Daily posting isn’t necessarily a difficult thing. I usually do that anyway, although not often on the same site. You see, I have fourteen blogs.
So when I signed up for the NaBloPoMo challenge for January, I knew I could easily accomplish the task.
Writing about “family,” my chosen topic, is another no-brainer, as family is more important to me than anything else.
Writing about family connections, dysfunction, secrets—these topics and issues are liberally sprinkled through my five novels.
When I first started writing seriously, after retiring from my rather lengthy career as a social worker for a government agency, I finally felt that I had something to write about. As it would turn out, though, I started another full-time job for a private agency the next year and worked there (again, as a social worker) for the next three years.
By the time I started there, though, I had already made my way through four manuscripts and had started the fifth one. Lots of tweaking would follow before anything was published, but the first one out the door was not the one I began ten years ago. No, the first published novel was the second one I wrote (An Accidental Life). And it would take two more publications (Embrace the Whirlwind and Chasing Stardust) before the first one, my baby, if you will, finally saw the light of day.
Miles to Go most closely approximated some of my own experiences, although it is very much fictionalized. This story also delves into the caseloads I managed in my social work career, spotlighting some (again, fictionalized) family moments none of us would want to live.
You see, family moments, connections, and bonds are not all created equal. And dealing with the sad family sagas that have gone awry became an everyday event in that life.
One thing I’ve learned over the years is that everything we experience holds the key to learning some kind of lesson. What we do with those lessons informs our lives.
I chose to write about some of those moments and experiences, especially reveling in the catharsis provided by the telling of the tales. Never mind that they’re cloaked in fiction. The stories still hold that core of truth that some might see as a cautionary tale, while others may relate to because they’ve lived those very moments.
In my novel published most recently (Web of Tyranny), I chose to tell a tale of family dysfunction, abuse, and tyranny in the voice of a victim.
Now I am working on two manuscripts that are completely different. Perhaps I have expunged the ghosts of that other life—for awhile, anyway—but I’m sure seeds will crop up from time to time.
What do you think about when you hear the word family? Do you think of precious moments? If you do, you are fortunate indeed. Each and every one of us needs that kind of connection. If we didn’t get it in our families of origin, we can hopefully create those connections in the families we build.