Friday, July 20, 2012

Ups & Downs

The past couple of days have been a teeter-totter of emotion.

First thing yesterday morning, my sister let me know that our school bus driver had passed away. Now, many people think it's odd I even know who drove my school bus, but it was the 1960s and rural upstate New York. He was not only my bus driver, but a neighbor. We bought our horse from him. When the horse developed a habit of charging at us when we wanted to saddle her, he made me stand in front of her with a big stick and face her down: my first lesson in standing up for myself. The first few times, I backed off. Ever have a full grown horse come galloping at with the intent of running you over? It's a bit intimidating. Art forced me to stand there. Forced me to face my terror, but not surrender to it. Thank you, Art.

In the afternoon, one of my best friends in the universe, Kris Fletcher, sold her book to Harlequin's Superromance Line. This is the news that is keeping me afloat today. Supers are great books, Kris is an awesome writer, and this is just an incredibly awesome thing to happen. She's worked hard and long for this moment, and I hope she savors it forever. I'm so very, very proud of her.

Today, I woke up to and learned of the shooting at the new Batman movie in Colorado. I'm sure every other blogger in the USA will be commenting on this. Let me say only this: not a good thing. My prayers are with the families of the victims.

Then I finished a round of revisions on my current WIP, and somehow ended up cutting 20+ pages. Don't quite know how that happened. Not even sure if it's good or bad, but now I don't have the rewrites hanging over me. My vacation writing goal was accomplished. Yay!

Then I learned that my favorite uncle died. It was a peaceful passing, in as much as death-by-cancer is peaceful. I was able to say goodbye to him earlier this month. He was at home with my aunt. My mom (his sister) and my dad were also there. I think at least one of my cousins was there, too. This is rough. He was not only my uncle, but we lived 40 feet apart for a good chunk of my early life. He was like a second father. 

My mom is feeling the loss. Except for the three years he was in the Army, Mom has been with this brother her entire life. My dad and uncle met in the army and ended up marrying each others younger sister; they bought land together and built houses side-by-side. I don't mean had house built: they built their own houses. And it was literally 40 feet from our back door to theirs.

In the early 1980s, my grandmother was badly burned. I rushed to the hospital ER so my uncle wouldn't have to wait alone. He'd followed the ambulance to the hospital and for many reasons, I was the only one able to meet him there. As is my habit, I pulled out a notebook and started writing. My uncle asked me what I was doing. "Working on my novel," I said. "Are you still doing that?" he asked.  

Yeah, Uncle Ray, I'm still doing that.

Goodbye. I'll miss you.