It’s been too long, readers. Far too long. And for that I apologize. I never intended to take such an extended hiatus. But life has a way of telling you that things aren’t as they should be. For the past 10 months, Life-With-a-Capital L has literally shoved me down and sat on top of me in an attempt to get my attention. (And I can say literally with complete impunity, because I fell in November, broke a bone in my foot, and it was the end of March before I was in a full and upright position.)
Turns out there was a reason for the delicacy of my metatarsal. I had primary hyperparathyroid disease, rendering me hypercalcemic. Lots of medical jargon, I know. Let me put it more simply: my excellent endocrine surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic removed two-and-one-half of my parathyroid glands during an operation on July 2 because there were tumors on them. (Thankfully, they were benign.) When bad things happen to good parathyroids, all hell breaks loose. Think of those tiny, rice-shaped glands as the traffic cops for the calcium in your body. When they break bad, they blow their little traffic-cop whistles to tell your system it needs more calcium, resulting in a widespread evacuation from your bones and a flood in your bloodstream, wreaking widespread havoc.
The extraordinary result of my surgery was evident in about a week. I soon had more energy than I knew what to do with. My aches and pains subsided. I could sit at my desk and concentrate, which is a good thing, because a writing deadline loomed. Which brings me to where I’m going.
When Life Hands You Lemons, Write.
I began writing in earnest while stuck in bed with my fracture, which seems like an excellent use of my situation. I started what I thought would be a memoir, but at some point during the process my reliable instincts told me that what I was really doing was writing fiction. I was also reading Dani Shapiro’s beautiful and wise memoir about the creative process, Still Writing, at the time. My instincts, like Life, had shoved me down (without breaking anything) and sat on top of me to get my attention. I listened, and then checked to see whether I could find a space in one of her workshops.
Shapiro’s fiction and memoir workshop at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts, was the one that I wanted—”Transforming Chaos into Art.” The class was full. I was first on the wait-list.
And then, in March, I got the phone call I was hoping for: a spot opened up for me. I was in! I secured my registration and located a place to stay. And then, in May, I discovered how sick I really was.
For weeks I worried about whether I’d be well enough to travel, and whether I’d have the energy to do the writing I needed to do.
And so, the surgery. And hence, during my recovery, the writing.
You can see why I wasn’t blogging.
I still won’t post as frequently as you’ve become accustomed to, but I hope you’ll understand that I’ve taken on a whale of a project, and I need to keep working away at my manuscript. I will check in when I can.
I leave early Saturday morning for Boston. A bus will take me to Hyannis, where a good friend will pick me up and take me to her home in Harwich for a visit. The next morning, she’ll drive me to Provincetown, at the very tip of Cape Cod. That will be my home for a week. And there, at the beautiful Fine Arts Work Center, I’ll be sitting in a classroom for the first time in 23 years.
Given where I’ve been, I’m looking forward to where I’m going.
Carol Cassara (@ccassara) said:
Blessings to you, dear Marci.
You’re so sweet, Carol. Thank you! xom
Linda Grashoff said:
Break a leg, Marci. No . . . on second thought . . . just have a wonderful time in your workshop on Cape Cod. Should be lovely.
Thanks so much, Linda! You know, I was just thinking that the FAWC would be a wonderful place for you, too. They have an excellent visual arts program. And thanks again for reading my 20 pages. So happy to have you on the team!
Oh, Marci, I’ve thought so much about you and am so happy to read your writing again. Enjoy everything about your Provincetown/Dani Shapiro experience. I know it will be awesome, and I can’t wait to follow along vicariously. xo
Lois, it’s wonderful to hear from you. Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and catch up! I’m thrilled to be going to P-Town for this workshop with my favorite writer! I’ve enjoyed following your own travels from afar, too. Hugs to you!
Helene Cohen Bludman said:
Have a wonderful time, Marci! So glad you are able to make the trip. Can’t wait to hear all about it.
Thanks, Helene! Wish you could be there with me!
Nancy Wurtzel said:
Oh, dear, dear Marci! Have a wonderful time!!!
Thanks, Nancy! Hope to get lots of good work done.
Lisa Garon Froman said:
Wishing you and your muse the best of times.
Transitioning Mom said:
Sounds to me like the timing is perfect and well-earned. Enjoy and may you be filled with creativity and inspiration!
Thanks so much!
Hugs, blessings and cheers to you, my strong and inspirational friend. ♥
Oh my goodness…thank you, Lisa!! xom
Hope you had a fantastic week…I can’t wait to read your book.
Thank you! I’m actually here now–just sat down in the student lounge to rest. AMAZING three-hour workshop this morning. I love Dani Shapiro and I love it here!