Not Until . . . NOW!

I don’t exactly have writer’s block, more like thinker’s anesthesia. At the moment, my heart is calling the shots and in my state of sadness, my heart has my brain in some sort of wrestling hold, of which hypoxia must be the by-product and it’s causing a numbing sensation that prevents me from working on my novel today. How else am I able to explain the reason I’m floundering at putting words together to make a meaningful sentence. After all, I’ve presented workshops on techniques for dismantling blocks for creative types. However, the techniques I suggest to unstop the flow and move imagination front and center were not grief tested. Until now.

Last Thursday, I arrived in West Palm Beach and after dumping suitcases at a hotel, I presented my ID at Good Samaritan Hospital. Between the time the security person took my photo, clicked computer keys, then provided a sticky name badge that gave me access to ICU, I observed my surroundings. The similarities between a hotel and hospital struck me as ironic. Both have fountains in their courtyard, a lobby with green plants, and both have lots rooms – for a price – with amenities like TVs and beds. From the moment of my arrival in south Florida, my world became H&H – hospital and hotel. Until now.

I won’t go into much detail except to say that Clara, my best friend since college days, died yesterday after living with a debilitating, deforming disease for many long years, surviving cancer (doctors refused to do chemo or radiation on her because of her scleroderma), and a long hospital stay after a bout with pneumonia. I am happy that she is free of pain, though sad because I miss her. I know I will see her again, but not until


Clara Villaman is an example of someone who never gave up. Her last email instructed me to stay the course after I’d told her about a publisher’s rejection. She asked when I would query again. I said, “Not until…”

Her response was direct, short, and sweet. “Now.”

All we have is “now.” Yesterday is gone and tomorrow will never get here. Now is when we breathe and live. There is no waiting for until. So, in her passing, let Clara’s word be a beacon of light for you. Don’t wait. Whatever it is – do it.

Now.

P.S. If you check out my website, you will find my bio in English and Spanish. Clara did the translation for me, something we were proud of.

About Linda Joyce

Award-winning writer and author Linda Joyce has deep southern roots intertwined with her Japanese heritage. She was born in Mississippi, though she considers New Orleans home. She has lived coast to coast in the United States and spent four years in Japan. She married her college sweetheart and now lives in Atlanta with her husband and three dogs: General Beauregard, Gentleman Jack, and Masterpiece Renoir. (Beau, Jack, and Reni.) She’s still trying to convince “the boys” that they are her pets, and not the other way around. Beau in particular is not buying it. She loves boiled peanuts, sushi, and grits. She and her husband share a passion for college football. Linda is a member of Romance Writers of America, Georgia Romance Writers, Atlanta Writer’s Club, and several other writing groups.
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10 Responses to Not Until . . . NOW!

  1. Claire says:

    You’re right, my friend. I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. Even though I never met your friend Clara she forever holds a spot in my heart. Now! Now is the time to tell you that I love you and value your friendship. I admire your writing, gumption, spirit and excellence. Wish I were nearer to wrap you in hugs. Until then . . .now, I’m sending you virtual ones.

    • Linda Joyce says:

      Claire,

      I value your friendship, too. I’m one of your greatest fans. Look forward to seeing you in May…and maybe we can take a day and just hang out. We’ll talk about schedules soon.
      Hugs! LJ

  2. For me, it was my Aunt Joyce. Three weeks ago now. Sigh…(as it prompts me to write like I’ve never written before, knowing that this will be the one.)

    • Linda Joyce says:

      Miss Diva,

      I am sad to hear of your loss. My deepest condolences to you and your family.
      We have to feel the sadness and the loss in order to heal and move forward. However, we have to look for the light our loved ones still shine in our life. *smiles* And, if your Aunt Joyce inspired you, then darlin’ use that inspiration to make beauty come alive with words.
      Hugs,
      Linda Joyce

  3. Subhakar Das says:

    I like that terms: thinker’s anesthesia. Sorry to hear of your loss. Good friends are hard to find, best friends impossible to replace. But like you said, she is pain free, and perhaps in a better place.

    • Linda Joyce says:

      Subhakar,

      Thank you for your note. It is Clara’s goodness that I choose to remember along with all the wonderful times we shared.
      Most Sincerely,
      ~Linda Joyce

  4. Jane Kurtz says:

    Your words brought forth unexpected tears, which washed away my absurd panic attack over finishing edits and sending queries. Thanks for these words and for all the support you provide to your friends, family, fellow writers, and the world.

  5. Patrick Hempfing says:

    Linda, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your dear friend. May God’s peace provide you comfort in the days ahead.

    I’m sure that Clara would have been proud of her dear friend who wrote “Not Until…Now!” Thank you for a very inspirational message in a time of sadness. Take good care.

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