Celebrating Milestones

Today is my 365th straight day of blogging. A whole year’s worth of posts! That is certainly a milestone worth celebrating.

Tomorrow marks 100 days until the end of the year, another milestone worth celebrating. That is the day I make resolutions, if I need to make any. New Year’s resolutions are complicated because a year is so very long, especially this year. I can do 100 days. Maybe not easily, but it is possible. So, my resolutions are the same ones I always make — to blog each of those days, to try to lose a few pounds, to exercise more. And I’m sure I’ll continue my tarot studies, one card at a time.

Thursday, the final of these three milestones, will be my bloggiversary — the thirteenth anniversary of when I started this blog. That first blog post was a short one. It said simply:

Am I an aspiring writer? I have written 4 books, rewritten them, and will continue rewriting them until they are perfected.

No. I am not an aspiring writer. I am aspiring to be a published writer.

And that is what I became — a published writer. Soon, maybe even by the end of this year or the beginning of next year, my ninth book will be published. This particular work of fiction will be a real departure for me, not suspense (except to the extent that all novels are suspenseful), not a book about grief. Maybe it could be considered an allegory, maybe fantasy, maybe a lot of things. But always a Pat Bertram story.

It was a hard book to write because it was the last one Jeff brainstormed with me, and he died before it could be finished. It sat for years with only an occasional word being added because it was simply too painful to write. Every time I looked at the manuscript I was reminded he was gone.

But I did finish the book. And it will be published.

Although I haven’t been interested in writing (except this blog, of course), the first paragraph of a sequel to this special book recently popped into my head. And the novel does demand a sequel. With two children being born, one named Adam and one Eve, the book cries out for a second installment to the story.

Oops. Maybe I gave too much away with those names. Since there are religious overtones, I worried people would think it sacrilegious considering my — at times — irreverent outlook, so I had some of my religious friends read it, and they assured me it’s fine. As one reader emailed me, “As to your question about offending Christian readers, any Christian reader who gets beyond the title (which is perfect — enticing, with just the right level of warning, like one of those TVMALV ratings) will most likely delight in spotting Biblical echoes, enjoy the broken-creation and God/god themes, and eagerly wonder how on earth you’re going to end it. Your final scene is a perfect surprise — a beautifully apt and satisfying end to the tale, which really doesn’t need to fit any religious conviction; it creates and completes its own convincing artifice. I love it!

I can hardly wait for you to be able to read the book. And no, I won’t mention the title just yet — it will tell too much about the story, and I don’t want to give anyone else the idea for a story of their own before the book is safely in print.

The book was never supposed to have any religious overtones or undertones. The theme is actually more of a political one, eternally apropos, and never more so than today: How much freedom we are willing to give up for safety, how much safety we are willing to give up for freedom, and in the end, since freedom tends to be an illusion, it’s about embracing responsibility.

I got off the track of milestones for a bit there, but chalk it up to enthusiasm for my new book.

I have much to be grateful for this first day of autumn, which, come to think of it, is another milestone to celebrate. We made it through this endless summer and are now heading for more glorious days.

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Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator