Monday, July 30, 2012


By Pamela

Ben, the early soccer years
Two weeks from tomorrow my baby boy leaves the roost and embarks on the next phase of his life. During his junior year of high school he spent months researching colleges, writing to coaches and asking for their attendance at his soccer games. In the end, it paid off. He had offers from several schools and the privilege of getting to choose his favorite.

Now we've started the arduous chore of cleaning out his room, deciding what to take to school, what to donate, what to store. Treasures for the attic have included his former team jerseys, T-shirts and medals from tournaments. Those will be added to the tote that holds the size youth small turquoise T-shirt pictured here.

Friends have asked if I'm sad about his leaving and, of course, I will miss him dearly. But it's hard to associate negative feelings with watching someone you love set a goal and achieve it.

Ben as a high school senior.
--photo by Rick Mora
Writers have similar aspirations. We watch our favorite authors sell tens of thousands--even millions--of copies of their books, set off on world-wide tours, secure movie deals and more! But it all begins with setting goals and taking the necessary steps to get there.

Saturday morning Joan and I sequestered ourselves in a coffee shop for a few stolen hours and talked shop. She has her goals, I have mine. And since we've shared the unique experience of having written a manuscript together, I'd like to think we know each other's writing styles nearly as well as we know our own. So, when it comes to advice, I listen closely when she offers it.

I shared with her my current writing goal, and she said, "You need to set up a countdown. Figure up how many words it will take to complete your story and count backward from your date, figuring how many words you have to write each week, each day in order to get there." Wise words. And ones I will follow.

Joan has an accounting brain and I don't but I know she's right. If I don't commit to a set goal, on paper, word count and all, my self-imposed deadline will come and go and I'll wonder how the time passed so quickly. Much like the feelings I get when looking at the photo of my little boy in his baggy shorts and determined scowl.

Two more weeks until college. Fourteen days. Too few hours of having my boy ask me to fix him something to eat or help him find something in the laundry room.  Where did the time go? Tick-tock.  


  1. "'s hard to associate negative feelings with watching someone you love set a goal and achieve it." So true. You'll enjoy watching him achieve many more goals in this new chapter of life.

    PS. I'm going to hold you to your goal!

  2. P.P.S. Love the photo! ;)


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