I had a blog. It died.
My blog postings became sporadic as family, home and work issues took precedence. You know how it is. Eventually, life became a little more predictable but by that point, ennui had settled in. It took up residence in my office over the long damp Pacific Northwest winter and eventually began to smell. Not like teen spirit but like grumpy middle-aged attitude. I couldn’t muster the same gung-ho enthusiasm for projects I’d been obsessed with just months earlier.
But last week I had something of a breakthrough. It may have been the new brand of coffee I had at breakfast or the sight of magnolia trees in full lilac bloom but it was as if I turned a corner and the universe started sending me hints of new possibilities and new dreams – along with a resurgence of interest in some old dreams.
The first hint was an email from a writer I met last summer at the Disquiet International Literary Program in Lisbon asking about the current status of my publishing company. I confessed it wasn’t exactly proceeding at the pace I had originally hoped for but with three manuscripts currently under revision, my plan to launch the press later this year was going ahead.
The second hint was the arrival of two books courtesy of Tagus Press: a new edition of Home is an Island and Sixty Acres and a Barn, both written by Alfred Lewis, a Portuguese American born and raised on the island of Flores in the Azores archipelago.
I first discovered Home is an Island in 2005 while rummaging through the shed at my parents’ summer home in Flores. It was a first edition published by Random House a half-century earlier and yet there it was, in a broken crate, keeping company with romance novels and German tourist guides. At the time, I was working at a publishing house in Vancouver with dreams of starting up my own press. The discovery of this slender book, along with a reading of the classic Azorean novel Mau Tempo no Canal, triggered a new interest in Portuguese literature. More importantly, it sparked a desire to publish writing by Canadians and Americans of Portuguese descent and to contribute in some small way to the development of Luso-North American literature.
This morning I pulled out the binder of lecture notes, assignments and business cards I’d collected at the Disquiet program. I was searching for a colleague’s contact information and came across my workshop manuscript. As I began reading through the marked-up pages a shiver of happiness went through me. My mojo was back! Or perhaps it was the new coffee. In any case, the writing wasn’t as good as I had remembered but it didn’t matter. I was reminded of the camaraderie and enthusiasm that our small workshop group had experienced during our time in the enchanting city of Lisbon, reminded of my own long-delayed dreams, and finally eager to resume work on several abandoned projects…including this blog.
Ennui has left the building.