Thursday, October 16, 2008


I’ve been out of touch this week for a couple of reasons.

First, I was in Pittsburgh, where I grew up, over the weekend. My stepfather passed away last week, and I was there for his funeral. Three weeks earlier, I was in Pittsburgh for his 80th birthday party. He had decided a couple of years ago to have a party for his 80th birthday--before he was diagnosed with mesothelioma. He had ups and downs as time for his party neared, and I had a concern he was hanging on long enough to celebrate. That apparently was the case.

At least, while I was there, I got to visit with my actual father and also saw my aunt. Among other things, I got to join them for a meal of matzo ball soup and corned beef sandwich at their favorite deli. Visiting with them helped to make the trip less painful.

Then I came back to Los Angeles for a final day at my part-time “temporary” law job that went on for 2 years. The major project I was working on was slowing down, at least for now. There were full-time actual employees who could take on any additional work, so my time was up. I’ll miss the people there. They are really nice, and it was fun being in an office atmosphere again. Writing is a wonderful career, but it is often solitary. The additional income didn’t hurt, either. Plus, I enjoy practicing law.

Now, I’m dealing with the changes in my life, both of them sad in different ways. At least, with the end of the law job, I’m looking forward to a lot more time to devote to my writing. I also hope to take on individual law projects when available.

Is anyone else reading this involved in any transitions?



Monica Ferris said...

My transition was over a year ago, moving out of a big townhouse (three bedroom) into a co-op apartment. It is amazing what you can part with when you are up against it. It is amazing what you find tucked away you had forgotten you had. It is amazing how easy it is to keep a smaller place clean.

Linda O. Johnston said...

That's a great transition, Monica. After helping to clean out my stepfather's small and well-organized apartment and still seeing how much was there, I'm considering attempting to get organized... someday!

Camille Minichino said...

Thinking of you, Linda, and the big changes, hoping for good NEW things.

Here's something pedestrian: one of my file cabinet drawers collapsed. Not even sturdy metal runners could hold my papers, apparently. So I'm taking the opportunity to sort through all my class handouts and reference material.

I wanted to downsize, like Monica, but -- yesterday I bought a 4-drawer to replace the broken 3-drawer. Not a good start!

Linda O. Johnston said...

Thanks, Camille. I'm planning on making some good stuff happen! And even if your new file cabinet is larger, you'll probably downsize the stuff you're putting into it, at least to start with. I'm not sure, though, that I've ever heard of one with a collapsing drawer!

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda, you have certainly had ups and downs lately. It's good your son's wedding came before your step father's death.

My tranistion is starting to look around at what I have instead of buying something new.

Linda O. Johnston said...

You're right about the wedding, Betty. It absolutely helped under the circumstances. And I empathize with your decision not to rush out and buy something new in this economy!

Terri Thayer said...

Linda, my sympathies. Seems to me I'm always in transition. I just try to enjoy the ride.

Janie Emaus said...

Hi Linda,
Sympathies and congratulations. Isn't that how life usually goes?
And I'm like you..I can never seem to get organized.


Linda O. Johnston said...

Thanks, Terri and Janie. You're right about the transitions, Terri, and about dealing with both sympathy and congratulations, Janie. One of my favorite sessions at the Romance Writers of America this year was a talk by Gail Blanke, who wrote BETWEEN TRAPEZES--and her premise is that we're always in the air between one part of our life and the next, so we should learn to take advantage of it.

Jaye said...

I like the idea of learning to identify and take advantage of the air between segments of our lives. My family is entering a new phase, but we don't know what it will be. My DH works for WaMu (corporate) and will, almost certainly, be laid off. JP Morgan really has all the people they need... We don't know what the future will bring, but something new, definitely.