What’s next in my writing life

Since I’ve finished – at least in my estimation– revision ten of my novel, it’s on hold. I want to hire a professional editor it go through it, but I haven’t made that happen yet. I’ve asked a young woman who worked with me on my memoir, but her life is so busy with children, she hasn’t given me a yes or no yet. I’ll wait another week or two and then go on to Plan B.

In the meantime, I’ve gone back to writing small stones – I’ll post a couple that I’ve written this month below And I’m working on my poetry. I completed the April poem a day challenge put out by Robert Lee Brewer over at Writer’s Digest. I also write to his weekly Wednesday prompts.

And this not usual for me – I’m editing some of my existing poems, getting them ready for submittal. (I’ve heard somewhere that if we haven’t received at least 100 rejections in a year, we haven’t submitted enough.

That I’m editing poems is the unusual part for me. I usually write them, and then only with quick word or two changes I’m finished. Some have worked that way, but of course I’ve written a lot of duds. So, I’m on this new tactic, and I don’t think I’ll be unhappy with the results.

Just to let you know, I don’t have any plans whatsoever to start another book – fiction or nonfiction. At least not now. Maybe a book or chapbook of poems, but definitely not prose. This novel – started in 2010 – is still not finished eight years later, not counting the many times I’ve shelved it while I was getting my memoir ready for publication. Starting a novel in the midst of shopping my memoir around maybe wasn’t the best thing to do. But it worked for me to do something while the rejections rolled in.

And of course, I will still journal – something I can do any time anywhere. It’s the best writing thing I can do for myself. It’s like a meditation, a pouring out onto the page – a true cathartic experience. If you don’t journal, please try it. Believe me, you’ll find many beneficial results.

So, here’s a sampling of my small stones for May, whose title for this month is: 

Mayday Mayflower

I look at the clock on my bedside table
And the time doesn’t surprise.
It’s four am, like it was yesterday
And the day before,
And the day before that.

Thinking about all bereaved mothers today – Bereaved Mother’s Day –  and remembering as always, our beautiful son, Paul, now gone almost 19 years.

I watched the last NCIS TV show with Pauley Perrette. It was so sad to see her go. But maybe – since they almost killed her off but didn’t – they are leaving some room to have her come back. In the meantime, I’ll miss Abby.



Again, don’t forget to start journaling. Please let me know how you like it!



  1. Madeline. I know well that feeling of waking up early in the morning and remembering the one we have lost. I just wrote about a dream where John comes to me and I can see him again so clearly. Good luck in bringing your novel to completion. I, too, am working on a novel about Ava Stuart, the woman in A Portrait of Love and Honor. These things take time ….

    • Madeline Sharples says

      Thanks for your sweet thoughts, Susan. Yes, when I dream about Paul, which isn’t often, he’s clear as a bell. I wish I dreamt about him more.
      Good luck on your novel too. It takes lots of patience and focus. What a life, this writing life is!

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