Spring is the season of birth. Nature comes alive in vibrant hues as trees sprout leaves of green and perennials burst through the ground, dotting the landscape with shades of yellow, red, orange, pink, purple and blue. And creatures large and small meander among us, preparing nests for the arrival of their offspring. There are two birthdays worth noting from my teeny corner of the planet.

First, I would like to wish a belated Happy Birthday to this blog, Joan’s Jottings. I launched this site in March 2009 with the help of my midwife and fellow blogger, Jane. For more than a decade, this blog has provided me with a place to create, vent, share, and hone my writing skills. Here are a few stats worth noting:

This is post number 167.

I file these jottings within fourteen categories, including books, cancer, family, humor and life.

My most consistent writing came during my dive into the online dating world where I posted weekly about my matches, churning out a record forty-six entries. During this time, I developed a following of sorts, which mainly consisted of my very married female friends. These ladies vicariously entered this brave new world of mate hunting from the safe and cozy confines of their living rooms.

The second birth is not really a birth yet as she is still incubating, awaiting the perfect and precise moment to make her debut. I am, of course, referring to my BOOK and not a post-menopausal miracle. I have been nurturing this embryo for nearly six months, investing more than 220 hours of labor. She currently weighs in at approximately 36,000 words, divided among eighteen chapters. After completing the first draft, I conducted a self-edit and then handed the manuscript to three exceptional beta readers, Dauna, Jane, and Nan. These ladies provided me with valuable insight into the flow and content of the story as well as pointing out errors in grammar and punctuation.

Armed with the information provided by my beta readers, I completed a second edit which prepared the budding manuscript for a more microscopic critique performed by someone with trained, unbiased eyes—a professional editor. During a first pass, Miss Miranda used her knowledge, experience, and little red pen to clean-up and perfect my draft. I am currently working through her corrections and suggestions before handing the manuscript back to her for a second go-around. After all of the editing is complete, she will make a third and final proofreading pass. Her insight and expertise are aiding me in elevating this work to a higher level. Also, her initial comments have provided me with the motivation and stamina I need to continue to plow forward with this project. Her summary began with these words:

“Your memoir is powerful, and I enjoyed reading it. I think you did a great job of describing everything and providing the reader with powerful emotion.”

I hope to announce the birth of my book sometime late this spring or early summer. I have selected a name, but am not ready to share it just yet. Once she arrives, I will exchange my writing pen for another new and unchartered realm—the world of marketing. This critical and important step will be crucial to introducing my baby to as many people as possible. When the time is right, I might humbly ask for your help in sharing her, but more about that later.

I will continue to update my progress as I waddle through this final trimester. I look forward to introducing you to my baby girl.


10 thoughts on “Birthdays

  1. I have so loved following the path with you via your pen. It’s with a heart full of grateful anticipation that I await this book! Congratulations and KEEP BREATHING!

    • Thank you for your (always) kind words and for your help. I appreciate it. And, yes, breathing. I am using meditation to help me focus on that very important stress-reducer.

  2. As always the pictures you paint with your “pen” are amazing. Could clearly see the garden of beautiful colors all blooming. Looking forward to all the wonderful places you will take us readers in your book. Congratulations Joan!

    • Thank you for reading my post. I appreciate it and look forward to sharing our story with you and many others. Hugs.

  3. I was struck by your illustrative language at the beginning of the jotting, punctuated by “meander.” I then lost myself in the deep education of the writing and editing processes. That learning then gave way to foreshadowing and anticipation of the coming birth/book! I’m excited to read it.

    As a side note, I’ll wager $10 the book will be called “Gordon” and will become a big, big bestseller. But I”m open-minded that perhaps it will be better than that could ever be.

    Continued success in the process–enjoy the journey because, as this great writer sings in the following song….

    Secret ‘O Life by James Taylor

    Well the secret of life is enjoying the passage of time.
    Any fool can do it,
    There ain’t nothin’ to it.
    Nobody knows how we got to the top of the hill.
    But since we’re on our way down,
    We might as well enjoy the ride.
    The secret of love is in opening up your heart.
    It’s okay to feel afraid,
    But don’t let it stand in your way, No now.
    Cuz everyone knows that love is the only road.
    And since we’re only here for awhile,
    We might as well show some style,
    Give us a smile now,
    Isn’t it a lovely ride?
    Sliding down, and
    Gliding down, and
    Try not to try too hard.
    It’s just a lovely ride.
    The thing about time is that time isn’t really real.
    It’s all on your point of view,
    How does it feel to you in there, and
    Einstein said that you could never understand it all.
    Planets spinning through space,
    The smile upon your face,
    Welcome to the human race,
    Isn’t that a lovely ride,
    Oh la la yes,
    See me sliding down and gliding down,
    Try not to try too hard,
    It’s just a lovely ride.
    Now the secret of life is enjoying the passage of time…

    • Thanks, Gordon. You always make me laugh AND I love your love of music. Thanks for sharing a little James with this site.

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