Jumping the Track



Those were the days.


Dear People Who Read My Blog:


In a little over two weeks from now, I will be ever-lovin’ 40. So for a moment, I’d like us all to forget the soul searching and epiphanies I’ve shared on this space and tell you: I’m freaking the frack out.


I’m sorry that I can’t be more mature about this, or enlightened enough to accept my aging with grace and dignity. Or tell you that I’m coming into my own and growing more secure with myself as I leap wheeee! into the second phase of my life. No sir. Instead I regret to inform you that I am kicking and screaming my way up those stony gray steps.


It’s not so much the physical aging, though there is that. In the last year, my back’s gone out, my joints have ached and my wrinkles have deepened. Yet I’m not so troubled by the outward signs of aging. Or upset that I’m moisturizedly challenged. It’s simply that time is running out. I’m not all I can be. Plus, I’m a slow learner, so my being isn’t being what it needs to be as quickly as I’d like it to be. I still get envious, I still doubt, I still yell at my kids, I still tell my husband he sucks when he doesn’t, I still search, I still thrash, I still get negative. And yes, I know many people do. But, I’m engaging in these activities way more than a spiritually evolving woman of 40 ever should.


Also, my book. What about my book?!

Good question.

When am I going to finish my book?


OK, here I go again. Looking at the downside of turning 40. So how about this? I’ll employ the distraction method and make a few promises instead.


So, beloved people who read my blog, as my countdown to 40 begins, I’d like to celebrate by posting several giveaways, and fulfilling a dream. How’s that for staying positive? (I can do this!)


Here’s what I’m gonna do. First, throughout the next few weeks, I am going to offer the chance to win a few wonderful gifts to celebrate you, the people who offer me support, commiseration, insight, love, and friendship. You, along with my family and in-real-life friends, make me a better soon-to-be-40-year-old.


The giveaways will come from some of my favorite sites, and also include goodies for the kids. I’ll sprinkle the presents throughout my posts up until my 40th and hope many of you will enter to win. Even the people who lurk. (i.e. Who’s my one Colorado reader?) (You don’t have to tell me.) (But I sense your bemused energy from all the way over here.)


Second. I will, I will, I will, finish the first draft of my kid’s book by my birthday. That gives me 17 days to complete something I started 9 years ago. I currently have 15,000 words written (holy hell, I thought it was WAY more than that) and scribbles in at least 5 different journals. But I know where it’s going, I’ve always known, and it’s time to tell the story. I’m making this promise to you, readers of this blog, because I can’t seem to fulfill it to myself. I won’t want to let you down, and I hope this will translate into not letting myself down.


To get me started, I’m going to post a snippet of my work in progress so you can sorta see where I’m going with it. And maybe you’ll pull for me? Man, that’d be swell.


Mrs. Lokken went on, staring into the strange fire. “It’s a long, sad story,” she drew a deep breath. “And I don’t have much time. She’ll soon know you’ve been here.”


“But how?” Fear gnawed at Annie.


“She’s a witch too,” Mrs. Lokken reminded. “And she can see things. I’ve done the best I could with a shielding spell, but I am weak and unpracticed. I thought the threat was gone. But she has become strong. She was able to send me here. She’s dangerous and she wants what I have…” she paused a moment. “And what she thinks you have.”


“What do I have?” Annie’s head felt like it might explode. “What do you have?”


Mrs. Lokken pointed to the necklace Annie had put around her neck after their trip to the woods. “After we learned our destiny, my sister and I were each given a stone that held great power. Opals. We had them set in necklaces for safekeeping.” She shook her head. “There were thirteen stones – six of them had a twin. Two opals, two blue aventurine, two onyx, two amethyst, two tanzanite, and two citrine. Each of us on the Grand Council had a stone – and a twin who held the same stone. We balanced the other and nothing could be done without the consent and intention of our twin.”


Annie grasped the necklace and started to take it off.


“You must keep it,” Mrs. Lokken said. “You must balance the evil of her necklace, for each of the 12 stones takes on the intention of the wearer. She has the other one, the one she ripped from my neck before she banished me here. You are wearing my sister’s.”


Coriander recovered herself again and asked, “I thought you said there there were 13 stones.”


