Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Turn the Page

When I was 6, my brother introduced me to a guy with a cool cartoon cat on an album cover. The Cat sang about a Peace Train on the edge of darkness and I rewound that cassette until I wore it out. My brother caught a lot of trains as a homeless veteran, but he never found the peace in life that the Cat told us about in that song.
Little did I know then how prophetic music would be for me.
I grew up in the corporate rock era and to my brother’s horror, I turned my young ears away from his definition of “pure rock.” People embrace many religions and New Age theories that allow the universe to speak to them, but since the Cat it’s always been the music - especially during critical moments in my life.
It was a Yellow Brick Road that lead me to the final conclusion that Santa really lived in our hearts rather than the North Pole – since my mother had to admit the reason Elton wasn’t under the tree was that she couldn’t find the extremely popular album, the must-have on my Christmas list that year.
I cried myself to sleep over the loss of my first love wailing You’re the One That I Want and later danced to I’m Alright because I finally realized I was – or at least would be.
Steve Perry got me through the summer my dad died by repeating Don’t Stop Believing as many times as I hit replay and Hold onto to Your Dreams was the song – and the mantra my high school class grasped when we graduated. Me and my husband vowed to love each other Faithfully at our wedding 20 years ago and a band from Topeka told me to Hold On when I couldn’t decide if I should take a copy editing job in that city or wait for my writing business to take off.
I closed a chapter in my writing life last night, and like most endings, it was a mixture of emotions – fear, anxiety and sadness. I facilitated what will probably be the last in-person group or class that I do for awhile and with the exception of an occasional conference workshop, maybe forever.
My decision was based upon our planned move next year to the Ozark Mountains. I probably could have done it one more semester, but figured I would be overwhelmed trying to empty our house in the city, pack my mother and rid our lives of excess things. All the while keeping the house clean as it sits on the market and juggling construction loans and contractors 400 miles away.
I love teaching and guiding new writers. I enjoy reading their creativity and seeing their proud faces as they pass around copies of their often first-published works. But everyone always knew in my groups/classes that being published doesn’t make a writer.
They are writers if they believe it and practice it - and all of them, at least in my eyes, are very good ones.
I told my writing goal buddy yesterday that turning off the light and walking from that room last night would be like a bad ending to a sitcom…like Mary Tyler Moore saying goodbye forever to a piece of her life that brought her so much happiness.
And it was. I fought to hold back tears as I walked into the frigid night to my truck. When I glanced back one more time while turning the key in the ignition, a band of my youth told me Don’t Look Back through the stereo.
I smiled, looked forward and drove away to the next chapter of my writing life.

Note: I'm currently putting my passion for guiding writers into my online classes and mentoring. For more information, go to


Post a Comment

<< Home