It’s been two years since my coronation at the 2016 Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop. When my daughter Julie and I returned home, I was motivated and ready to launch my new writing career. But there were a few obstacles and distractions as I tried to get started and stay focused:
First Obstacle. I had computer issues. I could turn it on, find my home page, send and receive emails, but that was about it. All other challenges met with defeat. As a writer I knew word processing skills were required, especially since I had been banned from the typewriter — caught red-handed. After countless technology-related calls to my daughter (a.k.a. the princess), she dragged me into the local Microsoft store for a class where I began the necessary training. I even got on The Facebook and read a few posts and, hopefully, submitted a response. I’m never sure. The Facebook takes it, but where does it go? There’s more training yet to do, but at least I haven’t tried to retrieve the typewriter. I didn’t say I got rid of it — just have not used it. I’m still waiting to go ballistic — I mean, viral.
First Distraction. I met a man. Need I say more? Not only was my time consumed with dinner, dancing, shows and Colts games, but when we weren’t together, he was still on my mind. I fully intended to write again; however, a nap seemed to be a better choice and a necessity. Six months after meeting, he proposed marriage and we were in new-life planning mode. Pre-marital counseling, shopping for a new home, and clearing out a lifetime of clutter became my focus.
Second Obstacle. In the process of the move, I broke my hand and foot. It wasn’t easy. The apartment was jammed with packing supplies — boxes, bubble wrap and newspapers. Late one night en route to the kitchen for a bowl of ice cream, I slipped and headed into the wall with such force that my hand and foot were both required to break the fall. It wasn’t until three days later during the move that the swelling and pain made it obvious that something was drastically wrong. When the princess took one look, she immediately said, “You’re not going to the new apartment, you are going to urgent care!” The doctor confirmed two breaks, and I was shipped to the hospital. The move carried on, but I wasn’t able to move much.
Second Distraction. There was a wedding this past year, a new house, and yet another move —actually two moves since there was a delay in building our new cottage (i.e., castle). Picking out a dress, organizing a luncheon reception, and all that goes into planning a wedding came together with the help of family members who rallied around us to celebrate. Then we were off to Alaska for our honeymoon. We felt like two teenagers.
Third Obstacle. Gravity. Despite feeling like a teenager, my body proved that I wasn’t. Apparently if you live long enough, your girly parts start coming out. I first discovered this shocking truth in the shower and thought, “What is this thing?” It looked like a sausage. I was afraid it would eventually fall out and opted for a “simple procedure.” When I awoke from surgery, I was in the ICU. I had never been there before and don’t want to go back. My recovery slowed me down and gave me a chance to write this story with the princess by my side. All is well now, and I’m on the road to healing with only two weeks until the conference.
Now it’s time to see my Erma friends again. By the way, you will be able to clearly spot me — I’ll be wearing my crown. The organizers better not try to take it away — I’m not giving it up! It has a special place in my heart and in my home. This crown represents a new start to my writing career.
And so you see, it’s never too late to do anything — become a writer, fall in love, start a new life, or even fix an old body.
There’s no stopping this queen!
“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me.’” — Erma Bombeck
— Queen Lori Solinski and Princess Julie Osborne
Queen Lori Solinski and Princess Julie Osborne are a mother/daughter team living and writing in Carmel, Indiana. Queen Lori’s writing career began when she was crowned queen of the 2016 Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop. Her story, written by Princess Julie, is featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul’s Best Mom Ever! edition. Follow this dynamic duo at www.ErmaQueen.com.