The Brevity of Roses is not just a novel

In a sense, it took me decades to write The Brevity of Roses. No, it’s not a memoir I had to live before writing. It’s not a non-fiction work on my thirty years in Antarctica. It’s a novel. And not a particularly challenging novel to write. It took me that long to get to the “place” where I could write.

I reached adulthood during the second wave of feminism—the “Women’s Liberation” movement of the 1960s-1980s. But I was too involved in getting married and having babies to pay much attention to it. I had made the choices those women were questioning. I wanted to fully embrace the roles they thought I should rebel against—or question, at the very least.

As women around me put their children in childcare and sought other careers, I delighted in being a full-time wife and mother. Though I complained of constant exhaustion, I loved my life. It was hard. There was never enough money, but we survived. And judging by how they turned out, I think I did a darned good job raising my sons.

What I did not do, is take much time for myself. As I said in a previous post, I spent a LOT of time reading during those years. That was my schooling, my grand “filling up” period. That’s when the idea that resulted in my becoming a published novelist came to me. Not that I realized it at the time.

Before I knew it, my role changed. My children had grown into independence. I had time on my hands. One day, a few second’s encounter in a mini-mart sparked a question. That question sparked the idea that had gestated all those years. I could write a book. And so, it began.

What did my book popping up on Amazon last week signify? It was proof of my personal “liberation.” I no longer thought of myself only as Wife or Mom. It was also evidence of my selfishness. I had put myself first, done something just for me.  Sure, it looked like  an ordinary novel, but it was a declaration. I am Linda. Hear me roar.


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42 thoughts on “The Brevity of Roses is not just a novel

  1. I must purchase an e-reader. I looked on Amazon. Sure enough, Linda, it’s there! I will be purchasing your book soon. I’ve been wanting more books lately, and it’s getting expensive. It would be much cheaper to buy e-books. The original investment would be worthwhile. The cover is very attractive. Blessings to you…

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        1. You know, Carol, I wonder how many others don’t know you can read Kindle and Nook books on your computer? I should mention that in a blog post. I didn’t get a Kindle until a couple months ago, but I’ve been reading Kindle books for several months.

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  2. Congratulations; this must be so exciting!

    This post got me curious, so I hopped on over to Amazon for a quick peak — and I have to say, it looks intriguing! I’m very much looking forward to checking it out. 🙂

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    1. Better late than never, right, Darlene? I just heard from a childhood friend this morning and she said she wasn’t surprised at all to learn I’m published. “You always wanted to write and now you’ve accomplished it,” she said.

      And thank you for the congratulations. 🙂

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  3. I know exactly how you feel. We are father, and wife and son and niece, and care giver and errand runner and customer and patient and client. We are the sum of all these dozens of things as we grow from child to parent to old age. And so many parents could have done so much more with their lives but they were too busy being that parent. And even if that is a most admirable mission, something is missing for the creative and artistic person. All the things that could never be: that masters degree, the fossil dig, the butterfly research, that book of poetry that never became a book because the verses are still on 3×5 cards and napkins and envelops and such. Then you did it. You did your book. I ran for office, had some cartoons and poems published and as you say, it is a declaration of who we are. An artistic validation. It is so valuable and not selfish I think. We just got to do that little something more than just being a person that lived and died. I know exactly how you feel.

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    1. Well put Carl. Thank heaven we did not give up or say it was too late to do anything. That little flame inside us kept burning. All those other things we did in our lives were not a waste of time but fuel for the fire that eventually burst out. It is not selfish at all but a sharing of self; which we had been doing all along. Life is good – if we make it so!

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  4. Linda, this is really encouraging to me as I’m still in the throes of raising my beasties… Mine are nearly 12, 10, nearly 8, and 6, so I have several years to go. But it’s also an exciting time to be a working mom, because the oppotunities are so much better now than they were even 15 years ago. Now, my husband works from home, and my freelance clients don’t care where I work as long as I turn in copy on time. I can work at night, early in the morning, or when the beasties are at school.

    But I still get so frustrated with the wait sometimes… The wait for when I’ll be able to schedule my own day rather than go by the school’s schedule or the Boy Scout schedule or whatever it happens to be. And I get frustrated with interruptions on the weekend or in the evenings when the Muse has my head buzzing with ideas and yet the kids need a MOM, not a writer…

    Your post reminds me that the day will come when I’ll have that, to some degree. I have to remember that the here and now is the here and now, and I shouldn’t squander it. Thank you. 🙂

    Amy

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  5. Congrats to you! May you roar long and prosper! Roaring right alongside you, sister writer. Awesome. Don’t ever stop.

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  6. Did you ever read Silences by Tillie Olsen? Or other stuff by her? I read her a long time ago, but there was interesting stuff about the periods of time women in particular attend to everything and everyone else but their own muses. (She might be pretty political, I can’t remember.

    Finished Brevity and really enjoyed the read! I wrote reviews at Goodreads and Smashwords but I’m not sure if I have to do something at Goodreads to make the review public. Can you see it?

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    1. No, Natasha, I don’t believe I’ve read anything by Tillie Olsen. I’ll look up Silences.

      I’m very happy to hear you enjoyed the read. I do see your review at Goodreads on the book’s page, so I assume it’s public. Thank you for taking the time to post it. I’m intrigued with your comment about Renee. 😉

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  7. Love, love, love, love this post!!!
    I’m hearing you all the way in Montreal 🙂

    I’m always amazed by the amount of women who talk about the scarifices they make to stay home and raise their chidren. For me, staying home with the babies is a choice, one I feel priviledges to be able to make. There is nothing else I’d rather be doing. Yet, I know that there are other parts of me, just as you so elequontly say here, Linda.
    I remember the first time I did a submission without writing that I was a wife and mother on it – felt so weird. They are a part of everything. But, being a writer, that’s all about me, even if they have helped shaped that.

    Congratulations, Linda. I love seeing you out there!
    🙂

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    1. Thank you, Jennifer. Me too, never a sacrifice, always a choice. Now, I’ve made a new choice. It’s still weird to think of myself as an author though. Writer, yes, but published author … who me? 😀

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  8. Linda, I have a new cover and just discovered a couple of those pesky spelling errors. I have a new Kindle (.mob) version available and can send it to you. You can just copy it over your version. Send me an email at cpolkinhorn(at)msn(dot)com.
    I had it edited, I keep proofreading, but read right over those things. Argghh.

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  9. Congrats! So often women long to break out of their traditional roles and find their voices. You are an inspiration.

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  10. And your roar is beautiful! I’ve truly enjoyed watching you on this self-publishing journey, and I’ll bet your journey writing the book was beautiful, too. I’m trying to write as I raise a child, and it’s really difficult. I’m happy with what I’ve accomplished, but sometimes I wonder if I’ll hit my real stride when she’s older and I can come more into myself like you’ve described here. Guess we’ll see! Thanks for sharing this. It makes me want to read your book even more. 🙂

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