May 1, 2017

This is an interesting day. I submitted my final work schedule today. I am employed as a nurse; but not for long. I am retiring on June 30th. Having lived by a work schedule for the better part of my adult life [and as a nurse, it means shuffling nights, weekends, holidays and vacation around the schedules of other nurses], I am relieved to not have to do so any longer. However, to not have an employer-based schedule means that, as a writer, I must create my own.

I have been musing about this idea. This new road of mine. And it brought me back to why I write now, why I started and how I will continue. I started because I wanted to invent stories that would thrill, inspire, create a pause for a reader. Then I went through a phase where I concentrated on the craft and building a tool chest of words, phrases, plots and voices. I have by no means mastered nor filled the chest. When I decided to tackle a novel, I knew it would take discipline and commitment. My idea for a story would have to engage me for the duration. Around this time, I began to think about who I was, why I was here to write stories and what engaged me in life and in dreams. The notion of the unknown captivated me. In very basic terms, I considered that my adoration for dirt roads leading into the woods was a symptom of this unknown idea. Backpacking into the wilderness was another part of it. It’s not just a love of nature. It is a feeling of the potential of not knowing what is beyond that next meadow, ridge or around a curve in the trail. I drilled it down to a need to not have a destination in mind; just the journey. If I look at this laterally, it explains why I enjoy murder mysteries, the paranormal and books with riddles. Reading about the unknown not to mention living it…this is what drives me to write the kind of stories I want to share with readers. I give them a job to do: figure out where the next twist will take them.

As I start off on a new unknown path called The Next Chapter of My Life, I will have hours all my own. No timeline other than what I set. A kind of unknown, I guess.