if I could live ten more lives

I often wonder what if...

What if I finished medical school instead of teaching 2nd year students parasitology?   What if I kept souping up go-cars?   What if I studied physics and became a bonafide meta-physicist?  What if after I graduated from acting school I auditioned for a play instead of teaching kids ad lib or working at a legitimate theatre for its general manager?

And what if I had really put my attention to writing, really writing, not just an article for the newspaper, or a newsletter for the Photo Club or producing an art zine but rather fully formed stories, even a complete but tight 278 page novel.

All these wonders hit me after seeing the headline of Francine Prose's piece on Edith Wharton.

Edith Wharton

Edith Wharton would have been 150 years old this year, having a birthday just weeks ago.

Mabel Luhan
Remember I have her pen, not her actual fountain pen but one that is nearly identical.

Conklin Fountain Pen

When I stayed at Mabel Luhan's in Taos, I asked for the Wharton room.  What if...I slept in the same bed dozens of years later would I be inspired to be a novelist?  I settled for Willa Cather instead.

Luhan House, Taos NM (Cather room far right)

Perhaps some of this wondering started this morning before I saw the Review because  I captured the names of six literary journals at P&W and looked at their requirements.  Then I decided that a different environment would help, it often does, in editing and possibly finishing some of my scribbles.   I will bring my incomplete novel, finished but unedited short stories and dozens of poems which I've already thinned out to a manageable whole to Pittsburgh next week and submit, yes that threatening but valuable word, "submit" the one story I am most proud of writing whilst at the Theological Society Writing Group in Boston more than 10, no nearly 20 years ago.

After all...I only have this life.


  1. Exactly! Do it! Do it now! Have fun and enjoy :o) I can't wait to read, I will need a signed copy though that I'll pick up at your signing.

  2. I promise when it gets published, you'll be among the first to get a signed copy. :)