Sunday, February 23, 2014

A New Voice

 

Recently my life has changed quite a bit. It's not a tragedy, but some important things are gone and they've left some empty space.

I finished writing a novel I'd been working on for years. It was a passion project, a story I had to write. I wrote it and wrote it and wrote it until I got it right.

Then I published it. This was a major learning process, challenging and energizing. I studied the publishing business, hired people to do the things I didn't have the skills for, created a company and put out a product I'm proud of. It took more than a year of hard work.

Marketing the book has been time-consuming and rewarding. Then, when the book was finished and the publishing was finished and the marketing had become more fluid, Boz died. He was old and sick and it was time for him to go. Still, it was a blow and I haven't gotten past it yet. Since Boz died I've had to stop watching puppy videos on youtube because they make me cry. (But have you seen the baby goat video? How about the giggling meerkat video? These are what the web is for.)

A month ago I decided to take a blogging break. I've posted a couple of times since then, but not much.

Many of the things that were making my life busy are no longer here: writing, publishing, blogging, pooper. I've started a couple of new novels. I'll keep at it, but so far, meh. I'm looking for something new to be passionate about.

That's not exactly it. I have so much passion and gratitude for my husband, my home, my freedom. I care deeply about all kinds of stuff. John and I put down some mulch today in the garden and I was so excited I couldn't stop talking about it. That's true, really.

But anyway.

I'm looking for something new. I think it's a voice. A more honest voice.

It's been nice to be a cheerful booster here on the blog. But I want to speak more truthfully now, good or bad. Maybe I'll start a whole new blog for it. I haven't figured all this out yet. You know the phrase, "out with the old, in with the new." Well, the old is out. The new isn't here yet. But I've got a lot of room for it and I know it's on its way.

26 comments:

Karen said...

Good for you, that sounds like a plan. And sometimes just assessing honestly where you are right now helps you figure out where you're going and how to get there.

Book Dragon said...

{{{hugs}}}

I like your bench!

Dina said...

Wishing you patience until "it" comes, Petrea. I'll be happy when you feel like sharing again, whatever it turns out to be.

Kalei's Best Friend said...

I will say you have a positive outlook and I know you will find what fits that 'hole'...as far as videos, I was surprised you didn't mention Dog Whisperer.. i don't own a dog now, but I can't help but be glued to Nat Geo Wild.. I know how you're feeling, I went down that road as well... I filled it w/gardening, the labor in that cured what ailed me.

LONDONLULU said...

I like the idea of you feeling out the in-between. I would also be heartbroken if I had to say goodbye to my dog, those holes are among the hardest to fill. Take all the time you need and look forward to what comes next.

Sarah said...

I look forward to hearing from you in any form, on any topic. :)

Bellis said...

I'm glad you ended with that cheerful picture of your bench because I wondered where you were going with this. You did really well to write a great book, then design and market it, but getting those sales to ratch up seems to be even harder than the writing. There are so many authors out there nowadays. Still, it took the Harry Potter books 10 years or more of low-level sales before the world latched onto them. I hope you find a cause to blog about. And in the meantime, you could save a life by getting a little terrier/poodle mix like Tina. I'm never going to get a big dog again now I've found that the smaller ones are so much easier to look after. Tina's given me new energy and a lot of happiness. Her puppy enthusiasm and curiosity is such a delight. Imagine a puppy rolling round in your fresh mulch! You could blog about it!

Bellis said...

Did you know I'm hiring Tina out as a walking companion for just $1 an hour? The company of a dog without the committment - what could be better?

Petrea Burchard said...

Thank you all for your good comments. I like the idea of "feeling out the in-between," Lulu. That's exactly how I feel.

And gardening has been great! I get filthy and stinky and I doubt I make any progress, but the work is good.

Bellis, I didn't mean to sound like sales are bad. They're pretty good and I have no complaints. And you know me, I'm a lover of big dogs. I visited 3 of them yesterday and couldn't get enough!

BettyS said...

Petrea, you state everything so beautifully, along with the visuals. I love the addition to your bench. And I look forward to hearing about where you take yourself next.

Eric Baker said...

