Saturday, November 10, 2012

On, In, and Around: I'll Be There Wishing Good Things for You

Sun at Lyndhurst

I took my girl to this castle-ish place (above) when she was a baby. She does not remember it.

Since then, fifteen years have passed. Six of those years (almost half her life), I have been a writer in this space. To her, I suppose, that must seem a lifetime.

Over that "lifetime," I have written almost 1,300 blog posts, both here and at two other personal blogs. Other bloggers would have garnered more page views over all this time, but I feel satisfied that these posts drew over 250,000 views.

Half a lifetime for my girl.

And what is that in blog years? (Somebody said to me yesterday that blog years should maybe be calculated like dog years. Maybe I've been really blogging for about forty years then.)

This week, one of my authors (I'm a small press publisher) sent me flowers, to thank me for believing in her book. I do believe in it. She'll go far. The National Review and World Magazine have both requested copies. She's going to be on quite a few radio shows. I want that for her.

I no longer want these things for me. If I ever did (I'd like to think I wanted these things as an author; it seems like the kind of things an author should want, to gain a certain level of success. I know I want my authors to want these things for themselves).

Anyway, I guess it's not important to settle this question. What's important is how I want things for other people. And how this has become the focus of my life's work.

  flowers from Karen Swallow Prior

Why yes, I'll still be a writer. That won't end. It might even grow.

Not that I necessarily want that either. Five books is a lot to care for. (Still, I do seem to have this little compulsion to keep putting things onto pages, where people can take them to bed, or on a picnic, or to their back porch.)

I do not any longer have a real desire to blog. "Forty years" is a long time. Or six, if you want it in human years. Or half a lifetime, if you look through the eyes of my daughter.

My girl is growing up. I want things for her. I want things for my authors.

And look... the sun is going down (or is it, in fact, just coming up). Let's walk into the sunset (or the sunrise), as the case may be. I'm in a good mood (don't let the mini-drama of this post fool you), so if it's okay with you, I'd like us to sing and laugh along the way.

Race you to the castle!


You can always find me at, to see if I do, in fact, keep writing (Oh, I'm sure I will. It's just a question of how and where). And I wish you a beautiful writing and reading journey, whichever you are on (and if you are a writer, it must be both). Thank you for letting me love you so long through the medium of words.

L.L. Barkat is the Managing Editor of Tweetspeak Poetry and co-creator of the quotes-on-photos app Give her another six years and who knows. She might be selling chocolate or teas.

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Blogger Glynn said...

I like that race to the castle. I'll see you there, too.

12:31 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

And we are laughing, yes? I know we are, you and me. :)

12:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good things for you, sweetie.
Love to you.

12:53 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Thanks, Nance. You've been with me so long. I've appreciated that.

12:54 PM  
Blogger Maureen said...

I have a few years on you, having just turned 60 (I still look pretty good, I think), so you're way ahead of me physically. Together, though, I like to think we've created some beautiful poetry. I still want to do a reading with you (did I ever tell you that?). I still want to write poems for you and with you. I still want to explore and afterward have tea with you and walk through a forest until we reach sky.

12:57 PM  
Anonymous HisFireFly said...

Go as He leads, for He is the only One you should follow.

As for us, we too must walk His path.

And yes, we will laugh when we bump into each other, for surely we will meet along the way...

1:21 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Thanks, HisFirefly, we shall certainly laugh! :)

Maureen, we will still create poetry together. How I would *love* to do a reading with you! You might mention that to IAM sometime, if you were willing to come to New York City for it. And we are going to have tea. Of that you can be sure :)

1:36 PM  
Blogger sarah said...

Oh :-( This is the second piece of bad news I've received this morning! I'll miss you. Very much indeed. But I wish all wonderful and happy things for you and your family.

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Ann Kroeker said...

Hmmmmm...I hate change and endings, but I like watching new things unfold. And, like you, I love seeing other people's dreams come true and problems solved. I'm going to keep tapping keys and let words spill onto the screen, but I do wonder what I'm racing toward next. :)

1:59 PM  
Blogger Maureen said...

Definitely willing to come to NYC. You're only a short train ride away.

I know there are good bagels in the city but what about scones?

2:12 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Sarah, so sorry. It comes from a place of other good news. WordCandy. Tweetspeak. TS Poetry Press. You'll keep traveling with me, yes? :)

Ann, me too. And I want to know what you are racing towards once you find out :)

2:12 PM  
Blogger Bonnie said...

You will write but maybe not here and maybe not for a while. SO glad you are on my book shelves! My student was about your daughter's age when she picked up your poetry book which inspired her to write poems and illustrate them. She is at New College Franklin now. My daughter is about that age now. The last of 5 in this nest full of books, music ,and food. Praying for you to see the unimaginable of God's goodness: more than you imagine!

3:11 PM  
Blogger TUC said...

I'll miss this place, but I look forward to seeing you around other spaces.


3:13 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Maureen, remind me by email to contact IAM? :)

Bonnie, I'm so glad you have me on your bookshelves too. Makes me feel close :) Love that about your student. I remember. And as for writing, I owe Books & Culture a review right now. There's writing to be done, yes, and I will have no excuses for neglecting it :)

TUC, thank you. I will see you. I am sure...

4:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember way back when talking with you about this blogging thing when we met. My blogging life feels close to an ending as well, though I don't know what that means, or when. Maybe it will just change. We'll see. But I am so glad that you continue on doing the things you love.

6:03 PM  
Blogger arock4him said...

This is living worship. And it's beautiful. The following a different kind of prompting. And venturing with courage. With you, friend.

6:53 PM  
Anonymous Monica Sharman said...

