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Thinking about transformation

My new website is up (thank you, Authors Guild) and I’ve been thinking about transformation. About reinvention. On our fast-walk last weekend, Robby and I saw a large house being built in the backyard of a much smaller, older home. We guessed that once the new house was finished, the residents would move in and demolish the old. That’s what happened at the children’s hospital where I worked for 24 years. A spiffy new building was constructed behind the old-fashioned, two-winged brick structure with open wards for boys and girls. Then, in with the new and out with the old. It was a fascinating process to watch.

The building wasn’t the only transformation I experienced in those buildings; I kept reinventing myself as well. I was an RN for seven years before, armed with a new Masters degree, I began working as a Clinical Nurse Specialist. About seven years later I went back to school for a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner certification. This reincarnation lasted a bit longer – ten years after earning that degree and working in that role, I left patient care entirely, to write fiction. My husband likes to joke that I’ve got the seven-year-itch, but luckily relationships are spared.

Of course, writing fiction is about constant transformation. We transform fragments – crumbs of acquaintances, flecks of personal history, slivers of the news, flashes of image, morsels of emotion – into full-bodied and multi-layered narratives. This usually takes many tries to re-envision those pieces into something whole.

Sometimes we tear down the old brick buildings. But sometimes we coexist with the plaster dust and torn up walls, with the layers of truth and imagination, memory and longing.
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