Auld Lang Syne

Saturday, September 3, 2011

School starts and projects

I have gone on blithely for years not at all thinking about the first day of school. My kids have been out of school for longer than I care to admit. (OK, since 1992). Heck, I have grandchildren in college (3 of them). But now I am on the local school board. The first week was a nightmare of bussing messes. Some people are distressed that the combining of two high schools has "violated" them in terms of the memorabilia from their past achievements at the old high schools. Really. I am not making this up, folks. A man stood up at our last board meeting and said that when he walked through the "renewed" high school, he felt "as violated as ever in my life." While I do understand his pride in accomplishments of himself and his kids who also attended there and while I also understand that change is hard for some people, I must say if this is the most violated he has ever felt or been, he has a pretty charmed life, a very blessed life. So what do we do for people who are sad about the trophy case and the banners and the mascots? We must be sensitive and empathetic and kind. That is number one. But we must also encourage them to realize that change can be good too. Who hasn't felt the pang of seeing someone else live in and/or modify the house where they grew up? Who hasn't seen their old playground or the blueberry fields behind their childhood home turned into a parking lots? Who hasn't seen their old high school become something else? It is how the world works. We cannot un-ring bells and we cannot turn back time. We are in the midst of a political arena wherein some folks want to do exactly that (get bread prices down to 10 cents a loaf, roll back our thinking to Leave-It-To-Beaver days when life was in deed a whole lot simpler). But this is not the 50s. Not even those glorious 60s where everything seemed like one big sit-in. Where the office of President was respected and honored even if we didn't like the guy. Sigh.

At this point, I can only keep on being respectful of the poor man who was violated by lack of a trophy case and his son's name painted on a wall at the former high school, and stand firmly on my political soap box and decry those who disparage the president because he is black. I can only shine a positive light wherever I go in order to perhaps give HOPE and KINDNESS to others. It costs us nothing to be kind. A smile spent brings back a million good vibes for the smiler and the "smilee." This is my project: smiling GENUINELY at at least five people a day who don't expect my smile. It might have a BIG impact. It will not create anything by which someone could feel "violated." Not a bad human project, eh?

Oh of course I always have a writing project or two underway. I am busy packing for my yearly junket to Star Island for Writers in the Round. I have a couple projects I will take along to work on while I soak up all that sea air. I can hardly wait to get there. I feel really good to have mailed off my manuscript, Native Moons, Native Days this week. Fingers crossed on that one. I have two manuscripts off into the literary ether right now. But of course I am not twiddling my thumbs. Have The Boyfriend Project manuscript to finish and the novel in early stages. I have all the poems done for TBFP and only a smattering of work on the novel (including I have no title for it and this is hanging me up a bit). So I will look at the arc of TBFP and attempt to organize the poems into manuscript format while I am on Star. I hope to come home with that DONE and with one more chapter of the novel written. Did I mention this is a writing workshop? So in the midst of the two projects, I will be writing new poems. See why I am jazzed to be going?

Well, guess this does it for me this morning. I was up WAY too early (4AM) after going to bed WAY too early (8PM) so I expect my day is going to be a nutty one in terms of energy. Better take my vitamins!!!

What projects are YOU undertaking right now? Are you jazzed by some upcoming event? Do tell.


  1. Start of a new school year as an empty nester (second year) is tough for me.... I am pouring everything I can into my writing, two WIPs and my blog. Your writing junket & energy level sound wonderful (I'm getting over a cold and feeling unenthused), but I do not envy you dealing with the "violated." As you say, he must have a charmed life and also possibly not enough to do.... you are more kind, generous and understanding than I could be (so it's probably good I'M not on the school committee in my town!).

    Although it doesn't sound like it, I am incredibly excited that I've made a breakthrough on one of my WIPs this week -- the writing is going gangbusters and I'm psyched! Have a a great trip! Julia

  2. It's good when the work is "going gangbusters" and you feel so "up" for it. I am on a roll too, with a new book just accepted for publication, a collection of Native American poems about time, Native Moons, Native Days. It will be published by Bowman Books. I just found out yesterday. So now on to finish The Boyfriend Project. I am nearly finished with that... a few more poems to edit and include and then the assemblage of the thing into an actual manuscript. I love that part.

    So, I raise a glass to your empty nest... stay focused on the writing. THAT will never leave home.