I love this time of year when the trees are a multitude of colors– orange, gold, green, and red–the nights get longer, the air is cooler, and a pot of vegetable beef soup simmers on the stove. Even though my husband continues to mulch leaves, in order to have the lawn  neat and clean before snow blankets it,  I love the feel and crunch of fallen leaves under my feet. I love that on a certain Sunday morning, I get an hour more of sleep.   It’s also a time to turn back the clocks, ease into winter, change wardrobes, and sometimes shuffle down different paths. I’ve recently re-learned that it is sometimes important to step back before I fall back.

Like the many bends in the Mississippi where I live, my life has taken a few twists and curves lately.  When I first launched Scruples & Drams, I had no idea where the publishing world would take me.  In 2015, I had to learn how the ebb and flow of bookkeeping.  I learned that I can write but I can’t always count sales or books, so my husband took over. (Yay! Hard to believe in my first life, I was a bookkeeper, and I was good at it–the fastest 10-key- adding machine operator in Minneapolis. LOL!)

After a few more months of research followed with my nose pointed toward the computer for six months writing  Around Clearwater, I deepened my next story about Maude Porter, the oldest original settler in Clearwater. Once Around Clearwater went off to publication, I started working hard on Pins and Needles, (Maude’s story) which will be the second in the Minnesota’s Main Street Women series.

I promised myself and the publisher I’d have Maude’s book to them by November 1, but had no clue what my schedule would be like promoting Around Clearwater. My sister and I also took on creating  Jennie’s Pure and Simple face and body products that Jennie Phillips, the village druggist from 1894-1940 and the protagonist of Scruples & Drams, might have createdThey are wonderful, I might add.  I’ve always had sensitive skin and have tried all types of lotions, creams, sun products, and have had varied results.  What I created are simple and made with coconut, almond, olive,  Vitamin E and other natural ingredients.  Becky’s soaps are simple as well. For the first time, I have no rash nor itch from a facial and body lotion. We had them available for the launch of Around Clearwater in August and they became a good sell.  We had more for our occasional sale, and will have some to sell at our Christmas Tea, Dec 10, from 1:30-3:30 at the Clearwater United Methodist Church.

Even though I promised the publisher I’d have Jennie’s sequel ready for the November deadline, I realized it was going to be  tough  because of all the events I would be at this fall.  From Little Falls to St. Joe to Brookings, SD, and back to Clearwater, I was busy and on the road a lot selling books.  This gave me little time to get my first draft done.  I soon realized I wouldn’t be able to meet my deadline.  While I finished the first draft a week before November 1, I realized my expectations were unrealistic to get it edited and turned in on time.

Disappointed, I had to re-evaluate my  writing future. Even though I  wanted the sequel ready for a 2017 publication date,  I had to be realistic.  I asked myself: Do I want it fast or do I want it right?  Of course, I want it right.  Heaven knows there are always mistakes once the book is in publication, but I want to avoid as many as possible.  I knew that I could get it ready for  for January’s due date, so I am aiming for an early 2018 publication date.

I won’t be hiding in 2017 though.  I will be attending a  number of events and probably publishing a second edition of Passages.  I will be teaching a class and trying to get my “brand” with Jennie’s Pure and Simple products going as well as my Minnesota’s Main Street Women’s series on a stronger platform. I also have a couple “irons in the fire” as well.  I’ll let you in on that later.

I learned a few good lessons through all of this.  I couldn’t keep going at the pace I was going.  We all know that sometimes we take on more than we can chew.   On top of everything, Frank and I have been blessed with another granddaughter.  Our oldest son Todd, the one who has played guitar at my launches, and his wife Joyce had a beautiful baby girl two days after the launch in August.  Who wants to write when I can hold, kiss, and cuddle that little charmer?  We now have four grand-girls, and grand they are.  From six years down to three months, these wonderful gifts are pure love.

So Fall has been a time for reflection for me, and a long, beautiful fall it has been. I’m already wondering who will be the third in my series so that I can continue to research once I put Maude’s story to bed.  My research for Around Clearwater is paying off. I can’t even begin to communicate the ties that the village had to bigger cities –from Minneapolis to the East Coast to Canada to Europe.  I don’t want to get it wrong so I’ve decided to step back before I fall back and take the time to tell a few more good stories.









2 thoughts on “Fall Back

  1. Cindy
    Just reread this and I found it as charming and exciting as I did the first time. You are so grounded in how you handle life as it comes to you. Your priorities are right on track, I love following you.


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