But I Did Take a Breather This Summer….
Last year, I kept a punishing schedule, writing each day, from 7:00 AM til 1:00 PM, while I maintained two regular columns–one for the Providence Journal’s Op-Ed pages and another as transplant to our North Carolina mountain town, Asheville, for an alternative newspaper called the Mountain Xpress (it’s like the Providence Phenix.)
When I came back to Rhode Island, I thought: “It’s been a long time since I ‘just played.’” So I did. As a result, I’ve had my best summer in years. We’ve gone out with a ton of people and enjoyed social events all across the spectrum. I even went to Seekonk Speedway to watch those insane mini cars hurtle down the track (friends talked me into it.) They told me later that I’d probably like Demolition Derby better than the limp version I witnessed, but SS isn’t really my thing (too much smoke and too little quiet.)
Older daughter and grandkids visited twice and we even took them to Waterfire!–pic below (tho’ I hate crowds). They’ve just transplanted to that Green City, Seattle, where she’ll head the Creative Division for REI (she’s in pic with the twins; their younger brother was in camp.). We’ll visit them soon.
Had a lobster boil at the house, with friends. Caught up with others visiting from Hilton Head…Duxbury…Florida. We’ll visit them in the winter time (we get the better deal there.)
I take a Yoga class, weekly, with an instructor/friend and practice twice more at home. A group of us women sweeten Yoga Fridays with lunch afterwards…
On the professional front, I’m the new MC/host of “Lively Literati” (at the Elephant Room, 2170 Broad St., in the Edgewood section of Cranston,) the last Thursday of every month. Please consider coming…It’s great fun! I’ve included the flyer…. Brought me back to my teaching days, and I gotta say: I love it. People are fun! I introduce the folks who’ll do short readings of poetry or prose. So, check us out and then dip your literary toe in the pool, if you wish….
In June, I attended my first writers’ conference—Ocean State Writers’ Conference, for three days, at my old Alma Mater, URI, finding it thrilling and encouraging, and it’s allowed me to network with more local writers. I even met an old boyfriend there. Can you imagine? If anyone out there wonders about the value of writers’ conferences, I admit: I’m now a diehard supporter and plan to attend more (No!…not cuz I want to meet more former boyfriends!)
Most exciting of all? I’m now a MONTHLY contributor to the Providence Journal. Yep, thanks to you readers, I’m one of the ‘Stars’ on the newspaper’s prestigious Op-Ed pages, determined by how popular my articles are with the public and the “shares” my columns get via social network sites (you can see the icons below each article on the providencejournal.com site; some have had close to 200!) You readers helped me, with this, by sending my columns to friends and associates. So, “Thank you!”
At 68, I’m fulfilling a lifelong dream of being a journalist. And I’m guest-speaking, so if you’d like me to speak to your group, on the glories of a teaching or beginning that later career as writer, give me a shout (e-mail below). I love engaging with others and motivating them and some have even offered I’m ‘like the Erma Bombeck of Education!” (How cool is that!?)
I’ve decided on a big change, too: I’m sidelining my planned book, Patient Witness, for now, folding many of its details into the book I’ve had in the works for many years.
In the Shadow of Princes is about my life as a girl raised in a family of superstars…a family where males ruled and females were mere facilitators (not unlike those of the Mad Men era,) a dynamic that probably affected me in life choices (tho’ I didn’t know it at the time.) It’s a story line many women share, and its message is an encouraging one, much needed in today’s world.
In the meantime, I hope you’ll continue reading my columns in the Providence Journal.
If you’re a teacher (past or present), please tell me your thoughts. Teaching remains a noble profession that challenges more than ever these days, and I continue to invite the public into the classroom. Here’s the link to Providence Journal for those articles that’ve already run.
And if you want to make sure you don’t miss any columns, please subscribe to my blog (sign-in in upper right hand side of blog)…I don’t update often (so you won’t get deluged), but I’d love to have you as reader…
Flyer for “Lively Literati” is below and I hope you’ll come, either to present or just enjoy as audience member.
Questions? firstname.lastname@example.org….Below is your personal invite
THE Lively Literati
A Monthly Evening of Open Mic Poetry, Prose
& Selected Readings
When? Thursday, August 28th, 6:30 p.m.
Where? The Elephant Room, 2170 Broad St., Cranston
Sit back and enjoy a hot cup of tea and just listen,
****Want me as speaker for your class/group? See my Profile on this site…
P.S. Here’s today’s article in the Providence Journal, one especially relevant for grandparents separated from grandchildren by geographic distance. This is how I’ll bridge the gulf: http://www.providencejournal.com/opinion/commentary/20140814-colleen-kelly-mellor-books-we-love-bring-us-together.ece