Haitus over …. Did you miss me?

By Carol / August 8, 2017 /

I realize asking, “Did you miss me?” after such a long absence opens me to the possibility of all sorts of disappointing, maybe even disparaging, responses. All of which I’d deserve. I dropped out of sight without telling you I would. Truthfully, I didn’t know I was going to do it myself. It just happened.

Pastels provided a new kind of creative outlet.

But now I’m back and feeling good after a three-month hiatus. I didn’t realize how much I needed a break from writing. I’d worked hard to finish the manuscript of a new novel only to have it turned down by my publisher. Optimistically, I went in search of an agent only to hear, “No, thanks,” again and again. Maybe this novel was not meant to be published. Simultaneously, I cut back on blogging, and the longer I didn’t post, the easier it became.

As I let writing recede, I opened my  mental, physical, and emotional space to other adventures.

I dove deeper into the pastel pool, taking another class and gaining confidence.

Greece offered unbeatable light, color, and history.

A friend and I spent a sublime few weeks in Greece.

My new prairie patch (where I mostly pull weeds) offered solitude and a much-needed reminder to be patient because things come in their own time.

All of these events and more provided time to breathe, to reflect, to let my heart tell me what to do. Without conscious intent, time away from writing brought me back to writing.

Purple vervain helps me look past prolific weeds.

So, here I am once again. I’ll be writing and posting about the above topics and more in the weeks ahead. The time away also brought me to a decision about my manuscript. I’m moving forward on the route to indie publishing. One step at a time without certainty on the end game. You’ll hear more about that, too.

So, my friends. I’m grateful for each of you who waited patiently and are willing to read my ramblings once again.

I’d like to hear from you. Please drop a note about how you’ve spent the last several months. Or let me know how time away has helped you make a decision. Let’s reconnect.


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  1. Linda Hoye on August 8, 2017 at 9:10 am

    Welcome back, Carol. Sometimes a break and a change in focus (and place, in your case!) is just what’s needed to reignite the creative spark. I look forward to hearing about your prairie again as well as your publishing journey. And pastels! How lovely! It seems many of us who write find our way to other creative pursuits in time.

    • Carol Bodensteiner on August 8, 2017 at 12:08 pm

      Thanks, Linda. I have a deep well of topics to draw from. Now just to write them. There is a good deal of overlap in the creative world. Even when it’s a completely different genre, the thinking follows similar paths. At least so it seems at the moment.

  2. Merril Smith on August 8, 2017 at 9:25 am

    You did what you needed and wanted to do, Carol, and that’s the important part. If blogging and writing seems like a chore, then what’s the point? You’ve been doing so many wonderful things, and I imagine they have stirred up your thoughts in a new way. I’ve seen photos of your art, Greece, and prairie, so I know you’ve been enjoying some fabulous things. In any case, welcome back to Bloggerland! 🙂

    • Carol Bodensteiner on August 8, 2017 at 12:14 pm

      I agree. One should enjoy what one spends time on. Even so, stepping away from something I’ve committed to is a challenge. The blog has been running far longer than any project I thought I’d take on after I left the traditional workplace. Yet I’ve made so many connections through it; maybe that’s reason enough to continue. For the foreseeable future, I’m in.

  3. Nan Johnson on August 8, 2017 at 9:42 am

    I was delighted to wake up to your new post, Carol! I DID miss you, yet understand very well the desire to explore new adventures. You share a lot of wisdom in your post; I look forward to reading more of what you call “ramblings.” By the way, I love your pastel artwork!

    • Carol Bodensteiner on August 8, 2017 at 12:16 pm

      Thanks for holding the front page of my blog so well for so long, Nan. The title of your novel, “The Open Road,” was a fitting signal for where I’d gone. With my refreshed attitude, I hope to continue to provide value to readers. And to have fun while I’m doing it.

  4. Shirley Showalter on August 8, 2017 at 7:48 pm

    Welcome back, Carol. So good to connect with you again today. Keep following the Light within. No need to force it, just speak when you feel called.

    • Carol Bodensteiner on August 9, 2017 at 8:34 am

      Our chats are always a pleasure, Shirley. I appreciate your point about not forcing it. I dwell too often and long in the land of “should.” Better to have fewer posts with meaning than a lot of posts simply to meet a self- or web-imposed notion of what’s right. Thank you.

