Monday, September 10, 2012

Deadlines? Did anyone say Deadline? Escaping into the Open . . .

I had a manuscript due yesterday. Well, not exactly. It's due to my publisher in October, but back in early August I had my schedule planned out to get the first draft completed sometime this week - and if all went well, maybe even by September 8th. Yeah, yesterday.

The reality? I only have one chapter finished. And I keep rewriting it over and over again, trying not to hate it. (Oy!)

Life happened. Life got in the way. Life--yeah. That.

It's a bit panicky-feeling to think I'm three weeks behind. With 2nd round of revisions looming for my Harpercollins YA and Book 2 of the trilogy to draft no later than October 25th, too.

Did I say I'm panicked? Naw. I meant, TERRIFIED!

I'm also adding something new to the schedule. A trip back to San Diego next week to see my baby brother who has been so ill with brain cancer. I was there over the summer, but I can't put off seeing him again. It's that serious. And that makes me crazy terrified and emotional every single day.

One moment I'm gushing tears and sobbing at my desk.

The next I'm trying to keep my mother's and sisters' spirits lifted.

Or I'm numb. In shock that this is actually happening to my family.

Every day I'm hugging my babies tight. Or escaping into a book because I have to stop weeping and if I keep thinking about this I'll truly go ballistic; throwing things and swearing.

And then guilt rushes over me for whining and complaining when my brother has lost all ability to do anything, even to speak, the cancer has taken over so badly. And yet, he's fully aware of everything that is happening to him, as his life and all the things he loves have been taken away the past year. His music, his guitar, his books, his gaming friends, his navy life he was so good at. He's spent most of the last 6 months in the hospital trying treatments that don't work--or give him terrible side-effects. Frustration, disappointment that no treatments have worked, depression, anger and fear are daily battles for him as well as his wife and three sons who are so young (the twins in Kindergarten). Ironically--unbelievably--my brother was only 5 years old, the baby of 6 siblings, when we lost our father to a tragic accident (plane crash). And yet, it struck me today as I worshiped during church services and heard some incredibly inspiring talks, that he will be the first of all of us to see our father again--a father he barely remembers--on the other side of heaven's veil. I wish I could see that reunion. Father and son embracing, weeping tears of joy, and talking, talking, talking, catching up on all that they both have missed these last 30+ years.

Writing has, many times in the past, given me an escape. A way to cope with life's trials and heartaches. I think I'm ready to go there this week. I hope so. My character, Larissa Renaud, of Bayou Bridge, Louisiana, is reaching out to me from her own heartaches and scars that have come from many sides. And she will be called to do something big and wonderful--and terrible, too. She will learn that her family is in danger. Terrible danger that could kill her mother, her baby sister, and herself, and she will be able to save them. And, as she becomes stronger, the heartache and scars and loneliness will diminish. They won't matter so much because of the person she discovers that she truly is deep inside.

Faith and sacrifice are always stronger than fear and doubt.

I leave you with a writing quote from the beautiful book, Escaping into the Open by Elizabeth Berg:

"All writing is communication; creative writing is communication through revelation--it is the Self escaping into the open."
--E.B. White

I hope I can escape into my Open this week, and write true and write strong. 

Thank you, Dad, for giving me a love of literature, a love of words, a love of writing--your own dream of publishing a book never fulfilled.



Melanie Park said...

Beautifully and poignantly written. Hugs to you and your family. Your dad and brother's reunion brings tears of joy as I think that perhaps they need some time to get acquainted before being joined by the rest of you. Thanks for sharing.

Wendy S said...

What a beautifully honest and courageous post, Kimberley. May you continue to find strength and solace in this difficult time. You and your family are in my most caring thoughts.

Caroline Starr Rose said...

I love you, sweet friend. xoxoxoxox

Elle Strauss said...

I'm so sorry to hear that your family is once again going through such a hard time. Thanks for sharing your story and I love the thought that your father and brother will meet again in Heaven. I believe it. :)

Augusta Scattergood said...

Can't even think of the words to say. Except you are blessed to have such an amazing family. And now all these writer friends. We wish you didn't have to go through this, or your sweet brother either. Much love.

Kristina Farnsworth said...

Your books have such a great capacity to communicate healing and comfort, I hope you can find some for yourself as you write. I'm sorry for this difficult trial. We're keeping you in our prayers and sending you lots of mental hugs.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your emotions in such a personal way. I'm so sorry this is a difficult time for you and your family. Your books will reflect these true feelings to the readers and maybe you've touched the life and given strength to someone else having a difficult time. You will get to the writing.

Joan Stradling said...

Oh, Kimberley, I'm so sorry to hear about your brother! My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

William Wordsworth said, "Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart" and you certainly have done that in your writing--not only in this post today, but in your wonderful books as well.

I know you'll make it through these trying times. It won't be easy, but if life were easy it wouldn't be worth living. Each trial we face helps our character grow a little more toward reaching our divine potential.

((hugs)) and love to you and your family.

Susan said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your family's tragedies. It's amazing how some just can't seem to catch a break. By rights you should be bitter and cynical. I wouldn't blame you a bit if you were. But you're not -- you're warm, optimistic, and faithful. Thanks for that, my friend. God bless you and your family.

Donna K. Weaver said...

Oh, Kimberley. There seems to be so much of that among people I know. My heart just hurts for you. I know what it's like to watch while someone you love hurts so bad and has lost so much. *hugs*

Julie DeGuia said...

I'm so sorry to hear of the your brother's cancer, and the family he will leave behind. Sending prayers out to all of you.

And what a hard time for you to have so many deadlines. Go sit in that pretty cottage of yours, get out your 3x5 cards, take a deep breath and wait for the words to come!

Brenda Drake said...

Words can't express how sorry I am to hear about your brother. My prayers go out to him, you, and your families. I imagine whatever you write during this time, will be wonderful and heartfelt. Hugs! <3

Beth Stilborn said...

Tears for you as I read this -- may you and your family have strength for the journey, peace and love and hope in the midst of the sorrow and yearning.

Anonymous said...

Kimberly, saying prayers for your brother and the rest of the family.

Beth said...

Good luck with your deadline.

Natalie Aguirre said...

So very sorry for your brother Kimberley. I know how hard it is. My younger sister died after a long battle with breast cancer. It sounds like you're doing what you can to hang in there.



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