Writing is such a joy. I’ve been doing it for a long, long time, and while writing is said to be a solitary occupation, I’ve never felt lonely while doing it. Perhaps that’s because I’m so engaged with my work that I’ve moved into what some writers call the “Zone.”
A newer term for it is “mindfulness,” where you keep your mind on what you’re doing, rather than thinking about whatever is bothering you at the moment (husbands, kids, parents, the bills, or the mess of American politics). Mindfulness is a skill that takes some developing, but as I work on a project, be it a book or an essay or a short piece of fiction, I rarely think about anything other than the words I’m attempting to put on the page…so I guess it’s mindfulness in the extreme.
When this happens, I’m jolted out of my “Zone” when the phone rings or my husband opens my office door and wants me to come out of my cave for a cuppa joe. He doesn’t do that often, but when he does, I realize that I truly have locked my entire being onto the white page on my computer.
As 2018 waned, I put together my resolutions for the New Year: To publish two books that I have written and get them into a pre-order status on smashwords.com. The first is Vision of a Happy Life: A Memoir and the second is Sedona: City of Refugees, a book I previously published and which is no longer in print.
Below is a quick synopsis of Vision—to give you, my readers a quick view of a life I once lived. For the purpose of privacy, I have changed names and places, but have no doubt that this memoir is true to the best of my memory of what happened almost forty years ago. I hope this intrigues you enough to pre-order the book which can be done through Apple Books, Barnes & Noble and Kobo. Since Vision won’t be available until September 3, these sites are the only way to pre-order. Neither Kindle or Smashwords takes pre-orders.
Vision of a Happy Life: A Memoir
The 1980s was an era filled with glamour as Hollywood took over the White House. It was a period of fluffy hairdos, red outfits à la Nancy Reagan, outsized wealth, and popular TV soap operas that subsidized the idea of affluence. As John Stewart and I stood on the edge of the Pacific Ocean that September day in 1980, two beach bums stood at our side giving witness to our wedding. After the ceremony, John invited ten people we did not know to our celebratory dinner, sun worshipers who had gathered on the sand to watch us take our vows. John wanted a party—he liked parties and his business, Stewart’s Market would pay the bill. It was the beginning of my understanding about John’s need to be surrounded by admirers and that the store was the center point of our existence.
While on Maui, I bought an expensive ring, putting it on John’s American Express card. I wanted to look like a woman of wealth, but I wasn’t. Three days before our wedding, I had signed a premarital agreement that prevented me from owning any of John’s property or business interests. I signed because I held a vision of life where I would be home with my young sons and financially secure. But when I arrived at John’s home after the honeymoon, I found my step-daughter had fired the housekeeper, my two young sons were subdued after a week in her care, and the personal belongings of my husband’s late wife filled the master bedroom.
One week later, I realized I had made a terrible mistake. I had an edict from my new husband that I was to touch nothing in the house—no cleaning closets so I could move in. It was the beginning of a tumultuous decade, as I found my way among a deceptive family filled with the pretense only a founding dynasty could have in a small agricultural community fifty miles north of Los Angeles. While my children and I enjoyed the benefits of living in a seemingly wealthy household, I came to realize my life was no different than the soap operas of Dynasty or Dallas that gratuitously filled the national passion for greed, guile, and deception. If one’s life can be a duplication of a decade, then I was the perfect example.