In today’s blog post my friend Staci Troili asked the question, “Do you write about issues in your own life?”
My answer to that question is, “That’s ALL I write about.”
Except for years I’ve copped out, thrown a camouflage blanket over a large trumpeting elephant dead-center in my real life. But that big gray beast refused to stay quiet. On full moon nights he rampaged through my psyche demanding to be exposed. It has become more work to keep him hidden than to reveal him to you.
So, here it goes.
I’ve been married for almost 25 years to Jack, a Vietnam Veteran with raging Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury and the beginnings of dementia. After eight years of writing every day and producing thirteen books, I am now, finally, flinging the blanket off the elephant and writing about living with PTSD.
My western, Ridgeline, about a civil war veteran with the Arkansas third is almost complete. In a few months Pen-L Publishing will release my non-fiction book tentatively titled, On the Move with Chesty and Rocca. This book tells the humorous tale of how Jack and I moved to the country of Panama with nothing but two suitcases and two giant service dogs. You’d think the funny parts of the book would be about traveling on airplanes and taxis and boats and busy city sidewalks and cat-infested fish markets with these two 150 pound dogs ALWAYS tethered to your wrists.
You’d think that. But you’d be, mostly, wrong.
The funniest parts of the book are about loving a man who’s been to war. Because, really, we have only two choices when faced with a challenge. Accept and find the humor. Or struggle to teach the pig to dance and end up crying in frustration and covered in mud.
I’ve also started a new blog, Wounded Warrior Wife.
Comments on the posts on this new blog run from:
“I guarantee, I’ll still be processing this post days from now. Powerful.”
“You do a great service to our minds and hearts with your words and love.”
So, Staci, here, finally, is the real answer to your question about whether or not I write about issues in my own life:
When I throw the blanket off the elephant, expose those tender, vulnerable parts and share my own coping tools, my writing is powerful.
The truth does, indeed, set me free.