June 24, 2021
Hello! The last blog post I shared was two days after my first poetry collection, Tight Knots. Loose Threads. was released on April 27, 2021, and what a busy time its been. Trying to finish a novel while releasing a new book is not easy. In that situation, we are forced to use both sides of our brains–the logical, analytical left and the creative, artistic right–at the same time. I’m heavy on the right side of my brain, so it can be a challenge.
Another reason I find book marketing and writing a novel challenging is that I don’t multi-task as well as I used to as an at-home mother of two kids. Why is that? I live alone. You would think I have more free time, right? I don’t. The difference is that I live alone. There’s no one but me running errands, keeping up with car inspections, planting and watering the garden, or doing or arranging for home maintenance projects. I live in an old house, over a hundred years old, and Lord knows, it’s a constant challenge to keep up with home projects, interior and exterior.
The pandemic didn’t help. Yes, I survived the global Coronavirus pandemic. I’m grateful as hell, but I believe living alone during lockdown and pre- and post-vaccines, took its toll. Being in solitary confinement (that’s what it felt like most days) isn’t a normal state for anyone. This year, I tried my best to stay positive and keep hope alive, but I had to dig deep. Especially after the January 6 insurrection, voter suppression in many states, and so many needless deaths in this country. Thank God for writing. As my writing mentor says, “Art is salvation”. It was my salvation. My distraction. My joy.
The pandemic was a great catalyst for many folks. There’s nothing like a global pandemic and the tragic and needless deaths of over 600,000 souls (in the US) to put a fire under your seat to complete what you’ve kept on the back burner(s) for twenty years. I wrote my first poem in 2000. I pat myself on the back for editing an old poetry manuscript and seeing Tight Knots. Loose Threads. published this year. The book isn’t in brick and mortar bookstores yet, but it will be. Soon, I hope!
I also pat myself on the back for entering my poetry collection in two categories in an annual international literary competition, and for applying for a writers grant, which I’ve never done before. I’m 63. If not now, when?
Now I understand why grant writers are paid big bucks, wow. Writing a good 200-word statement and a 400-word statement took time and care, and forced me to be concise, clear, and creative–a great writing exercise. I can write until the cows come home, but being concise? That’s a different beast altogether. Or maybe that’s just me. I must say, the experience of writing poetry helped with the application. I learned a great deal and was grateful for the experience. So, fingers crossed.
I’m heading to PR this summer. It will be my first trip since 2019 and I can’t wait. Along with resting and regrouping, there’s always more research to be done for my work-in-progress, my second historical fiction novel. It’s called The Laments and it’s set in 1926 Old San Juan.
I wish you a fun and safe summer with your loved ones. Stay safe and get vaccinated.
ABOUT ELEANOR PARKER SAPIA:
Puerto Rican-born Eleanor Parker Sapia is the author of the multi-award-winning historical novel, A DECENT WOMAN, and her first collection of poetry titled, TIGHT KNOTS. LOOSE THREADS. both published by Winter Goose Publishing.
Eleanor is currently working on her second historical novel set in Puerto Rico called THE LAMENTS. She is the mother of two amazing young adults and tells herself that one day, she will walk El Camino de Santiago de Compostela again.