Mrs. Lokken chuckled. “Practical Coriander. So I did. And yes there are.” “The thirteenth stone is the red jasper.” She looked serious again. “And I need you both to find it.”


So there you have it. I hope to draw inspiration and motivation from talented writers like Lisa and Jennifer, who are participating in NaNoWriMo, and have no shortage of stick-to-it-tiveness.


And meanwhile, I’ll be trucking along to 40.


I just now decided to make that a good thing.


28 Responses to “Jumping the Track”

  1. robyn says:


    1) i love the newborn photo;

    2) you are awesome;

    3) i’m writing a children’s book, too. i just started, and it will probably take me ten years to finish. that will make me *41* upon its completion. (so don’t feel bad!)

    4) everybody loves you.

  2. Word Press freaked out on me today. I think comments are working now.

  3. Ferd says:

    “Okay, whatever! Tell yourself whatever you need to hear,” said the old man Ferd sarcastically.

    Ha! Kidding, of course.
    Seriously, I’m glad you are who you are, and age has nothing to do with it. And you ARE a very spiritual person. That doesn’t mean perfect, not at all. You are simply human, and you are loved despite all the quirks you listed. Like I have said before, that’s part of your charm!

    I’ll be back to see if I can win stuff. ; )

  4. You go! I’m looking forward to coming back on your 40th (Mine is a wee 9 days from now…oh how that hurt just to SAY it!) and hearing all about how you finished it!

    BTW, I’m not celebrating my 40th until May…when I’m feeling better. Well, that’s my excuse anyhow, and I’m sticking to it!

    Seriously, you’re going to be 40? You don’t look it. How come I age and LOOK LIKE IT and no one else does?

  5. g says:

    Deb, don’t worry. “50 is the new 30.” At 40, you’re in the prime of life!!!!

    Plus, you look so great everyone will think you’re still 35.

    Personally, for me, I found my 40’s and my first couple of years in the 50’s as some of the most rewarding and empowered years of my entire life.

  6. kate says:

    all in time.

    and that nurse’s hat? holy heck, i love it.

    i can’t wait to buy your book, for full price at some great independent bookstore.

    and i have gray hair, interspersed with my red hair. and i am not okay with that.

    and i have no intention of aging gracefully. f that.

  7. I guess I’m just practical–there’s aging or there’s not. And I’m not up for the not just yet.

    I can’t wait to have your book on the shelf in my classroom.

  8. It’s wonderful! And I hope you realize that you, in turn are motivating and inspiring others to write as well.

    And if you ever finish your book and you need an illustrator, let me know!

    -Cactus Petunia


  9. Jennifer H says:

    40 isn’t so bad…of course, I’m only one day in, so maybe I’m no expert. I’ve had the same feeling of not being where I feel like I should be.

    I’m so glad you posted the excerpt! What a great story, and I can’t wait to read more. Finish it so I can buy it for my kids!

  10. PAPA says:

    SDM, (turning 40) it IS a good thing. How are you celebrating? Oh, and the excerpt did hook me…

  11. Kari C says:

    Yikes!! I’ve been busted-who knew that Colorado would stand out so much in your reader-thingy!! lol

    I do enjoy your blog and I spend a lot of time-way too much in fact-reading blogs so I can wind down from work. I don’t recall where/how I stumbled upon your blog but my “bemused energy” doesn’t help my need to sleep-but I am so very glad you can feel it all the way from chilly Colorado!

    You will do fine in “Club 40”, afterall you survived the previous one and I thought it sucked way more than this one. I hope you can bring it in with a bang even if you are kicking and screaming all the way!! Why should it be any other way?!

    I look forward to your posts and prompts…I’m thinking of starting my own blog but I just don’t seem to find the time…wonder why!! lol

    Take care, I promise to stop lurking so much! Well maybe….

  12. Green Girl says:

    Atta girl! That’s the spirit! It’s not a death sentence–40 is a new decade of OPPORTUNITY!!!

  13. deborah says:

    I want more! So you better finish it!

    And 40? Piece of cake.

  14. ilinap says:

    Dude, I just turned 40 in September. It’s fabulous, I’m telling you. I earned all these gray hairs, lines, wrinkles, dark, and back fat. And I don’t give a damn. I also earned my confidence, my wit, and my right to prance. Embrace it, Deb.

