Thursday, May 21, 2015

Riding Off Into the Sunset? Nope. I'd Probably Get Lost Trying to Find It, Anyway.

In a few short months, I'll be officially retired.

No, I'm not 65 yet--but I am one of the skeptics who doesn't believe Social Security will be around forever. And I'm absolutely certain I'm not going to be here forever, in spite of my doctors' claims that I'm too mean to die. At any rate, I paid a lot of money into Social Security, and there's no way I'm going to not get at least some of it back. I keep telling Collin he'd better start his own retirement plan. Depending on our government in his golden years would be riskier than taking his nest egg across the river to the racetrack and playing the horses.




I'll still be writing--though as uncooperative as my brain has been lately, there's no telling when I'll actually finish the next project. It took me ten years to finish Chasing the Wind, and I'm still struggling with the sequel, An Army of Angels. It's been seven years now on that one...and still counting. Sure, Final Hours only took six weeks, but that was a short novel, a simple plot that required almost no research. Sam's Story, well, that's taken four years (the struggle was for different reasons on that one), but it is finally finished. Stay tuned.

I've asked myself if the seizures are behind the difficulties. I was off the medication to control them for so long, and the type of seizures I have are so difficult to distinguish most of the time--Collin calls them "brain reboots"--I have no idea how many I actually had. I'm told each one takes a toll, even the "little" ones. Whatever the reason, what was once so easy now requires monumental effort. So I'm making the process as easy on myself as possible. With Creativia taking care of my backlist and a monthly retirement check, the pressure to perform is off.I think.




Besides, in the past year or so, I've been thinking a lot about what I have and haven't done with my life. I realized my dream thirty years ago--I became a published author. I got the big advances, had my name on bestseller lists. I got letters from people who read and loved my books. It was great, and even if I were to never publish another book, I'd still have that. But is that all I want or need to do with my life? No, of course not. Before I leave this world, I'd like to think I can still make a difference, even a small one.

I started thinking about what I should be doing. God gives us our passions for a reason. What am I passionate about? That's an easy one. Take a look at my Facebook page and, Minions aside, you'll see the other things I share most often: animals and the environment. I love animals and birds. I care about how they're treated, about making life better for them. Making all shelters no-kill...making sure abusers are punished by law...finding ways for homeless families to be able to keep their animal companions with them...all of these things are passions of mine. The environment is another issue I care deeply about. God gave us a paradise, and look what we've done to it. Seeing trash thrown out carelessly along our roads makes me sad. Global warming, the things we do to our planet to extract oil and other things from it...yes, these things make me angry.


God gave me the gift of communication. I suspect He's been wondering when I'll get around to using it for something that really matters. Maybe that's why the novels have been such a struggle,while writing about these things still comes easily. A message? Possibly.

Do you have a passion, an issue that would benefit the world--something you have the talent or skill to use to affect change? Think about it.

PS For those of you who've noticed I haven't posted in a little over a week, I've been down with a triple whammy--out-of-control blood pressure, a dental abscess, and the granddaddy of all summer colds. At least I think it's a cold. It refuses to go away, and has given me coughing fits. I've tried to stay current on Facebook and read/comment on fellow bloggers' posts--but it hasn't been easy when I'm reaching for the tissues every five seconds!


31 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing all of this with us, Norma. Very sorry about the cold. Hope you get lots of rest and feel better. I don't know what Facebook is, but I do know you love those little yellow buggers. I can't see one in a store, without thinking of you Good stuff.

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    1. They make me laugh. As has been proven again and again, those of us who laugh a lot are healthier.

      That makes Minions good medicine!

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    2. 'They' say, it's the best medicine.

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    3. I think 'they' are absolutely right, Ivy!

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  2. If you have the same cold/flue thingy I had be prepared for six weeks. I do see your passion for all those things you mentioned. I suspect before your finished you will effect a good many changes in the animal rights division. Glad to hear you are going to start social security early. No reason to wait. It is indeed something that may not be around forever. Nice post. Your brain seems to function just fine on your wonderful blog essays.