Passion is good. Passion wakes you up with purpose. I like what you did with the bench. It is an artful sign of renewal. We all can certainly relate with you. We all come to these points in our lives where decisions have to be made. I've seen your work on three different levels now. If I understand correctly you've done stage work as well. I would have loved to see that live. Whatever you choose to pursue I do look forward to reading it or viewing it; whichever the path it takes. I've been impressed in the past and look forward to being impressed again.

Nathalie Beaumes said...

I think I understand some of how you feel. You write about it beautifully.

Giving meaning to our lives, is there anything more important?
But sometimes yes we have to accept the in-between periods, something akin to winter - feels barren and cold but then spring will send new sap. You are a beautiful person Petrea, and I'm confident that you'll find your new way.

Kalei's Best Friend said...

@Petrea: with gardening I found my creative side!.. and I am getting the hang of what the plants need, also my pruning skills have gotten better.

Petrea Burchard said...

Saying what I feel is proving to be rewarding. Thanks for all your encouragement. I feel fine, just directionless. It's not the worst thing in the world, if it doesn't last too long.

altadenahiker said...

I'm trying to think how I can say this without sounding sentimental, because when you lose a trusted friend, you don't need added sentiment. But I think, some of us measure our lives in dog years. These were the Phoebe years, or the Bru years, or the Boz years. So when the dogs in our lives die, we don't only say good bye to them, but good bye to a distinct period of time and specific set of memories, forever bookended by when we first met them and when we last parted.

Petrea Burchard said...

I was thinking of that, and you voiced it so well. I have a BozTV slide show as my screen saver. I should take it down soon. It's photos of him running at Hahamongna. I can go to Hahamongna again--John and I went today, and we'll go again with another dog, but not with Boz, that time is past.

Margaret said...

Wow. Big changes. I'll look forward to hearing what you have to say.

Petrea Burchard said...

I hope it comes tumbling out without too much self=censorship, Margaret.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

It's there already - you just haven't turned the right corner yet.

In the meantime your back in your garden.….the first conversation we had was about that. You and Mr J had put in a Chinese Elm tree earlier that morning.

Petrea Burchard said...

Thanks, PA. That tells me how old the tree is. I wouldn't have remembered what year we planted it but I know when I met you.

Irina Rekhviashvili said...

Petrea, thank you so much for your comment, your interest.
We are OK, we agreed that it was time to stop Moscow photo blog, as we did not have energy and joy and enthusiasm to make photos in the city which we stopped identifying as our home place, due to changes all around us, in Russia, I am sure you know what I mean from the news about changes these past years.
I thought about you today, too (It is truth, not politeness), about time of everyday posts and hyperactivity in blogworld, happy time.
I see that we are in the same boat these days, closing one door and opening the next one.
Whatever I will do next, I know that there is a warm spot of great experience and joy in my heart, and it is about you, and Dina, and all my internet friends.
Thank you so much and let's keep going. We become stronger with every new step.

TheChieftess said...

I can sooo relate to where you are in life. I feel like I'm marking time right now...so ready to move back to our home in Glendale...and yet its not to be for some time now. I'm struggling with the daily photo agenda and haven't felt like going out to photograph much. You'll find your way, as I know I will too!!!

Petrea Burchard said...

Come back!

Petrea Burchard said...

Irina, I wondered if the news we hear had anything to do with your silence. I'm sorry, and I want only happiness for you. I have your email address! I won't lose track of you.

Irina Rekhviashvili said...

Petrea, as for me, the current news make me more disappointed about my country, which had great chance in Gorbachev/Eltsin times and wasted it.
And disappointed to see that so many people here approve the current situation.
So let's see which door is to open next.
Blogging is the way of publicity, I do not want publicity of Moscow Daily Photo right now. And it looks like Artem has same opinion.
I do not want to sound pathetic, or tragic, not at all. That's life and it is beautiful and full of surprises. All the best to you, to your ideas and plans.

Petrea Burchard said...

You may be surprised to hear that some Americans feel the same about our country, Irina. There are so many of us, it's impossible for the government to please everyone.

As you say, "let's see which door is to open next." These things always change, sometimes it just takes a long time.