  15. What can I say. I can totally relate. I’m freaking out too.

    Having said that, I think you’re being hard on yourself. I fully expect to be annoying – just as annoying as I was in my twenties – until the day I die.

    The book. I can’t give you advice on that. I’m sure you know it all: write x words every single day, even if you think it’s really bad.

    I’m not sure I will ever accomplish anything of significance except for raising two daughters and I’m actually OK with that. Basically I want to enjoy life to the fullest and that’s my goal.

    No sleep for 3 days? Hope you get some sleep tonight.

  16. myra says:

    You ARE going to publish your book, right? I so want to read it!!! I am so excited for you. I can relate, I’ll be there in a few months too. Isn’t it crazy to think that you’re here? And so wise? And so fabulous too? :)

  17. Suzie G says:

    I love your honesty! I think we all have the struggles that you do….you are just brave enough to share them. And I thank you for that….it makes me feel normal….LOL! Good luck at fulfilling your goal….I bet you’ll do it!! Can’t wait to see your book on the shelves of bookstores!

    Happy Early Birthday….heee heeee….okay that probably wasn’t the best thing to say!! :) Smile!! And good luck….you are a great writer!!

  18. Patricia says:

    SD Momma, I had a terrible time turning 40 and I thought if I just had a party for me it would be great…so I did at a restaurant downtown and after they all left I felt worse than before.
    It was about learning how to ” let go” and working on that dying part of anything…then the cycle involves a rebirth into the new self the dream revision.
    I am not ready to die, I have so much to do and share but I have never met my goals on my time line…never…I got papers in on time in school and the bills paid on time, but not those goals of writing the book, making a living wage, being a renown speaker – maybe even the local Oprah was a fantasy before she came on the national scene…
    I have finally understood my process of letting go and dying and rebirth…I have to do every step – each experience
    Some I can make rituals out of…and don’t have to muddle through…
    Today I realized I have truly failed my biggest goal for turning 60 in 10 months – to be my healthiest…I am a month into being seriously ill again…
    I have no money for my plane fare for my trip to England to see my family home….my birthday gift to myself.
    The only difference now is that I know the steps I am going to take to let go of this goal and find the rebirth..and I have to do my own yelling, and screaming until I release and find what the need is – that deep down need I am not meeting –
    Don’t resist…see it as a process
    Let go and let the writing flow…the sadness the anger, – compassionately embrace your process of change…and remember for every loss their is an new birth of opportunity…
    I hear you…the journey is worth it…it is your journey see it clearly and map it
    Yell and scream at me….not so noisy or hard on the children and hubby…What right have I to interfere..this is my first time on your space?
    You’re in a great place with a sign of wisdom – you are the red gem stone.

  19. Kirk says:

    I turn 50 in a couple of weeks. People tell me not to worry about it, it’s just another year. I’ve reflected on that and decided to drink heavily.

  20. Jamie says:

    You continue to amaze me with your journey. Keep going and stop counting (except for maybe the words).

  21. 40 schmorty. You rock lady and my son is just getting into chapter books so perfect timing. You’ll sign it right?

  22. vodkamom says:

    I long for the days of turning 40!!! I love that you have set goals, and once there are out there in the blogosphere they are so real, aren’t they??

    I LOVE THE STORY!!! I can’t wait to see the rest!!!!!!!!!

  23. Danielle says:

    Your book sounds great, you picked a good piece to put out here! I hope to see it all soon. Hang in there, I’ll be you’ll make 40 fabulous.

  24. LarryG says:

    i feel for ya baby!
    i will be 50 before the month is out.
    you would not believe some the conversations i have had recently!!!
    best wishes and many happy returns!

  25. Heh. You’re worried about finishing the book that you are writing before you die. I’m worried about finishing the book that I am reading before I die. Heh.


  26. Sara says:

    I love that picture!

  27. mommypie says:

    Really, it’s not that bad. I DO know how you feel though. Just THINKING I’m Middle-Aged … ugh. So much to do …

    LOVED the excerpt — counting on a signed copy!

  28. […] And to wrap up, I didn’t finish my first draft. […]

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