RECENTLY, I WAS PERUSING THE LAST two posts and was somewhat “amused” (not really) by the titles I chose. It was as if I was a wee bit clairvoyant about the immediate future. The direction each post went … and the titles chosen speak volumes to me now.
This has been quite a year … full of ups and downs—thankfully more ups than downs. Finally, this last quarter has found me healthier, with more energy to enjoy the things I hold dear. More energy—and creativity, too—to create whilst wearing my Writerly and Painterly hats. I’ve been loving it!
My body and brain have been so “healthy” that ideas are now screaming to be heard, so as I work out things whilst trying to sleep, I don’t get as many restful hours. But that’s okay. I’d much rather the ideas flow (Insert monster grin here). Seriously. I’ve been on a natural high—finding myself full of purpose. And I’m getting things done. A wonderful feeling—a delightful change of pace, to be sure!
Last week I titled the blog “A New Beginning” and the week before it was “In Memory”—I had absolutely no idea what was going to be happening as the next weeks unfolded. Well, I can’t really say that. Ideas popped in my head, which were immediately squashed as negativity I didn’t need, nor want.
But as fate would have it, on Tuesday morning, someone at Inknbeans Press announced (on our private Facebook page) the passing of our fearless leader … our Inknbeans Press publisher. I couldn’t breathe as I read the news. It was if a monstrous elephant had just sat on my chest. I could not catch my breath. My mind literally reeled from the news. An unbelievable idea—she could not possibly be dead. The doctors had released her from the hospital only a couple weeks before for an unrelated issue. How could she be gone?
All of her “Beans” (as she fondly called her authors) are still reeling—in denial, disbelief and/or simply unable to wrap our minds around what has happened—we had no clue this could possibly happen. She was, after all, a genuine fighter—an inspiration to all of us “Beans”. We were her Hill of Beans and quite proud of the name bestowed upon us.
She wasn’t simply our “boss” or our publisher. She was our friend, mentor, confidante, encourager—so many things. She had an uncanny way of knowing what each of us needed and she was there for us—juggling all of our individual needs with her own. She was a strong Christian, filled with the fruit of the spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control. She needed all those skills, since writers can be a handful at times—doubting their abilities, dealing with writers’ block, insecurities, etc—she gracefully and masterfully helped us through it all. I think her only vice was coffee. She loved her coffee—oh, yes she did! The only other “inconsistency” (if you can call it that) was her aversion to being photographed. She was so beautiful in spirit—I couldn’t understand why she didn’t like being “captured” on camera. We teased her about being in Witness Protection … or being an undercover spy. If she was in a shot, we needed to “wipe” her from it before sharing it. Last year we did manage to get her to take a group shot—under the protection of a fan, she allowed it.
As this blog goes to “press”, we are still uncertain as to the fate of the company, our involvement with Inknbeans, and our books. The Inknbeans Press office has been closed “until further notice”, so getting additional copies, getting new books published—it’s all on hold. In limbo. We will find out more sometime next month, hopefully. I’m trying not to stress over it …
In the meantime, many of us are working on writing something up to be added to a small anthology, which will be printed, bound and presented to her family, friends and a copy for each of her authors as a memorial to her. It is rather therapeutic to do this sort of thing, so I’m glad I said yes.
We Beans have a pretty short deadline to work with and I am struggling to get it written (being therapeutic doesn’t make it any easier …). Because of that, I am going “dark” for a couple of weeks—there will be no blog till I’ve got my piece done. This blog, of course, is the last for the year—literally, since the new year begins in only a few short days. I will give myself a few weeks to concentrate on my piece for the anthology and hopefully have a new blog for the 12th or 19th of January. I may surprise myself and get it done before … but no promises.
So, to close the 2017 year … I wish you all a Blessed and Happy New Year. May 2018 hold more ups than downs—and many wonderful experiences, plus unending Joy and Peace.
“Hill of Beans” and Boss Jo
For my dear friend, Maaijo “Boss” Lowe, may you rest in peace at the feet of Jesus with an ever-fresh, steaming cup of coffee. We Beans know you’ll be chatting up all the authors that have gone before you and spreading your indomitable love everywhere you go. I miss you so much already …