My Gramma, my sisters, and 4 year old me, smiling in the background
     I have been on a quest.  It has taken me down countless grocery store aisles, through scores of recipe books, and wandering the faintest lanes of my memory as I've searched for the perfect bowl of oatmeal.
     It has taken much longer than I ever imagined, but I've learned this along the way: no sticky globs of oats will do, and spare me broth without hearty substance. Those can never compare to my Gramma's gift of spinning simple ingredients into silken perfection.     
     She died the year I turned twelve, but like her oatmeal, my memories of her are warm and sweet and seasoned with a dash of saltiness.   

     Her kind words and  gentle touch I well remember. “Honey, did you get enough to eat?” she would ask as she softly brushed her fingers across my hair. 
     Add to that a whispered tale of the time she wrestled another woman to the ground defending the honor of one of her eight children, and that was my Gramma.   
     For years, I hoped that if I used the right brand of oats, I could duplicate her results - but no. 

     If I followed the right directions, I would surely find success – but again, no. 
     If I tried with all my might to be like her, perhaps I could make her oatmeal – but even then, no.  
     All the while, as I was persevering through countless attempts and as many failures, my heart was slowly grasping the secret that would satisfy my memory; I loved my Gramma and so I loved her oatmeal. Finally, I understood that it was never about the way she made it, but that  she made it, and served it to me with a piece of nearly burnt toast and a loving presence that transformed her humble offering into a feast for a little girl’s heart.  
     I made a bowl of oatmeal this morning. I don't know if it was perfect.  I was thinking of my Gramma and all I could taste was the love. 
"I do not need a website."
"I think you do."
"What for? My book isn't even finished yet."
"So what. Don't you wanna reserve 'your name dot whatever' while it's still out there? Or would you rather wait until it's snapped up, then whine about it?"
"I hate you."
"Yeah, but you know I'm right. Now, quit being a baby and get yourself a website."

That's how I talked myself into creating KarenGrace.net, and both of us are glad I did. (Are you surprised to learn I'm a Gemini?)

I played with the site for several weeks, finding just the right photos, deciding what categories to include, and promised myself I would never write a blog. What a time waster, I reasoned, carrying on about things that no one wants to read . Blah, blah, this, and blah, blah, that.  

Until one night, deeper in thought than sleep, I wrote my first post, and when I hit 'publish,' I felt slightly less invisible. The possibility that a complete stranger might read my words and think, Me too! brought a measure of solace to my soul.

The thing is though, blogging turns out to be harder than it seems. If you're working it properly, you've got to keep it current,  write about what's 'trending,' and care about 'search engine optimization.'

What a bunch of bother. I've got a book to write, darn it! 

But, I've also got a divorce to finish, and as it wears into its third year, I've found that it's trying to leave its stain on a story so dear to me that I must hide it away for a time in order to protect it. 

I was twelve years old when I first began writing my book. Back then, it was mostly in my head, or jotted on pages of my secret notebooks, waiting for a better day; a day when I believed I could write something worth reading. 

Now, I find that I've allowed thoughts of my Someday-to-be-Ex-Husband to infiltrate my story. I've written him as the nasty next-door neighbor who smells of beer and sweat. The uncle who pathologically keeps every piece of mail in its original envelope. Or the town creeper who sidles up beside the hand-locked couple out for their evening stroll.

And I say to that, "No siree! I'm the creator of this world, and you're not welcome in it!"

So, I've granted my characters rest for yet another season. I'll miss them, but it's for their own good. They were in danger of telling the wrong story. 

Meanwhile, I'll be blah, blah, blahging along, and I don't care a whit about optimization strategies, 'cause I've got my own thoughts trending.       


KarenGrace Reflections of an Invisible Woman