Sunday, April 6, 2008

Two Smokeys, One Look At Life

Saying of the week:
No matter who says what, you should accept it with a smile and do your own work.- Mother Teresa

I celebrated my fifty-fifth birthday this past week. And as usual during this time of year, I reflected on my life: where I am and where I’m headed.

A funny thing happened this week that has brought my mortality into sharp focus. My partner, Herman, and I agreed to dog sit a five-year-old, chocolate lab named Smokey. We have our own thirteen-year-old, chocolate lab, also named Smokey. The two dogs are wonderful together. We take them for long walks in the hills every day. But having the two dogs side by side, one in his prime and the other very close to the end of his life, gives me a staggering look at just how old and feeble my Smokey has become. I mean, I knew he was getting old, an probably in his last year, but watching the younger dog zigzagging through the tall grass at a dead run while my dog shuffles along, sometimes managing a brief trot, brought it all home. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and it’s true. This particular picture has me wondering just how much time I have left, and what I can possibly accomplish during that time.

I actually feel that I don’t need to accomplish anything else in my life. That what I’ve don’t is enough. That said, I still have a few goals. The top of the list is to continue being the best partner I can be to Herman, and to support him in every way I can. Next on the list: I would love to write a few more powerful novels and screenplays that really have the potential to make people examine their lives, their beliefs, and how they interact with each other and the environment. My last goal is to simply have fun with my life. I spent so many years working a full time job while going to night school, always under pressure for deadlines, pressuring myself to get ahead. With the time I have left, I want to enjoy this old world and the people in it.

I can say that I’m as happy now as in any point in my 55 years. I have much to be thankful for.

I have now finished three novels and one novella. Two of my novels will be published by Zumaya Publications. The first, Island Song, will be out by July of this year. The second, The Lover of Changi, will be published sometime in 09. As for the third novel, Match Maker, Pema Browne literary agency has requested to see the entire manuscript, so I’m mailing it tomorrow and crossing my fingers. So my writing career is finally taking off.

In addition to writing novels, my lover, Herman, and I have been taking screenwriting classes at the local community college. It has been a rewarding experience so far. It is a way of writing stories that I can include Herman in. And, not too surprisingly, he has begun to like the creative process of thinking through a story plot and defining scenes. I think that after a while he will be much better at it than I will be, because of his attention to detail.

Anyway, just wanted to record a few thoughts about life. Hope yours is as interesting and joyful as mine is turning out to be.

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