Where the Journey Sometimes Takes Us





Sometimes the writer’s life seems to take us far afield of our creations.

Or maybe we’re distracted by other kinds of creativity, like the interiors of our homes or the blogging world.  Is that part of our journey as writers?  Creating a kind of nest in our exterior world, or finding connections that help us become part of something bigger than ourselves?

A writer’s journey can be a solitary one, and the immediacy of blogging can be very appealing.  After we come out of our cocoons and connect with others, we can return to our interior life with greater enthusiasm.

I’m hoping that will happen, anyway.

All of this seemed to spring from that dark place where I’d found myself with last week’s reading.  To begin this week in a different place, I started with a thriller, and now I’m following the journey of kids who have aged out of the foster care system.  A chronicle of what that journey looks like.

A reminder of my time back in the trenches as a social worker.

I have incorporated some of those memories and experiences into my writing; especially in the five  SIX books now available at my website.

Currently, I’m tweaking a WIP called Interior Designs, a spin-off of my second book, Embrace the Whirlwind.  As I consider the characters I have brought to life in ID, I am reminded of the original book and its themes. (This book is now published and available in paperback and Kindle).

In this excerpt, Denise Richardson ponders her life after her social work career:  a life that includes providing a home for the stray young people she finds around her.  Reminders of some of her own experiences.

Denise Richardson gazed around at the messy sitting room.  Articles of clothing were draped across every available surface while dirty plates, bowls and glasses rimmed the coffee table and side tables, vividly announcing the recent flurry of activity.  And while untidy rooms were not something new and unusual, today’s detritus suggested even more happy chaos than usual.   

In the midst of these poignant reminders of a life brimming with activity, Denise reluctantly gave in to the feeling of well being that threatened to overcome her.  And following the acknowledgement of the positive feelings came the recognition that she was afraid of feeling this good!  All of her life she had gradually come to an uneasy peace with the familiar feelings of depression, anxiety, and fear.  Even guilt.  But contentment…Now that was a feeling so rare in her life that she felt suspicious when it hovered nearby.  Feelings like contentment and well being could so easily escape without warning; their presence among the familiar negative emotions only enhanced the ever-present anxiety.  

Denise laughed out loud.  Afraid to be happy, so she sabotaged herself with the familiar fears and worries.  There was no shortage of triggers for those emotions.  All she had to do was look inside to find something to elicit all the doubts and anxieties.

Wasn’t it about time to finally set aside all that old baggage?  Maybe she should make an appointment with Leslie Noble, too!  The woman came every week to see Savannah and lately, she’d been scheduling appointments with Amber.

She glanced toward the ceiling where Amber and Ariel were sleeping in their old beds.  They’d been coming every weekend for about six weeks and sometimes Amber and Ariel even spent the weekend at Hilary’s.   

They had talked last night.  Amber was struggling with the decisions she had to make.  Trying to think things through and consider the consequences…That was hard work for her.  But she was learning that her impulsive choices created trouble and disaster; she had made a decision to try and change her tendency to act first and wallow in misery afterwards.

Denise was familiar with impulsiveness disguised and renamed spontaneity.  Living with the wreckage of her own whirlwind adventures had ultimately led to some positive growth, but the price had been high.  But then maybe nothing worthwhile came without a price of one kind or another.  She guessed that the trick was to minimize the costs while absorbing the precious gems at the core of each life lesson.