Monday, August 14, 2023

Grace and gratitude

I’m usually on top of everything but this week I am frazzled.

My syllabi have not been created magically by me mulling about at my desk and tomorrow I restart my commute for professional development week. I don't think I'm in the right headspace for that. My book is released next Monday. I’ve been spinning myself in circles with marketing (and I have met some amazing people in person and via podcasts because of it). Sunday I’m even throwing myself a party- a big party! This is supposed to be the fun part. The after-the-book is researched and written, I’m supposed to be able to relax, no? I have been much more busy promoting this forthcoming book than I was researching and writing it. I have connected with so many cemetery and Poe admirers. And, I'm proud that I've created a few after my presentation, "Grave Inspiration: Stories that Arise from Cemeteries and Grave Markers" at the Virginia Writers Club Symposium.
Yesterday, before meeting a friend to share Shockoe Hill Cemetery, I walked around thanking those souls close to Poe who are featured in my book. While it was so good to be in the cemetery with another taphophile just loving on the cemetery, the memorials, and the stories about those buried there, it was also very good to visit my *old friends* (those interred in the cemetery).

I also want to thank you for following along on this journey. No one loves their book more than the one who writes it but your enthusiasm has been so encouraging. What I have been reflecting on is how other women writers, podcast creators, artists, etc. and men have supported me and helped share my work. There hasn't been an crab mentality of pulling each other down- no envy, jealousy, or spite. Instead, I've only felt lifted up by seasoned writers and creators. That really matters to me.

My fella and I have been calling 2023 the year of grace. We're not going to beat up ourselves for not walking, exercising, eating or sleeping right. We're doing our best and we're forgiving ourselves when we're not our best selves. We've had a rough year with aging family members, their health and even death. I have become a caregiver to my parents in ways that I never imagined. It's been a hard year but as I am working my way into a new normal and routine with family, this book and cemetery/Poe/book community has been nothing but kind and supportive. Thank you!

My 15-yr-old inner child would think that 49-yr-old me is pretty cool.

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