With rebirth comes a new sense of responsibility. It is one that I have been sorely lacking since I stepped down from the bench. It is the willingness to commit my time and energies where my mouth has claimed to be. Sure, I’ve produced one sold book (Should Have Played Poker: a Carrie Martin and the Mah Jongg Players Mystery coming from Five Star Publications in 2016) and ten published short stories in the past sixteen months, but I’ve done that writing in spurts. I’ve repeatedly said, I can’t discipline myself enough to write daily but I write up a storm when the mood moves me. In the meantime, I’ve organized and executed a wedding for 326 people, gotten into a regular mah jongg game, been active on many civic boards, taken on numerous isolated projects, traveled for pleasure and writing, and been hit by the biggest continuing wallop when I lost my mother in November.
People tell me they’re amazed at what I’ve accomplished and I smile and accept their nice words, but deep down, I know I am a fraud. Secretly, I watch with envy and astonishment the accomplishments of three somewhat early in their career authors whose work I enjoy and who I greatly admire as people – Edith Maxwell, Leslie Budewitz, and Terry Shames. Each has produced multiple books and in Edith and Leslie’s cases, multiple series, in the same time period. They also do a million things outside of their writing. What’s the difference?
Many of us can string words together, but without self-discipline we are condemned to be writers of excuses instead of multiple works. Spring is here and with the rebirth of the year, we all have an opportunity to start anew.