Yes, it really is…..

I woke early this morning feeling oddly awake. No aches. No stumbling weariness.  I thought it time to post a blog.

Writing has been – well, iffy, lately. Oh, I’ve been working at it: outlining journals from twenty-five years ago for a memoir; reading, filling my writing desk with Post-It notes and pieces of paper. Writing opening chapters have wandered as this post is wandering and have been cut and rewritten and taken apart and put back together again. And I was thinking, this morning, how much easier writing a novel might be than writing memoir as I do.

With novels, it seems to me, you only need your head. Easy. Well. That could be a problem too given how foggy my head has been these last few months. And my friend Theresa does a lot of research for her historical novels. Okay. Scratch novel-writing.

Maybe life has been on the chaotic side for everyone pretty much.

deskAnd yes, this really is what my writing area looks like and not a staged photo to say “writer’s room.” Mis-ordered chaos. Which is to say, I sort of know which pile to look in when I’m searching for something but not always.

What have I been doing all this time besides stumbling around? Writing grants. I’ve done that. Been to a lot of board meetings for Whispering Prairie Press because I involved in us in this whole process of moving ahead – somewhere – and to move ahead you need money and to get money, you write grants. So I guess I have been writing in one way or another.

Cliff and I have traveled. We drove to the Ozarks for a wonderful weekend and officiated at a wedding. We officiated at another wedding in early September north of Kansas City.  And I went up to Marshall County and met contractors to put an addition on the farm and to set up an artist residency for January (not on the farm, in Marysville). And last week, we went to Baltimore for my husband’s thirty-fifth anniversary of ordination and after that, went out to Ocean City for three days and stopped. Well, we walked a lot and that’s not exactly stopping, but every morning this was the view off our balcony.

oceanYes, it really was that beautiful.

Okay. So grants and travel. I guess that helps me feel a little less AOL.

I can’t say I’ve done a lot of house cleaning although over the summer, we did accomplish a fair amount of repair work on the house and refinanced.

And in May my book of poetry reached a reality between covers (in other words, published) and the months leading up to that filled with revisions and proofing and re-proofing and choosing covers and and and. Having a book published is every writer’s dream but when you get to it, whew! It’s a lot of work that swallows up days.

I seem to be going backwards in time to piece it all together.

“Know thyself” is a great idea in theory, but usually the knowledge comes in bits that you have to assemble like a picture puzzle when the top-of-the-puzzle-box-picture is missing. Or the picture changes. The structure to Knowing is less than clearly delineated.


Daily Prompt: No Longer a Mere Mortal

I took this shot at the Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Centerwhen we went to hear two friends, Janet and Stanley Banks read poetry. She was so beautiful in herself, black beret, red coat, elegant make-up, that I wanted to shoot her as she listened to the poetry without her noticing me.

Then I noticed the display behind her: the legends, the leaders — certainly no mere mortals. Nor was she.

The Lady in Red
Lady in Red


It’s a book!! Almost….(the business of writing)

As writers, we want to write and we want to publish. That doesn’t seem like such an overwhelming desire, after all, there’s lots of places to publish. I’ve been published for over thirty years in a variety of venues: journals, websites, newspapers.

But what we really want is to publish a book. That goal has been elusive for me and perhaps for good reason. Perhaps I simply wasn’t ready to take on the daunting task of marketing and selling a book. As writers, we love to write. Marketing? Well, not so much. That’s a different set of skills all together and I’m learning a new appreciation for the many published journals that have been kind enough to do all the work to get my work out to the public.

Now it’s my turn. I have a publisher and a book coming out in May, titled At the Boundary. It’s been a huge task getting it ready, copy-editing, asking for reviews, getting a new photo, the list seems never-ending. And now I’m in the marketing phase.

Marketing turns the focus from me to you. What is it in this book of poems that you need? Do you need it because you know me and want to support me regardless? What a cool thing that is! Thank you. Do you need it because you’ve been following my blog for a while and want to know more of my writing life? Or life in general? I’ve certainly learned a lot about life in my writing. Or do you need it because we all go through our seasons and lives and we all need to know how others have turned and grown and made their transitions in life? That’s what the crossroads are all about!

But marketing also turns the focus back on me. I need your support. So I’m asking for it. There’s a deadline for pre-orders of March 6th. If 55 copies haven’t sold by then, my book won’t be published. I understand. Publishing is a dicey business at the best; and in these days, there’s a lot of the worst. And so, I need your support just as the poetry press, Finishing Line Press, needs my support in marketing.

To order, go to You can get there by clicking PREORDER FORTHCOMING TITLES. Scroll down the page until you see At the Boundary by Janet Sunderland. 

By clicking on that link you can read reviews or my bio and you can order. And before you even do that, Thank you. Thank you for reading and for wondering where I was in all the time that I’ve been absent from writing on this blog. Now you know what I’ve been doing! And thank you for supporting my work.