You Say Goodbye; I Say Hello

The Beatles knew a thing or two in writing lyrics. The band understood how music and lyrics changed as the band evolved. Their writing matured.

My writing and what I write about has changed, too.

Although 2014 had some great milestones, I’m glad it is ending. I look forward to 2015. I look forward to having energy again after a physically draining pregnancy. I am excited for life with two children.

In the last three weeks, a bundle of emotions overpowered anything Christmas could have offered my family. On December 9, I took my last home exam because I was on bed rest. The next afternoon, I gave birth to a beautiful daughter. Not two weeks later, my husband and I returned to the pediatrics’ ward with our daughter. The pediatrician found she would stop breathing for 15 seconds and her heart rate decreased. She had a high fever during the first night in the hospital. The hospital pediatrician and nurses identified pneumonia the next day.

We returned home Christmas Day afternoon.

So, as our daughter recovers at home, I look forward to 2015. I look forward to increasing what I write.

What do I say hello to – as far as writing – in 2015?

I would be honored to be published again. I will send more stories out. I know, at some point, a chapter I co-authored will be published. I will continue to work as a freelance writer for chamber of commerce magazines in three North Carolina towns. I will continue to write Adventures of Elliot McSwean stories, and maybe one or two other short stories.

Something occurred to me in the week between my daughter’s birth and her hospital stay. I should write a memoir. The moment the nurses put my daughter on my stomach, and I was the first to hold her inspired me. I had fallen more in love with my husband for helping me bring this beautiful life into the world, but our journey was not easy. I fell in love as we exhausted ourselves and cried having to tag team between our two children before and during Christmas.

We faced illness without health insurance. We felt how doctors treat those without health insurance.

We lost relationships with friends and family members in our decision to share a life together.

We have sat through job interviews, lost jobs, and lost a home.

But we also shared a lot of happiness with our children and each other. We have made new friends and rebuilt relationships and friendships with others. We found personal and professional successes. We have built a new life, which while not a fairytale, has inspired my two short memoirs.

In 2015, I say hello to more nonfiction. That is cool. I have a whole book to fill.


Time Best Spent Writing

Your son comes in the bathroom. He sits on the floor and asks when you’re going to play in his room with him.

The new baby cries ready to be fed.

“We will play after nap,” I say.

Just a few moments before, your son had entertained himself and the baby slept. You have just a few moments to write. Make it worth something. Those moments of time become rare diamonds. You must choose between what makes the rocks in your time versus what is worth your time.

In 2013, I wrote on my blog a little less. By 2014, I began dropping off the map due to the lack of energy I had during my pregnancy and dedicating the energy I had to my son, grad school and work. As I said in my last blog, three of my stories were published. But, I had no time to promote them.

I am not complaining. I love having children around me when I write because they inspire me. My son is at the heart of my two published short memoirs. Family and friendship takes center stage for a little boy in Adventures of Elliot McSwean.

Two children and grad school leaves little time.

So, where is time best spent on writing?

A blog?



I decided in 2014 to use available time  to write, edit and send stories out for publication.

With 2015 approaching, I have repurposed my blog to be about just writing again. There’s not a clear purpose, but it is my space. I’m not out on some major goal. I’m not attempting to write a blog X amount of times a week. For me, once a month is a great goal.

That is okay.

Now the house is quiet. My son is in probably his final year of napping. His sister is asleep.

Above the Water and Under: Coming Back

My husband, John, likes to say he is like a duck. He is calm and serene on the surface, and paddling fast under water.

Our lives in the last six years have often felt like that. If you’ve read my posts before, you might have seen some of those stories reflected in blogs like Blue Collar. If you’ve read my published short stories or nonfiction, the “duck theme” is there, too.

For the first time this year, I can stop paddling. I step out of the water. I sit by it, and watch the flow of water fowl go by long enough to see an ugly duckling turn into a graceful swan. Do you ever feel like that?

Before now, I had not taken the time to celebrate or promote the July publication of The Adventures of Elliot McSwean: Save the Red Lights and the second publishing of The Question. I am very proud to have these two stories published by Alfie Dog Press out of the UK because it is a place for children’s stories. It also promotes the purchasing of short stories online, which is hard to find. The market for short stories is tough, but the publishing house took a shot with mine.

I briefly mentioned the publication “The Write Mother” in KY Story‘s Motherlode: essays on parenthood. I guess you would say it is my first essay. “The Write Mother” reflects on first time motherhood and giving up a career in favor of another one.

KY Story has – and continues to – published beautiful anthologies. Last year, the publishing house included my story “When Tomorrow Comes” in its Offbeat Christmas Story anthology.  I then began my author page on Amazon, which like the blog, I need to update.

I realize how fortunate I am to not only be published, but to have places like The Copperfield Review and KY Story publish my work more than once. Or, Alfie Dog Press to publish two of my stories. I do not submit many stories per year. In fact I have submitted less than twenty this year, and those entries are about four different stories.

But, 2014 is the first year that I have not worried about will I continue  to be published. Two thousand thirteen is a hard year to follow up on in a competitive market because I had three or four publications, and an Honorable Mention in a contest.

This year, I did not send out much promotion – my little newsletter and blog – and I submitted what I could. When I received my contract in the mail for the work I began with my boss last year, I was elated. It is a chapter I co-wrote and researched. When released, it will be my first academic publication.

In my professional and to a degree in my personal life, I do not talk much about being a published author or what I write. Most of my co-workers or friends know little about it, and that is okay. I have separated much of my life into dividers, so it will flow. I think it helps me to write better when I do not discuss my inner thoughts and writings with people. Not to mention, there’s nothing like bursting into a room, and saying, “Hey guys, guess what I did!”

So, why has this duck paddled so hard this year if I haven’t been promoting or writing as much?

I have attended graduate school for 18 months straight while working two jobs. Most of my writing has been academic, but written with the same passion. Some of it, I was encouraged to submit to academic journals, but I chose not to due to the extra time I would need to edit. Even in the summer, I did not have the extra time.

Finally, one day after my final exam, the greatest day of the year happened. You may think “What it’s not Christmas yet.”

I gave birth to my second child, Cora Aurelia-Ann Bridges. My children give a greater sense of peace and inspiration in writing than I’ve ever known.

Now, finally with an entire month off, I can stop paddling and hold both of my joys.

Charles Corrie First Day home Corrie_First_Family Visit Corries in Johns Hand