for the longest time I’ve ever been alone (three years); searching for life’s meaning, fretting over my regrets, still trying to connect with a father who’s been gone from me for more than a decade, speculating over missed opportunities (both real and imagined), and reading the bible for the first time and marveling over how so many commenced to reading it with the intent to debunk it, while I started reading it with an open mind, wanting to find salvation, but have only become more doubtful.
    About the only part of my novels not influenced by my life are the happily ever after denouements I can’t seem to write for my own life.

  5. Just remembered I forgot to fix the light bulb today. But I did do some editing, which I’d put off from yesterday.

  6. Ah, yes, the to-do lists. They used to be so easy to breeze through, now too many things have taken over my life. Yes, I have had the experience of reading something that describes what I am going through. It’s amazing. I realize in the human experience, countless people feel as though I do.

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