Sunday, March 22, 2015

picking those scabs

When I was a kid I was fascinated with picking my scabs. I would pull and prod and pick at any wound on my body (and since I was a tomboy, there was always a fresh wound somewhere), until it bled. Then when it scabbed over in a few days, I was right back at it. This is why I have so many scars on my arms, hands and legs. If I would have left all those minor abrasions alone, they would have healed without a mark.

And I haven’t changed much. Except now those wounds are psychological. Twice a day I go back to, type in my name and see the ugly number 2 next to my book, “The Early Life of Jesus in 40 Days”. And I stare at those two and a half stars in sunshine yellow and tell myself that I am a loser. Day after day after day.

Then, because no open wound is worth having without pouring salt in it, I check the ratings on my other two books. They have been holding their own, with much more yellow than white in their stars. But then Friday, lo and behold, “A Time for Every Purpose Under Heaven” had a new five star review. The funny thing is the person writing the review really appreciated the appendix about diseases in Africa. When my publisher suggested adding that information there instead of sprinkling it throughout the main body of the text, I was appalled. I didn’t want anyone thinking that I had written something academic.

Yet here was a reader who had gotten the most out of that part of the book. Don’t you hate it when those professional publishers know more about your manuscript than you do?

Anyway, it gave me the boost I needed. Maybe I will keep working on this writing thing. Maybe I will keeping submitting, keep promoting my books on social media. Maybe I will be able to rework my friend’s manuscript until it is presentable. Maybe something I wrote will make a difference in someone else’s life. Maybe. Just maybe.

My goals? Still not on track with that. I may have to just start fresh in the new Round next month.
 How are you doing with your goals? Are you staying on task or have you wandered as well? Just remember there is always a new Round around the corner.  

(Pictures courtesy of my clumsiness on vacation in Missouri last year.)

Sunday, March 15, 2015


I have pretty much totally lost track of my goals. Even my most recent goal of writing just for myself has gone by the wayside. I have mostly been reading instead from the three different books I am chewing through.

I’ve also committed myself to helping a friend-of-a-friend revamp her memoir. I have set the goal that we have one year to get it ready for publication and then we will begin the arduous task of finding an agent or a publisher.  Her manuscript needs a LOT of work and she doesn’t have a clue where to begin. She now considers me her “co-author”, which I am balking at. She is the author of the book, and if this gets published, my name may appear in small print on the cover as “with Chris Loehmer Kincaid” or something innocuous like that.

The other big news is that my daughter has talked me into being the one to lead the first team to Kenya on behalf of Tumaini Volunteers. We only have one volunteer who will be ready to go by this fall, so the two of us plan on doing more of a fact-finding mission and pinning down the project (building chicken coops is at the top of the list right now) which Val and her team will undertake a year from now. I can face going two weeks without a shower, I can deal with the bland, tough meat they serve, I can manage more rides on matatus. My only fear is that this news may put my mother in her grave. Or on the upside, I get to listen to her lecture me for the next six months. Perhaps now though is the time to tell her as a 17-year-old girl just killed her parents in the neighboring town, so let me remind you, Mother, that nowhere is safe.

The small amount of mental health counseling I have had over the years never even touched the emotional scars my mom subjected me to and apparently is still subjecting me to.

Well, that’s it for now. I’m not making any goals for the coming week and don’t know when I will check back. Sorry for not playing by the rules. Perhaps my mother will only have a debilitating stroke and I will have lots of time to write as I sit at her bedside.
My mom with my sister Pat on the occasion of my first wedding, in 1985.