April McGowan

Right Here Waiting

The other day I was hanging out with my husband at his workplace. I’ve done this twice this month. It’s fun—downtown Portland all bustling with people and busyness. Well, except for the reason I’m doing it: our car has been in the shop. Again.

It’s not like a ‘little’ issue either. It’s like every time we turn around some additional thing breaks. I know what you are thinking—the shop saw us coming a mile away and are taking advantage of us. But, they really aren’t. One of the issues was very hard to diagnose, and the others are due to wear and tear…it just happened all at once. All that’s left is the engine and transmission. Good thing I’m not superstitious! Knock on melamine and fiberboard cubicle walls.

I can’t help thinking that if I worked here every day, I’d be more than a bit distracted by the view. It’s very pretty. Lots of green trees, blue sky (today it IS!), little birds flitting by. And as I’m a people watcher, people on the street…er, across the way, cleaning their windows catch my eye. Right now, the gal over on the 5th floor is doing a very nice job getting rid of all those streaks. Shiny!

I don’t mean to spy, but I have the unconscious tendency to look into windows as we drive by and see families sitting down to dinner, or peek at the interior of a house and admire the decor. I’m not casing the joint, I promise! With my background in interior design, I’m always fascinated at the different uses of spaces. Then my writer mind kicks into high gear and I start to imagine the person/family that lives there:

The older woman across the way values her view. She spends precious hours of her one day off a week to clean the windows and enjoy the last few days of nice Pacific Northwest weather before the rains come. Her favorite thing to do it sit in her deck chair and enjoy a cup of tea and a scone before she dashes off to work cleaning rooms at a nearby hotel. She can’t really afford the satellite dish she’s got hanging off the balcony. She got it for her son who comes by a couple times a month. Her friends tell her she shouldn’t waste the  pittance she’s allowed to earn after retirement—but she wants him to know she loves him. One day he’ll come over and not turn on the TV at all, and they’ll talk for hours. Maybe she’ll even buy a second deck chair.

How do you pass the time when you are waiting?

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Sending out an SOS

This SOS is for you! The advice coming down the pike towards professional writers is to get a privately hosted blog. That is one where you do all the set-up, handle spam, create your space, design your pages, and have more control (see how I listed all the negative stuff first?). Have I ever mentioned I’m resistant to change? I like staying where I am in my comfortable, cozy world. But, there are quite a few other changes coming along in my writing career, and all of those are pointing to my hosting my own blog as well so I can have more freedom to change what I need to later. Although I’ve argued against it in my head (it’s a lot more work and a lot more responsibility), I’ve given up and I’m going for it.

We now break for a huge shout-out to my wonderful husband and co-designer, Ken (without whom none of this would be possible)! Whoo-hoo!

I’m not outlining the steps or making a how-to article (there are masses of them out there already and I’m sure I would unintentionally lead you astray). What I am doing is going begging.

You’re shocked. Begging? Here’s the deal: what the leaders and experts didn’t tell me, amidst the glory stories and hopeful tales, was that the minute I changed my blog to private hosting, I’d lose my contacts and followers lists. And I have quite a number. In the words of Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music: Oh, help!

This is the segue to the begging part: See over there, to your left? Yes, up a bit. There’s a “Subscribe by Email” box. You can’t follow me via WordPress widgets anymore, and your email addresses might not have transferred correctly (you’ll know…if you get this announcement in your email, no worries, don’t re-subscribe). If you’re getting this because I’m personally sharing it with you, or because you came across it on Facebook or some other venue, then PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, I’m begging you: subscribe via email.

ALSO if you want to keep track of my book release and be in the know, please subscribe!

I don’t want to lose touch with you! I’ll miss you! Thanks 🙂

A word to the wise—if you think you’re going at this writing thing for your profession, get set-up now, and you won’t have to do what I’m doing!

By the way, do you like the new look?

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