Friday, June 29, 2012

On Sharing and Not Sharing

I sometimes get asked why I don't blog more often, or don't talk about my daily life like some writers do. Fact is, my daily life is relatively boring and I can't imagine that anyone would be interested. I have two horses, four cats, a dog, and 20 acres, a big yard, and a house to maintain, which means that in between writing, revising, reading manuscripts to critique for various writers' workshops, and marketing finished stuff...there's not a lot of time for "interesting." Wanna know how to hang 20-foot 2x6 rails by yourself? I could tell you, but honestly, is that really what you want to know?

Let's face it, even I can't make patching fence, mowing grass, and spraying knapweed exciting. Oh, wait. Scratch that latter part. I did, actually, kinda sorta turn destroying knapweed (oh so happily and joyfully) into something exciting. My war on knapweed is the whole underpinning of Firedancer, as I've explained numerous times on guest blogs. My frustration with the pernicious stuff is entirely my character Jetta's frustration with fighting an enemy she knows she can never definitely beat. Talk about fantasy!

On the flip side, I LOVE to talk about horses with anyone I can get to stand still and listen. Or writing. Or history. There are dozen of subjects I like to discuss. Sex, religion and politics are not among them, though I have passionate beliefs about all three. But...I am old-fashioned enough to believe some things don't belong in polite conversation. There are just too, too many other fascinating subjects in the world to get sucked into uncivil flame wars. So let's not go there, eh? Someday, if I get to know you, and you catch me in the right mood at a con, maybe...but not here.

Sometimes the only interesting things that happen in my day are the miserable, unexpected, uncomfortable things, like having to push my dead riding lawnmower up my (very long) driveway. Do you know how much those things weigh? And it's uphill! Pant, pant. I shy away from that stuff, too, because breaking myself of whining about things I can't change is an ongoing process. I remember how, when I had cancer ten years ago, a friend at work immediately tried to sympathize with "I bet you're wondering why me?" I'm not sure she understood when I told her it didn't matter; I just wanted to survive it and move on.

For the same reason, when I was a platoon leader in the Army and later, a project manager for various companies, I never cared about whose fault it was that the project was in a mess when I got there. My focus was on getting it straightened out, not assigning blame. I figured the guilty parties would either seize the opportunity to do better, or backslide and out themselves, and either way the problem would resolve itself.

Don't sweat the small stuff.

That, too, is an ongoing learning process for me, because I am a perfectionist about my work; I like my place to look nice; I want to do right by the various responsibilities in my life. I have had to learn to say "good enough for government work" and walk away when the small stuff really doesn't matter (like when I'm tired and the yard still needs to be weed whipped. Like now.) I have had to learn to let my publisher drag the manuscript out of my resistant fingers and live with the finished product. I try to make sure it's perfect when it goes, and to not kick myself if something got missed. One thing that cancer taught me was to pick my priorities better.

So, now you know why I don't talk much about moi in this space. Which is not to say I never will. If something interesting happens (like me winning a Hugo. Snort.) I'll be sure to let you know. I may even, in a weak moment, regale you with lawnmower tales. Actually, I would rather hear from you guys. What do YOU want to talk about (oh, please keep it clean!)?

Of, course, this is all moot if no one is reading these pages at all!

Thanks for stopping by. I hope to hear from you.


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