I'll buy your chocolate. :)

7:33 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Charity, I have definitely gone through a lot of changes as a blogger. Three blogs. Six years. Many themes. Gosh, 1,300+ posts. You'll know, I think, if it comes time. That won't mean you'll be able to do it. I think it has taken me 6 months to come to today's walk, today's decision. And now I am suddenly feeling sad that my writing chronology is going to be arrested. But there you have it. I rarely look back once I've decided something. I don't expect this to be any different :)

Amy, thanks. Making the path every day with new footsteps. Happy it is in the direction of promoting others :)

Monica, oh yeah. That makes me happy. Now, to get the chocolate up for sale ;-)

7:45 PM  
Blogger Lyla Willingham Lindquist said...

Oh, wow. Why does this not surprise me? Even while it made me catch my breath.

You've been wishing good things for me, and I'm grateful, you know?

Also happy to know I can still see you at the "office" every day, albeit virtually.

7:53 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Lyla, that's interesting. Diana says she wasn't surprised either. Am I the only one who is surprised that I went for a walk intending to blog and came home to say goodbye? :)

Yes, I have been wishing good things for you. Goodness, how long has it been since we met? (Since you came here and always told me exactly what needed to be said?)

See you in the "office," sure. Maybe you can bring a little tissue box on Monday? ;-)

7:57 PM  
Anonymous Sandra Heska King said...

Oh goodness. Too much grief for me this month. (And I'm pretending I didn't hear Charity.)

You know that you and your yard changed my life. Love you big!

11:31 PM  
Anonymous Diane | An Extraordinary Day said...

I'm a newbie to this writing and blogging thing. I've been blessed to be one of your readers. Thank you! Godspeed as you follow the JOY of your heart!

12:58 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

I'll pray for you as you consider your present and future. Thanks for what you've provided for us so far!

10:57 PM  
Anonymous kingfisher said...

I've appreciated this as a place where I could link up. Sorry to see you go. May God carry you on his wings.

11:16 PM  
Anonymous Sylvia R said...

My immediate reaction was, "Oh no!" and "I'm going to miss this blog so!" But I totally identify with so much that you say. Blessings on your next forty years!

9:12 AM  
Blogger Lisa notes... said...

Our voice speaks in one place, now another. The needs change where we need to be heard. Praying for your voice to continue to be loud and clear in all the right places.

11:30 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Six years in the life of a child is both an eternity and a heartbeat.

11:51 AM  
Blogger Linda said...

You have always had my deepest admiration - never more so than now. I like to dream that perhaps one day the little book I'm laboring over will one day find its way into hands like yours.
I have pulled back a good deal from blogging. I wonder if there's something in the air. In any case, I am profoundly grateful to have spent a bit of time with you and cherish your books. Thanks you Laura.

3:59 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

Please forgive the typos. It is quite apparent I need to learn to edit!

4:00 PM  
Anonymous Dolly@Soulstops said...

Wishing and praying only the best things for you, Laura...truly :)

4:41 PM  
Blogger Joelle said...

Thank you, L.L.! Cheers (in a teacup) to your future adventures, whatever they may be. I will always be grateful for your blogging companionship during a lonely time, for your humility to spread the joy and the blessing on others' writing, and the splendid beauty of your own words. I have you on my shelf!


9:38 PM  
Blogger Joelle said...

Mmm, one more short comment. Maybe during this time of silence (or not), you'll enjoy Terry Tempest Williams' new book, When Women Were Birds--about her mother's blank journals and about how women choose to give voice, keep quiet, are repressed or forced to speak. Poetic prose from one of my favorite authors.

9:44 PM  
Blogger Jennifer @ said...

I'd say that I'm going to miss you, but that wouldn't be true, L.L., because you're not disappearing. :) You are simply moving on to new adventures, and I'm very near -- in heart -- cheering you on every step.

9:58 PM  
Anonymous Dolly@Soulstops said...

P.S. I bought Karen's book on Amazon...I will think of you when I read it, and when I review my copy of Rumors...Grateful for you, Laura :)

6:53 PM  
Blogger kathleen pooler said...

You have left a legacy that will last far beyond your blogging years. Thank you for all you have done to inspire so many. I have no doubt you will continue to inspire us. Wishing you the best in this next phase of your journey. Blessings!

5:51 PM  
Blogger Kathleen Overby said...

Maureen and Laura ... I will be at any IAM thing you ladies read at. Let me know. You have been doula and midwife to me as an aspiring poet/writer. Grateful beyond measure.

6:53 PM  
Blogger Kelly Sauer said...

Mostly, I'm bummed. That is all.

12:14 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

"What's important is how I want things for other people. And how this has become the focus of my life's work." I think you got it! The key to life! Oh, that we might look outward & upward. Might take the time to peer into the hearts of others, & live life for the good of them....and the glory of God! Thanks for sharing such a selfless & inspirational post! ~ jen

10:45 AM  
Blogger Lisa Boyle said...

Thanks so much for hosting! :-)

3:42 PM  
Anonymous Nahin said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:43 AM  
Blogger heartsueRN said...

stopped by on the blog hop tour, love your poetry! Have a great day!

12:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:57 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Found you via Jane Friedman and love your writing. If you ever feel like writing something in a new spot, I'd love to see you send something to our editor over at The Lascaux Review!

I was cruising the blogs of the staff and contributors over at Tweetspeak and I'm surprised how many of them are on blog hiatus. I feel like I came dreadfully late to the party! :(

Keep on doing good things!

8:20 AM  
Anonymous Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks, L.L. I intend to get whatever you've published that I haven't yet read done this year. I kind of feel like my blogging life is ebbing out as well. Just don't know. But you came to mind this morning on my post, so I was coming over here to link up. Glad you are such an encouragement to many. And I hope your writing doesn't end. Thanks for being a friend.

7:51 AM  
Anonymous Jelly Gamat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:37 PM  

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