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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