The Girl Behind the Red Door is currently under construction. Following the unfortunate and untimely loss of our server a few weeks ago, I found that the creative wind had been sucked from my sails. I suppose the fact that this event coincided with a very stressful time at work (including a move to our new location!) could have contributed to my mental fatigue, as well. At any rate, I've spent the last month trying to take advantage of any free moment by resting, spending time with my husband... to be completely honest, we ended up watching a lot of Lost. An excellent show, but not exactly a productive use of my time. Along the way, though, several things have happened which have pushed me to write again.

I entered the Poetry Competition at the Alameda County Fair. And won. Yay! My Haiku entitled "Lemonade" was awarded a Silver Medal and my long poem "Fleeting" won Honorable Mention.

At my mother-in-law's invitation, I attended a book reading at Towne Center Books in downtown Pleasanton. One of my favorite modern authors, Amanda Eyre Ward, has just published her third novel,

Forgive Me

. We had a lovely themed lunch and listened to Ms. Ward read one of her favorite passages. Naturally, I was inspired by her writing, but our conversation afterwards was even more encouraging. We were able to speak for a few minutes before I hurried back to work. In that short amount of time, she reminded me that writing isn't easy. That the writers who succeed are the sometimes the ones who write the longest, rather than the ones who write the best or the most. When she signed my copy of her new book, she wrote, "I'm looking forward to your novel."

I received a letter from my Aunt Mary. Real, honest-to-goodness letters are so rare. My aunt's commentary on an ordinary day in her own life, her reminiscence about her childhood and her observations about life in general made me happy. It was a simple response to a simple letter, but her sincerity pushed me to literally flip open my laptop and write for a while right then.

Anyway, as I work to find my voice again, my husband the code monkey is taking this opportunity to give my blog a face lift. Personally, I can't believe I've maintained this blog for more than two years! It definitely needs a polishing. Please keep your fingers crossed for me - I would like to get back into my writer's groove.

Beware the groooooove!