Over the last year, I have spent most of my time in my old hometown instead of my own home in Colorado. My parents and I have reached an age when it’s making more sense for me to be here with them.
I have plenty to do: cooking and laundry. Taking care of medications and appointment schedules. Being companionable. Loving full time. Just being around, in case.
Somewhere in the midst of that, I have made time to write. I have to do it; it keeps me sane.
I have this blog, where I write short stories. I have a couple more blogs where I journal and occasionally write a story or two.
I also have two novels and a novella in various stages in the works.
I write. It’s what I do.
Last month I started looking over the body of work I’d managed to put on out in the last year and discovered I had over 30 stories. Until I looked back on 2019, I had been feeling pretty badly about my lack of accomplishment for the year. Here was something I could use to show myself that I actually got something done.
Yes, I took care of my parents, and often also my children, but mostly I was just in this house, cooking and cleaning and folding clothes. Same old same old, as they say. Ever since I retired from the working for pay day to day I’d done for so long, I haven’t felt good about the days, even though I probably work just as hard as ever.
I first dabbled in self-publishing a few years ago because my son encouraged me to do something with a story I had written.
I was feeling depressed and useless, unable to achieve a level of healthiness sufficient to enable me to return to the working world. I’d gotten through school, had a degree and a certification, and no one would hire me. At age 56, you’re looked at as a not-very-long-term investment in the new job arena. I don’t care what anyone says, age discrimination is real.
To add to the problem, I have a very real issue with job locations. There are certain places I simply cannot be, due to severe allergies that trigger life-threatening asthma attacks.
It’s ridiculous. I have literally had to get off busses on my way to one place or another due to some mixture of this guy’s cologne and that woman’s perfume, or the driver’s choice of air freshener. I have been chased out of my own house by cleaning solutions or paint or…whatever.
Anyway, the point is, I got into this because I was feeling sorry for myself, and my son encouraged me to try something new. Thanks, Sam.
This past year, I really wrote a lot, but I was aiming to finish at least one of the novels in progress. I didn’t do that–one is about 85% finished, and the other is at more like 30%. So, I was feeling down on myself and my lack of progress.
Then I looked through those stories. Well, what do you know? I finished those, didn’t I? Maybe they needed a little more tweaking, but they had beginnings, middles and ends.
What the heck, I thought. I’ve never done a collection. That will be something new. I will be able to look back and say I accomplished something in the past year. I need a good swift kick in the pants to remind me that I’m not just sitting on my ass.
I figured I could get it all together in a couple of days.
Gosh, I’m silly. Yes, the stories were written. But they needed to be compiled in a certain order, edited, formatted. You know, the fun stuff.
Then I needed to design a cover. That wasn’t fun at all, without my Photoshop program, but I finally got it all together.
It did NOT take a couple of days. What was I thinking?
I’m waiting to go over the last proof for the paperback. The e-book is ready to go and will launch on March 5th. Hopefully the paperback will be available on the same date. March 5th is a special day. My first-born, Samson Ibarra, was born on that date, and I love the idea of bringing a new baby to life on his birthday.
I love the photograph on the cover. I took it myself, from the backseat of an automobile traveling at 75 miles per hour. I am amazed that it turned out.
If you follow this blog, you may have read some of the stories in this volume. Others will be new to you.
Today, I am tooting my own horn. I wrote some stories, designed a cover and self-published. It is now available for preorder. You can get it here:
Scribbles: A Short Story Collection
I hope you’ll give this a try. Happy reading!