  5. Sherrey Meyer on August 8, 2017 at 9:42 pm

    Carol, I have wondered where you’ve been but only in recent days. You asked about what we’ve been up to during your time of refreshing and renewal. For 20 months now I’ve been seeking resolution to chronic pain in the low back and pelvic area resulting from a fall in January 2016. On June 9th I had surgery to implant a spinal cord stimulator which diverts and breaks up pain signals to the brain. I’m happy to say it has been successful and I too am making a return to the blog in another few weeks. Currently, I’m in a debate with self over the publication or rewrite of my memoir. The rewrite is winning at present. But that’s something for a blog post in the near future. My time, even though for medical reasons and the inability to do so many things, was healing on many fronts (another blog topic). So good to hear that your time was spent doing things you love and that everything brought you back to writing.

    • Carol Bodensteiner on August 9, 2017 at 8:39 am

      Sherry, I’ve followed your journey to deal with pain from the fall. So glad to hear you’ve found a solution. I bet you’re beyond grateful to be able to think about other, more pleasant, things.

      Whether and how to publish has consumed me for many months, too. My sense is we need to trust our gut on these things. Our writerly sense is most often right. Good luck with whatever course you choose.

  6. Paulette on August 9, 2017 at 8:29 am

    Always happy to see you surface over the cyber horizon. It can be very refreshing to take a break. I’m due for one myself. I’m looking forward to that book of yours.

    • Carol Bodensteiner on August 9, 2017 at 8:42 am

      Hi, Paulette. I hope your break is as refreshing as mine was, Paulette. You were an early reader of my manuscript and based on your on-point feedback, I made many changes. We’ll see where it goes in the hands of the editors.

  7. Janet Givens on August 9, 2017 at 9:20 am

    Welcome back, Carol. I wonder if it’s a wisdom that comes with age, this idea that we don’t have to do what we think we must? Wherever it’s from, it is freeing. Congratulations on finding your way back. I too am eager to see your new book come out.

    • Carol Bodensteiner on August 9, 2017 at 10:32 am

      I also wonder – beyond a wisdom that comes with age – if we care less about pleasing everyone all the time? Something I must need to be reminded of frequently.

  8. Laurie Buchanan on August 9, 2017 at 10:21 am

    Welcome back!

    • Carol Bodensteiner on August 9, 2017 at 10:29 am

      Thanks, Laurie.

  9. Elfrieda Neufeld Schroeder on August 9, 2017 at 11:52 am

    Yes, I did miss you, Carol! Welcome back! I think maybe I need to go into hiding after a big family event (50th anniversary for us, the real date is Jan 13, 2018) and 80th bthday for my husband ( real date is Sept. 6, 2017). The celebration was amazing and wonderful and I will blog about it at some point!

    • Carol Bodensteiner on August 9, 2017 at 2:51 pm

      Congratulations on your 50th anniversary and your husband’s milestone birthday. Great reasons to go all out. I look forward to reading about it all when you get ready to write.

  10. Antoinette Truglio Martin on August 9, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    Always good to read your work. Welcome home.

    • Carol Bodensteiner on August 9, 2017 at 2:52 pm

      Thank you, Antoinette.

  11. Billie Wade on August 9, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    Welcome back, Carol. I’m new to your blog and look forward to your writing and artwork. Have a delightful week.

    • Carol Bodensteiner on August 9, 2017 at 3:33 pm

      Hi, Billie, Thanks for joining my blog and for commenting. I’m delighted to meet another blogger. Looking forward to seeing you this week.

  12. Kathy Hopkins on August 9, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    Carol, I just love your “ramblings,” as you call them. I appreciate so much the photo from Greece. The blue! ❤️ I loved seeing you at the Farmer’s Market and getting a hug from you (and meeting your good friend). You have a wonderfull way with words and paint a beautiful picture with them. Write on, my friend!

    • Carol Bodensteiner on August 10, 2017 at 2:33 pm

      Thank you, Kathy, for your many kind words. Those chance encounters at the farmer’s market are always a fun surprise. I’m thinking all the time of you and your family. Your faith is evident as you manage through the turbulence life sends your way.

      That picture from Greece is one of my favorites. I admit to having many favorites from the trip, but I most often stop on this one, which is the view from our hotel room in Monemvasia. Truly stunning.

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