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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Looking Back, and Looking Ahead

This blog began four years ago as a place where I could record my reviews of others' books ... primarily, other independently-published authors whose books might otherwise not be reviewed for publication.

Of course, I was an independently-published author at the time, and earnestly seeking recognition of my own stories. When I joined the Facebook community of authors, I had the opportunity to read and review others, and they in turn sometimes read and reviewed my work.

In the second and third year of this blog, my reviewing began showing the benefit of continued practice, and I was proud to share the reviews I'd written.

In re-reading those early years of reviews, I am amazed that I have forgotten many of the stories themselves, and while it pleases me to read the reviews I was able to write, it humbles me to admit that I doubt I could do the same today.

As consistently as I deny the prognosis of MS, I have to recognize the damage that is happening to my cognitive skills. It is challenging now for me to sit and read a book with any cogent assimilation to the characters or setting. I seldom read for more than half an hour in a session, as I lose track of what I'd read in the first portion of that span of time by the time I am reading the second. I read and re-read things that I need to remember, and often try to jot down notes here on the computer to help me remember what it is I've read.

Those notes are not the polished reviews you'll read on earlier pages of this blog. They are simply notes ... reminders for myself, or responses to my friends in email-style conversation. Sometimes, the synapses are firing late at night, when the house is quiet, the television off and the others asleep ... I love my "others" ... my husband and my son, my friends on Facebook ... and I love my quiet time, when I can think and try to remember, and write what I might one day forget.

My recent year of postings here has a different focus, a different content. That's because I'm unable to read book after book as I used to do. I'm reading, but slowly, more consciously than fluently.

If you're looking for some good reviews of good books, I invite you to find the menu of dates in the right column, and choose some from the earlier years of this blog. I've read some great books of independent authors, and though I don't remember many of them now as I once did, it is pleasant to re-read my reviews of them, and try to remember more of the stories themselves.

I still have at least one more book to finish - maybe two - in my new mystery series. When I began Helen and Henry's story, I thought I might get four or five books written about their love. That may have been overly-ambitious, as I've been unable to finish, in the past year, their second book. Life has a way of going on, whether a task is finished or not. I've been pretty consumed by starting my own quilt and fabric shop these past eighteen months ... it's a different context for my life ... different setting, different characters, different energies.

I am doing what I can still do well ... which is to say I am still teaching, but in a hands-on way ... with more about creativity and less about skill-sets. Rick and I both participate in a montly "mind mapping" group where we sit with other independent artists and brainstorm, critique and celebrate our goals and accomplishments. It helps keep each of us on track with what we plan to accomplish in our various endeavors. It gives us a sense of community, and a sense of belonging, and of value. It has helped me cope with the loss of the teaching community.

Thanks for stopping by today and reading this ramble. It may be a while before I'm back here with another book to share.  It's not that I'm not writing ... as I said, the context has changed, and so the site has changed.

You can read more of my 'new' life at my newer blog. You'll find it at  There are several different pages at that blog ... some are my quilt journals, some are my shop's offerings, one is about my new hobby of rescuing vintage sewing machines ... it's a picture of a new me.