Is there really such a thing as luck? Ralph Waldo Emerson didn’t think so, “Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.” Nor did Emily Dickinson, “Luck is not chance-/It’s Toil-/Fortune’s expensive smile/Is earned-”
We’ve all come across situations that feel like luck. You arrive five minutes after the store is supposed to close, but it is still open. You decide to stick a quarter in a slot machine for the fun of it, and it pays off. You miss getting on the train that winds up getting in an accident. Does that mean there is such a thing as luck?
I mentioned on day 2 that “there doesn’t seem to be many bookstores left in the San Fernando Valley.” It took a phone call with a bookseller in Minneapolis to show me how serious the Valley’s bookstore problem is.
I had a wonderful conversation with Gary Mazzone of Magers & Quinn Booksellers, the largest independent bookstore in Minneapolis. (They also carry a selection of rare and collectable books, some dating to the 17th century.) We talked about the book business and author promotions, and he introduced me to IndieBound, a website for independent bookstores. I wanted to find independent bookstores in the San Fernando Valley where I can promote my book when it is published.
Here comes the bad news.
On Facebook, someone asked us to describe our current writing project in one word. Some choose “frustrating” or “stuck.” I chose “enlightening.” As I dig deeper into my story, I’m discovering new things about it. Not just characters or plot, but about the experiences and insights that are the basis of the story. That’s what creativity can do. It enables us to explore ourselves. In the process, we can gain perspectives that can benefit our lives.
January 10 would have been my mom’s 85th birthday. She would have loved Fun a Day Reseda. She enjoyed needlepoint, sewing, and other crafts. She was also proud of Reseda and contributed by being active in the community.
I’d like to share some posts about my mom:
Happy birthday, Mom: A post from five years ago about how she gave me a love of baseball and a desire to serve the community.
My mother’s estate: The values my mom has left me.
Immortal: How Mom’s memory has stayed with me, even long after her death.
Happy birthday, Barbara Stern.
According to the Internet, today is Throwback Thursday. Since this is also Fun a Day Reseda, I’m sharing a poem I wrote when I was a student at Reseda High School. It’s a typical cringe-worthy teenage poetry, but its subject is appropriate for a month dedicated to art. It’s called “Formal Application,” and it was published in our Buji creative writing magazine in 1979.