Tag Archive | acceptance

Family is An Anchor to Life

Easter BunnyYesterday I celebrated the anniversary of being welcomed into the McCloskey clan. It happened eighteen years ago, when my mother told me she would rather spend Easter just with my father instead of including me in their plans. I was alone after a miserable divorce, and her insensitivity to my situation devastated me.

But Ken had recently come into my life, and when I shared what had happened, he put his arm around me and he said, “You’re coming home with me.” At the time, we just started dating, and I was afraid it was too soon to meet his family. But, it was the best thing I ever did.

I thought the fact that I was older than Ken would cause a problem, but  it never was mentioned. Unlike my own family, his Mom, Dad, brothers, and sisters just accepted me as I am. And as you might imagine, it was a wonderful day.

Since that time, this family has become very dear to me. I love all of them very much. I’ve gotten a chance to watch “little” Kristen grow from a vivacious three-year-old to a beautiful young woman who will graduate from college next year. I’ve sung at Steve and Tara’s wedding in New York. (They helped me cross off that “bucket list” entry.) I also sang at Sue and Carl’s wedding in Chicago. I was there when Catherine was baptized. I held Isabel when she was a baby. I was there for Sue’s baby shower when she was pregnant with Joey. I was there for Mom and Dad’s 50th wedding anniversary where I got to meet most of Ken’s uncles, aunts, and cousins. It’s been a gift to be included in this family. I thought these kind of people only existed in books.

With Ken’s MS it has become more difficult to be with the family because preparing for the trip is laborious. When Ken was well, it was no problem because he helped pack the car, and we took turns driving. But now, all of the packing, preparing, and driving is up to me. On top of that, Ernie has become of the McCloskey clan and expects to go, too. By the time I get to Steve’s house after all the commotion and driving about 100 miles through construction and Chicago traffic–I need a hug. Luckily, when I get there, everyone is standing in line to give me one. All of the effort was worth it because once again, I have a chance to bathe in the positive energy I get from the McCloskey family.

So yesterday, I not only celebrated Easter, as I watched the kids find their eggs the Easter Bunny had dropped all over the yard, I quietly celebrated my anniversary of being welcomed into this wonderful family. And the sun shone on me once again.

Not Everybody Loves Me

rejection_blog1

When I write anything–especially my novels, I put my heart and soul into it. I’m not an exception. All authors do.

I realize I’m ready to publish when I enjoy reading my book. At that point, I automatically think everybody will enjoy the story. I want my readers to love it so much, they will tell others about their experience, so the “net” will be cast to capture a larger audience. More people will turn my pages, and maybe someday, I’ll even get a royalty check. That’s what we all want, right?

But I have a small problem. Two of my best friends have told me, “I find your books hard to read.”

Hmmmm what do they mean? “Hard” to read?  I write my books in the same style as I write my blog. Straightforward, easy to read, and hopefully, entertaining. What’s the problem?

Of course, right away the insecure artist side of me says, “My stories are not sophisticated enough.” OR “I’m not good enough for them to waste their time on my book.” OR “Are my novels really bush-league books?”

Why does it bother me that these two women don’t like my books? Why can’t I bring them into my fold? Worst of all, why do I forget so many others who have raved about my stories and can’t wait for the next one to come out?  Have I fallen short or is it just their literary tastes that leave me in the dust? Why don’t I stop to think that perhaps they don’t care for World War II history or a good love story?

A person could drive themselves nuts over such rejection.

I truly thought my writing skin was thick enough to take rejection after 20 years of a professional writing career. But when two of my best friends didn’t like my stories, I took it personally. Shame on me! I know shouldn’t even care. Right?

Thank goodness a small voice in my head counseled me. “Get over it. Accept the fact the stories just don’t appeal to them. After all, you didn’t write to please them, did you? You wrote these books because the stories inside of you were screaming to get out.”

Then I take a deep breath. Breathe. Count to ten and tell myself, “Okay, I can deal . . .I think . . . Someday.