Monday, July 29, 2019

Where Have All The Mafiosi Gone, Long Time Passing?

So, I started the year with every intention of paying this blog some attention--but things have not turned out as planned. There are several factors: in March, my wife was told that her job was being cut and, although they kept her on from month-to-month until June, I knew that I had to step up and help with the family budget. (Being a blog writer for the Don is not as glamorous or lucrative as one might think...) Thus, after 23 years of being a stay-at-home dad and a writer aspiring to be published, I sheathed my pen/closed my laptop in May and took a job as an in-home caregiver.

Guys, I think I've found my vocation. In an interesting way, it's a return to the volunteer work I did while I was in university in England. For three years, every Wednesday during term time, I would visit a housebound senior and do her shopping for her. I would return for cups of tea and for a chat. (38 years later, this dear soul's daughters still keep in touch with me.)

I love being around seniors, listening to their stories, and helping them with the activities of daily life which are made harder by infirmity and diminishing eyesight. And, as I told my wife after my first week on the job, after years of rejection in the writing world, to get compliments from my clients and positive comments from my employer is a tremendous boost.

My work schedule has meant I now have little time for writing and even less time for blogging. Interestingly, as my children age and as my time is now spent with seniors, I have found myself moving away from my beloved middle grade. My latest project (in the research stage) is to write a family saga loosely based on my mother's youth. The daughter of a White Russian family, she spent her early years in Shanghai and then had to flee once more from the Chinese communists. Stateless refugees, the family was taken in by the government of Panama and made a life for themselves in that country, far from their native land. In this age of hard-heartedness towards refugees, it feels like this is a story whose time has come.

Because of all these other fulfilling parts of my life, it remains to be seen how much work I can produce for this blog. I hope it doesn't go dark for good, because I have really enjoyed reading and reviewing the work of many talented authors and making connections with many middle grade readers and writers who, I have to say, are the salt of the earth. Let's just see what the future holds.

But for now, missives from me are going to be sporadic. Thanks again to all my blog followers and supporters over the years. I look forward to supporting you going forward. Please keep in touch! Ciao for now!