Tag Archives: work

Teaser of Things to Come

My next book is a collection of short stories that the publisher, Mike, has promised would be out in the spring.  I sincerely hope this will, indeed, be true.  For today’s Blog I thought I would give a little teaser to one of the stories: A Death of Convenience.  This story takes its inspiration from the rash of robberies that have hit these stores more and more.  I thought about the punks who rob them, the clerks who work in these places for pittance wages and the choices they have in any life threatening situation.

 

Here is a taste of this next book.  You can let your imagination take the story where you will.  Look for this book by S. M. Senden soon from Second Wind Books.  My other publications include Clara’s Wish and Lethal Boundaries. 

 

A Death of Convenience

Jerry Wall peered through the heavy cloud of smoke that haloed about his head as the three teenagers made their way to the door of Cathy’s Convenience Store where he worked the graveyard shift.  He hated the punks who came out after dark like grimy rats climbing out of the sewers.  They were usually prowling for trouble dressed in their pseudo gang-style clothes of torn t-shirts with skulls, fake blood spatter and dirty words emblazoned on the front, and scuffed pants falling down from their hips revealing soiled underwear.  Worst of all, their hairy butts were exposed too.  Their profusely tattooed bodies complimented by multiple body piercings.  As Jerry exhaled, then sucked more smoke into his lungs he wondered what female in her right mind would find any of these punks attractive.       

Jerry wished he could have been more like Clint Eastwood and tell the kids: “Go ahead, make my day,” before blasting their sorry little asses to kingdom come as they deserved.  But Jerry knew he qualified as a first class wimp.  He’d always been afraid of confrontation so he endured their taunts and insults and even turned a blind eye to their petty thievery rather than confront any of them.   

It wasn’t worth his life.  

The three punks pushed open the door and stood in the doorway looking around as if the world owed them something.  Jerry had seen so many young thugs think they were entitled to something just because they were breathing.  He also knew that attitude would catch up with them one day.   

 

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Balance

Sometimes I worry that I’m spreading myself too thin. When I actually have time to worry, that is. My life is so full right now that I don’t have the time to get everything done – and yet I keep taking on more. Why? Is this some compulsion I have to see how far I can stretch myself before I finally snap? And how am I to balance it all?

Balance is an elusive concept that reappears in my life upon occasion. Usually when I am too busy to figure out how to incorporate it into my life. Or when it appears in the comment section of a blog post when a reader asks, “How do you balance your writing career with your life?” Good question. Does anyone know the answer?

Even in the best of circumstances, balance can be a tricky concept whether you’re a mother who’s just reentered the workforce, a father who must put in overtime in order to provide a decent living for your family, or a single parent who has to do it all for your family. But when you add health issues to the mix, the situation becomes even dicier.

This is the predicament I currently find myself in. A single parent trying to do everything for my children on my own waylaid by potentially devastating health issues for myself and one of my daughters. Dealing with either of these diagnoses separately would be difficult enough, but coupled together they are more challenging. Perhaps I should explain. In early Spring of 2002, after a maddening round of tests and doctors’ visits, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. A couple of months later, my younger daughter was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and a chronic stomach problem; in May of 2008, she was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome in addition to the bipolar disorder.

With these revelations came a new set of challenges, namely, how to balance my daughter’s medical needs with my own. For me, the first step in that process was acceptance – of the diagnoses, the limitations and restrictions entailed in them, and the acknowledgement that the life I’d dreamed of for my daughter was going to take a different course to fruition. The second step was understanding. To that end, being the research nut that I am, I began to read whatever I could on my condition and my daughter’s – books, magazine articles, testimonials. Information is the key to busting myths and understanding the changes that your life is about to take. What does this have to do with balance?

Everything. Information and understanding are the keys to learning how to balance responsibilities in your life. Sure, I still tend to push myself physically on days when I feel good and think I can still handle things the way I did before I became ill. And when I find myself flat on my back and staring up at the ceiling, I am reminded that I can’t do everything like I used to, that I have limitations and need to adhere to them. When I do, I achieve balance in my life. So how do I do it? I say “No.” This was a hard skill to learn for someone who is a people pleaser and likes to say “yes” to everything, but I had to do it. for my sake and my daughters’ – we are all bonded by blood and commitment, after all, and when I don’t take care of my own needs, I can’t take care of theirs. So I learned to say “no” and to respect my limitations as opposed to testing them. What do you do to maintain balance in your life?

Margay Leah Justice is the author of Nora’s Soul. You can visit her at http://margayleahjustice.com

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