Sunday was Father’s Day in the U.S. Vince texted me at 8:00 am and asked if he could stop by. He had already invited me for brunch, in recognition that I was/am both a mother and father to him. But when he showed up he had a Roku stick for my T.V., and even better, he set it up for me!
And so I was able to watch the new season of Orange is the New Black on my T.V. How ironic, that a year ago he was in prison, and now I am watching a show about prison thanks to him. This coming weekend he will mark two years of sobriety with a barbecue.
So people can be redeemed and restored to sanity. No situation is ever hopeless. Never lose hope, even when it’s all you’ve got.
I’m going to take a break from blogging for a while. I’ve been posting 700 words every other day since September 2014. The first year, half of the posts were written by Vince, although I did spend a fair amount of time typing and actually posting them.
Now I devote every Saturday and Sunday morning to writing, and each post takes about an hour and a half from blank page to Pending Publication.
Writing, editing, finding photos, researching things like the State of Missouri’s motto—I get into the zone, aka, in the now, and that’s great.
But it’s summer! I’d really like to sit out on my deck with a cup of coffee, read the (real) newspaper, and listen to the birds.
And since I am terrible at just sitting and doing “nothing,” here’s my to-do list of projects I’ve got queued up. I’d like to publish the first year of this blog—the posts focused on Vince’s and my prison experience—as an e-book. That feels like it could be a contribution to reform of mass incarceration, or at least a good read. That’ll take some time. If anyone out there has any advice for me, I’m all ears.
Then, and this may sound grandiose, but I’d like to try my hand at writing a novel. The big, sprawling, character-packed type like Dickens or Tolstoy. Not that I’m comparing myself to them or would even expect to get published. I don’t have a master’s in Creative Writing from Yale, I’ve never been to the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, I don’t live on the east coast and I don’t have any connections in the publishing world.
But I think it would be fun. About a year and a half ago, my uncle died. He was a retired English professor and I carted home some bags of classic novels and have been ploughing through them. They’re like crossword puzzles composed of intersecting people and events. These are the old style books that people would collect and display proudly on their living room bookshelf. They are “lavishly illustrated” and have beautiful leather bindings that are, sadly, disintegrating.
So I’ll just publish and e-book and write a novel this summer. Ha ha! Then there’s travel. I’ve been stockpiling my paid time off, and I could take as much as five weeks off at the end of the year. It also looks like I’ll be going to east Africa for work. So where could I go from, say—Ethiopia? India? South Africa? Japan, Myanmar, Australia…so many choices! Trips take a lot of planning, so I need time for that too.
I don’t know how long my break from blogging will be, but the next post may be a report from afar. Have a wonderful summer, or winter, depending on which hemisphere you’re in.