A Return to Writing

It’s been a while since I wrote a blog, wrote fact, anything. A year of change, sadness, adjusting to a new life alone, of figuring out what’s next, if anything.

If I sound depressed, I am at times. But I have found a way to move through the dark cloud that once held me to my bed for hours, the past scattered like bread crumbs feeding painful, barely conscious thoughts. In a thrust of courage and anger, I decided to publish the two books I had stored in my computer, and re-publish the several books my runaway publisher handed back to me as she went out the door. I had self-published several times. I would do it again.

It is amazing how having a reason for getting out of bed helps one to throw her feet to the floor, heat up a cup of coffee, and place her fingers on a keyboard, even if the fingers are not as talented as they once were. Even correcting erratic tics of one’s fingers became a positive way to beat back the cloud that still lay above my view of the world I managed to get two older novels republished on Amazon and the books were returned to their proper titles and covers. “I can do this” became my mantra. I can learn to use my husband’s iphone. I can match paint to fill the nail holes in the bedroom wall. l can sell my car after I approached it, keys in hand one too many times, only to find the battery dead from non-use.

I dreamed about moving to a smaller condo. Who needs two bedrooms and two bathrooms and 1500 square feet of floor to clean? l Then I got the call from the retirement home whose list we had been on for two years. Nine months to a year, the call told me. I could sell my condo, buy a little one, and then move to the Last Place (I called it that because i could never remember its name.)

Friends were glad I was awakening, planning, even maybe writing a little. But move twice in one year? I might be a little senile, they guessed, but they were too nice to say it aloud. “But, are you sure, Jo? It’s hell to move.” And I didn’t sell my condo, I didn’t buy the little one I loved. I came to my senses. I bought a new bedspread, gave away clothes and shoes and books that were no longer useful, and knew that taking charge of one’s life doesn’t mean anything more than telling oneself, after painting a bunch of nail holes in a wall, ”Good decision Jo. I knew you could do it.”

I said the same thing to myself yesterday when after many tries, my loaf of sourdough bread came out so beautiful I almost wept as I cut into it and ate it all for lunch.

I still have memories that wander in on early mornings as I lay under my new bedspread, But they aren’t painful. I realize they are important underpinnings, of the Jo I am today. And today I actually remembered the name of the boy who kissed me under the tree seventy-five years ago. Ervin. The beginning of a once sensual life. Memories do help.

Details of my books, covers (new), new stories will be arriving soon. Right here on this blog. Until then, Hello again! Jo


Thanks to those of you who suggested a title for the story of the laurel hedge and the postwar life in a housing development. I sent them along to my publisher, a nice person, I’m sure, since she agreed to publish my books, and she conferred with whoever shares her office and said they had come up with a title.  She hoped I liked it.


I gasped and then realized that she’d picked up on a scene where Patsy and Eleanor decide they can be friends and share lives, once they had found their ways through the hedge. They didn’t draw blood, but they did agree that they would have each other’s back if the going got rough. “Blood sisters, like Laverne and Shirley,” they say. If you don’t remember who Laverne and Shirley are, you are young and you need to Google them.

So, we have a title, I have edited my bio for the back of the book, the cover is unofficially designed but cannot be revealed quite yet. And yes, I like it. A book is about to be born.

So now, all this author needs to do is to bring her almost -book, coming out in September, to the attention of her friends. That’s why I’m sending  emails  to everyone, acquaintances, relatives,and anyone else who has landed on my contact list. Two sendings, actually, because I got exhausted and quit midstream in the list.

At this point, I find I have a need to talk about writing with other writers or those who are interested in writing. As an ex-English teacher, I have the tools of getting the sentences on the screen, but what I’m lacking is the support that comes from sharing ideas and words with like-minded folks, who like me, have thoughts that bud half-formed, need to be pruned, poked at, fertilized, maybe even weeded, and of course, admired as they develop.

With that awkward metaphor, I wonder if you, dear reader,  are interested in talking about your desire to write, sharing a some of your words, learning what others are writing about, meeting occasionally in a casual writing group. I have a dining room table and a coffee pot.  We are on line and can operate that way too, minus the coffee.  I’d love to hear what’s blooming in your quiet moments. Let me know, here or by email:  jobarney@earthlink.net.

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