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    1. The odd thing is that I used to only be good in the long form. I couldn't even write a short grocery list. Now, I'm better at short form than bulky novels. Go figure!

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  3. You are amazing Norma.. Most people who feel only half as bad as you would be lying around feeling sorry for themselves and here you are working out what you can do to save the world :) You need to take it easy until you're feeling much better.

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  4. You are amazing Norma.. Most people who feel only half as bad as you would be lying around feeling sorry for themselves and here you are working out what you can do to save the world :) You need to take it easy until you're feeling much better.

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    1. Grace--you hiccuped (duplicate comments)! Hah!

      I've done my share of lying around and whining. Just ask Collin. But lying around leaves one with nothing to do but think. If only I could save the world...but I'll be happy to just be able to do what I can to lend my voice to those who can't speak for themselves.

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  5. I know the rights of animals are very important to you, and understandable with your background. It's a good cause to believe in.

    It has been a rough few days... don't overdo yourself!

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    1. I'm proud to say I actually ventured out today for the first time in almost a week! Nice day, reasonably warm--it felt really, really good.

      For once, I wasn't confined with my own germs.

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  6. Sorry you're having a rough week! Take care of yourself and worry about saving the world later!

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    1. As if I could save the world!

      Maybe just a tiny part of it. That would be more than enough.

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    2. Yes! Do what you can and don't worry about what you can't do!

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  7. First and foremost, take care of yourself. Each of us does what is possible for our bodies and minds. What matters is that we do it. Unfortunately, it will not change the world. You gave Colin good advice. The medical bill on the broken femur and the fact that I have lived so long, means that Social Security has paid out far more than I ever paid into it.

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    1. This world is becoming more confusing--and more dangerous--every day, Mari.

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    1. Already doing better, Hilary. Not 100% yet, but getting there!

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  9. It's all good. Just get better. I have a hard time keeping up due to energy and hubby's silliness over the iPhone.

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    1. Ah, Shelly, you're so much more patient than I am!

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  10. Oh My Goodness I don't like reading the you are feeling so bad.
    We all do the best we can with what we have at the time we are living.
    Just you writing and tell your stories is a huge accomplishment.
    Hope you will be better soon.
    I am so late with every ones blog.
    Like your my brain is not working but we have one problem figured out, I think. LOL !
    Ok you feel better soon or I will send The Square Ones after you.
    Be afraid very afraid............

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. I keep experimenting with things. I'll find something that works. A fellow writer mentioned something over on Facebook the other day that might be an option.

      I'm running behind, too--but please do send the Square Ones after me!

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  11. Using your communication skills to help critters! You are a lovely lady, Norma.

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    1. Thank you, Lynn--just following your lead!

      Did you hear that New Zealand now officially recognizes animals as sentient beings equal to humans? I always knew I'd love that country!

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  12. Hi Norma, the smoke in my shot from Chinatown was a sizzling dish of food, made quite a good image hey :)

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  13. Hoping you are feeling better every day. I've been struggling with other issues, mostly irritation, depression--things you can only hope to control.
    I've put my writing on hold. I'm feeling ambitious about my crafts and my private trail I've been building through my woods on our property. It's finally taking shape!

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    1. Hang in there, Lorelei...if I can get through the fog, I know you can, too!

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  14. Hope you feel better soon. My allergies have kept me sneezing all year too but I think there's a light at the end of the tunnel-summer-when I can hopefully dry out. LOL. You are an inspiration to many Norma and that in itself should make you feel like you're doing the right things.

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    1. Thanks, Eve, but I don't feel very inspiring at the moment. Maybe if I were actually getting things done....

      Collin's dealing with allergies, too. He sneezes nonstop.

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  15. Hope you're feeling better. Never underestimate how much you inspire others! You've touched the lives of many through your work:). On a personal level, I've been entertained by your novels, and you inspired me to self-publish!

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