Strange Magic

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Sometimes, we need a reminder about why we do this writing thing we do.

My daughter, who is a grown woman and working a lovely though demanding job by day, chooses to “follow her bliss” in her hours off. Which just happens to be musical theater. And right now, she’s performing in Xanadu

For those of you of a certain age, you’ll remember the 80s and Olivia Newton John and all the music from ELO associated with this movie. You might recall that it tanked at the box office. Even the hugely talented Olivia, following on the heels of success with Grease, could not save this clunker. But the music? The music was BIG. 

Perhaps that explains why, forty years later, Xanadu is still around, showing up on theater stages. Because honestly, it’s ridiculous and goofy and campy and silly. It’s bad puns and roller skating and a mish-mash of a story. But it’s also absolutely riotous fun! In this production, every single member in the cast—and it’s a small cast (the Muses and two humans)—are rocking and rolling and enjoying every minute on the stage. They exude joy and it’s contagious! I wanted to jump up and join them on the stage (and I did actually sing but that’s wholeheartedly approved)! 

I was leaving the theater with a friend, talking about all the fun they were having, all the joy in that experience, when she said, “Just like you, with your book.” 

Oh, what a strange magic! I was having fun, I was experiencing all kinds of joy. But I’d forgotten that little tidbit in the midst of the publishing side of the book. 

Ah, publishing. It’s like the day job, a grind every step of the way, turning me into this evil woman. And weirdly, with this project, I’ve had so many odd obstacles come up on the business end…

 *My business credit card worked one day but not the next. The company insisted the card was fine, please try again. But it still didn’t work. So I waited for them to send a replacement card. They sent two. Different cards. Another snafu to fix.

 **I needed a PDF. And though my Acrobat Reader or whatever does PDF worked fine the week before, it suddenly wouldn’t open. After an entire day trying to fix it (as per the steps one should follow), I finally just uninstalled and reinstalled. I’m still not sure it’s up to par but it is working. Today. 

***My Author proof (because with all the glitches I’ve been having I dared not publish without checking the book first) is NINE DAYS LATE. It literally dropped off the face of the earth. I'm still waiting for it to appear.. 

 And yet, even with one thing after another, my friend’s reminder worked like...well, like Xanadu itself. When I have a brilliant idea about a tagline, that’s a moment of joy! When I figure out what my logo should be about, I’m ecstatic! When I'm creating, I'm rocking and rolling and having so much fun!

Sure, there may be days, weeks, and yes, years, when we wonder why we ever decided to follow our bliss down this particular path. But deep down, we know. 

We write because of the joy it brings us. Strange magic indeed!

~Cathy C. Hall (Psst! Take a sneak peek at the new website here! Fingers crossed, it works.)


Sue Bradford Edwards said...

Love the website! And -- this was just the post I needed this morning because . . . really? Really? Can't copy file to flash drive because... Printer ignoring etc.

But then there are those moments.

Will definitely have to relisten to Xanadu. It was my friend's favorite. FAVORITE. We listened to it so often.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Yes on this reminder, Cathy - thank you!

Love the new website! I wish you tons of success with the new series!

Cathy C. Hall said...

Sue, I'm so glad you like it! And seriously, if I didn't know better, I'd think an Unseen Force was trying to keep me away from this project. I just spent THREE hours getting my laptop to come up--and now I'm too wore out to think! Hahahaha!

But Xanadu-YES! It's a happy place with GREAT music for sure!

And Madeline, thank you! I hope I have the stamina for the series...right now, I need a nap!

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