Archive for May, 2009

I’m Trying

May 29, 2009

I really am trying. I’m just so tired and there is so much to do. Sure I’m trapped at home for most of the day waiting for my staples delivery, but there are still calls to make, emails to return, diapers to change, news to watch, naps to be had, and on and on.

I’m embarrassed that I am not exactly reading much more than the ingredient list on a cereal box but my plate is full.

For my summer writing workshop I switched to personal essay because I think writing something more manageable (shorter) is more realistic. I can start, edit and finish several pieces over the summer and perhaps find a published home for them.

I’ve been filling up my journal which is cathartic; though not sure if it will translate into essays or a memoir. I’d love to do stories of globe trekking with my mom. We had some amazing adventures abroad.

Eventually. At least I’m visiting this site quasi regularly and writing.

Poca a poca.

How Memorable

May 18, 2009

I just returned from my ten year college reunion which was more fun than I would have imagined. On my friends urging, I visited my old advisor. I introduced myself and he shook my hand with such gusto I’m sure he remembered me.

We talked and I told him what I was doing: being a mom, working on a novel, managing real estate, etc. He then started to tell me about a graduate from 10 years ago. I asked him if he was talking about me. The professor is a little kookie – which I guess most college professors are – and he said no. Then he continued to talk about this student whose post collegiate plans mirrored mine. I asked again if he was referring to me. He said no and continued citing more parallels. “Jim,” I said. “I really think you are talking about me.”

He did a double take and realized he was indeed thinking of me. I don’t know if I should be pleased that he remembered specifics about my goals from ten years ago or disappointed because he remember me when I arrived.

From the friends who came up and introduced themselves to me, I reckon I have not physically changed too drastically.

Feeling Foolish Part 2

May 11, 2009

I’m super excited that my post was chosen for syndication. It’s a confirmation that I’m a good writer and that if I continue I can be successful. I only wish that I properly listed this blog address correctly. Ugh. Just another incentive to write more and write better.

A friend of mine from my writers group that began in 2004 recently signed a two book YA deal. I’m genuinely excited for her and not even slightly jealous. I know she worked diligently and regularly at writing and she deserves to be successful. I’m also not envious because it gives me a lot of hope. I remember when my friend was just beginning her freelance career. I know she is a good writer, but not she’s not a significantly better writer than me and she certainly did not land this deal based on any nepotism or connections. Her recent success just gives me faith in my potential.

I took a writing course once and their logo was the secret to writing is writing. My friend knew this secret, just as other writer friends of mine know it too. Now if only the kids would stop crying so I can write.

Great News

May 7, 2009

A post I wrote for the

Mom Memoir

May 4, 2009

I’m working on some pieces about my mom which are very cathartic. Hopefully some will see the light of day in a publication like the NY Times.

Here is the most current one: (comments welcomed)

A 60 year old Jewish woman goes to India, sounds like the beginning of a joke but it’s the story of my mom’s last vacation. A world traveler, mom was fascinated with India and since her first trip a decade earlier she managed to return once or twice a year under the guise of business. She often dragged me along on these trips. After spending a several days buying jewelry we’d venture somewhere new in the neighborhood. Some of the places we visited for bragging rights. How satisfying it was to read an article in the travel section about Bhutan and think how it had changed since we visited.

The flight on Kuwaiti Air that allowed smoking and prohibited alcohol, the extra days we were forced to spend in Havana because of a hurricane where she reused her dental floss, the traveler we picked up in Guatemala, hitchhiker who didn’t speak English in Israel, the baseball cap we swapped for a jewelry box in the High Atlas Mountains, a cruise in Myanmar with Sydney Pollack, the crossword puzzles we did on yet another walking tour in the Galapagos, a visit to Marrakech during Ramadan, the discovery of the same shirt she bought at Saks on sale in Katmandu, the concealing of cheese into Grand Cayman, cigars from Cuba, jewelry from India, we always had an adventure.

Then we started having health adventures, but because her condition seemed to improve, they too became anecdotes. Remember when the staples fell out from my hysterectomy and I had to have emergency surgery on Oscar night? All I wanted to know was who won Best Picture. We’d laugh and comment how scary it was for a few moments.
I was not scared when my mom first checked into the hospital in Cochin, India. After a few days I asked her if was enough. She was in a 1940’s style hospital where the staff was so nice and incompetent. The cooperative hotel manager where she stayed sent over food, a specialist from another city visited, the nurses who had to be told to wash their hands made for a noteworthy experience.

As the pain of losing my mom dulls I think back to her final weeks in hospitals in India. One day she was worried about having her airline miles reinstated and the next she’s too weak to ask the doctors what they medicine they are administering. There’s the uncertainty of the quality of care she received, the conflicting theories of her New York doctors, and her diagnosis. I don’t know if it was a heart attack like her death certificate listed, the stage four cancer, an infection, pneumonia or combination of any of the above.
Now when people ask me how my mom died, it’s yet another story. Anyone can die in New York, but I died in India with an air ambulance waiting for me on the tarmac, she would have said.