Blame It On My A.D.D.

This writer’s life…

My friends and regular readers will know by now that I have many interests. While I try my best to concentrate on writing, I find great enjoyment in art and photography. But I also have a day job: I am a chiropractor with an office in my home. This June 3rd, marked 23 years in practice, the first 18 of which was spent in a busy, multi-doctor office. I said goodbye to that at the end of 2013.

While I have been pleased to care for my faithful patients, friends and family here at home, the business side of things has never been my strong suit. I despise the paperwork, the red tape and the hoop-jumping one has to do in the name of healthcare. It takes the joy out of practicing a healing art. Recently, some of the rules changed again for maintaining a license. It’s a good and necessary rule, mind you, but it requires extra fees for continuing education. Someone always finds a way to make money. So as I did my taxes this year, I considered just how profitable it was for me to remain in this small, part-time, cash practice when the cost of insuring my office, continuing education, license fees, and malpractice insurance all keep climbing. My conclusion? It isn’t profitable at all. And I don’t have the zeal or drive to go out and build my practice up anymore. My heart is in a different place. There’s more to the story, however. We are considering a move. Trying to practice in a new location presents a whole list of challenges. So on August 31, 2018, I will close the door on Dr. Margaret Sorick, Chiropractor.

You might be thinking: “Wow, pretty nice that she has the luxury to pursue writing full time.” Yes, that would be wonderful, however, I still feel the need to contribute to the household bottom line and novel writing is a slow and uncertain way to earn an income. Hopefully, one day I will be a best selling author, but for now I need to be realistic. So what am I going to do for work?

One of the aspects of writing that I find enjoyable is editing. My own professional editor, has often remarked that I don’t give him much to do. I have edited for four other writers just for fun and they were all happy with the results. I started thinking it might be something I could do for income. Coincidentally, Writer’s Digest offers classes and workshops in the art of writing, editing, and so forth. One of their copy editing classes started this month and I enrolled. There is an advanced class to follow. At the end of the course, I can either try to find a job copy editing or do some freelance work on my own. It also allows me to work from anywhere as long as I have a good internet connection. And obviously, my own writing will benefit from the course as well.

As one door closes, another one opens, they say. I only hope this new door opens onto cool, green meadows and not a grubby, back alley filled with dumpsters! Time will tell and of course I’ll keep you posted!

White Flag

A poem by Meg Sorick*

It’s a war of attrition
When the cease fire is ordered
No one knows who gave the command
The result is a stalemate
Neither side can claim victory
Even though both will
And as the soldiers wearily lay down their weapons,
Trudge, exhausted from the field
Someone raises a white flag on the line
Amidst the rubble
When the smoke clears
There is nothing but devastation
As far as the eye can see

*This piece was originally a second stanza to the poem I posted a couple weeks ago: The Last Scene. I separated the two, even though the theme is the same, the structure was different. At some point I may reconstruct both parts into one poem … if I can figure it out. Because this is not about war, and The Last Scene is not about theater, they are allegorical. I feel like there needs to be another concluding stanza as well. Poetical insights welcome.

~The illustration is my own~

Thick As a Brick

I’ve been reading What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, Raymond Carver’s collection of short stories. One of the characteristics of his writing is the lack of action. Many of them are just glimpses into the lives of his characters. Maybe even just one scene. This piece of short fiction is inspired by Carver’s style of writing.

Thick As a Brick

Wesley hoisted his suitcase into the trunk of his old Chevy Malibu. His disapproving parents watched glumly from the sagging front porch of their clapboard house. 

“It’s not too late to change your mind, son,” his father said. “Don’t be fool, will ya?”

“I’m not changing my mind,” Wesley stated, slamming the trunk lid closed. He sighed heavily and walked over to stare up at them on the top step. “I can’t let an opportunity like this one pass me by.”

“Fancy scholarship ain’t gonna pay for everything,” his mother muttered under her breath.

Wesley sighed again and looked at the ground. “Ma, I have a part time job lined up. I’ll be fine.”

“Sure and then ya be workin’ so hard ya won’t get no studyin’ done. Then what?” she snapped. “Ya lose that money and you’ll be back here on the farm anyways.” She spat on the ground. “Waste a time, ya ask me.”

“Ma, my job is at the chem lab. It’ll actually help with my studies. You’re worrying for nothing.”

“Leave him be, Sarah. Ain’t no use talkin’ to a fool,” his father chimed in. “He got some illusions of grander. Think he’s too good for his kin.”

“Delusions of grandeur,” Wesley mumbled.

“Don’t you mock me, boy,” his father said, wagging a finger at him. “I’m gonna remind ya of this very day when it all goes to hell.”

“Pa, it’s not going to hell. I’ve worked hard, I’ve studied harder, I’ve got a right to pursue my dreams. I’m not asking you for a thing, except to give me your blessing,” Wesley pleaded.

“Well, ya ain’t gettin’ my blessing on this nonsense,” his mother said, crossing her arms in front of her chest. “But… I’ll give ya this.” She gestured over her shoulder. “This’ll always be your home. You come on home if you come to your senses.”

This was probably the most he could hope for, Wesley realized. He nodded. “All right. Thanks, Ma.”

He went up the steps and gave each of his parents a hug, then turned back to the car. With a final wave, he drove down the old dirt track that led out to the main road. His parents watched till he was out of sight. Wesley’s father said, “Seems to me for a smart boy, our Wesley is thick as a brick.”