Back in the Saddle with Something New

IMG_9201bw.jpgPhoto by: bahenska at

It’s been a busy few months here for me. I started working with an online editing firm in the fall, so between that, a private client, my usual non-editing work, and the mom/wife thing, I haven’t had an abundance of time for my writing–let alone my blog and social media pages. ∴swipes away a cobweb∴ Sorry about that.

For a while, I’d been planning March as the time for me to really get into another project I’ve been planning. I wanted to have Blaze finished first, but it got put on the shelf in all my busyness, so it’s not ready yet. Why March? Mostly because the spring equinox is about the time I start feeling more myself after a long dull winter. But in this case, it also has some special significance.

This other project (which has been on my mind since early last summer and gained its first 4,000 words in November) was inspired by a friend who died last year after a long fight with cancer. His birthday would have been today, March 22, and I have this tradition of finding a way to honor birthdays of people in my life who have died. Usually it’s a special food that I associate with that person, like Gumbo for my New Orleans grandmother and great-grandmother, a Coke for the great-grandfather who struck figurative gold by investing in Coca-Cola’s stock long ago, and so on. This friend, though, was a vegetarian and wine lover, but money’s tight enough that I’m not comfortable buying a bottle of wine right now, and my family won’t give up meat. So I turned to my writing.

He was very creative and shared a some of his writing from time to time, and I always loved reading it. Around the time of his death last year, I started dreaming about him. Maybe it was coincidence because he was so much on my mind, or if you’re more metaphysical, maybe it was him reaching out while the veil was thin. Take it how you will. One dream was just of him visiting me at my home and having a talk, but another was a terrifyingly vivid nightmare of me and a few of our mutual friends taking a road trip with him to a place where he could die the way he wanted. I woke up with the details still crystal clear in my mind and jotted it all down into my phone for later.

The Right to Die/Death with Dignity laws in his state had failed him, and I felt like this was something he was asking me to write about to help bring more awareness to it and maybe reform it. The story I’m writing will be entirely fictional, but to make it feel as real and plausible as possible, I’m hoping to gather input from people who have had more experience with these laws and programs than I have myself. I want to handle it delicately and tactfully, being sensitive to actual experiences and the emotions involved. I want people to read it and understand why we need legislation in favor of an individual’s right to die and why the obstruction and resistance (where it has been legalized) needs to be addressed.

To that end, I am seeking the opinions and experience of anyone familiar with the concept. Below is a survey that you can take in complete anonymity. If you include your email address to receive a copy of the story when it’s completed, I pinkie-swear that’s all it will ever be used for. No newsletters, no marketing. I hate spam as much as anyone.

Thank you for whatever insight you feel drawn to share. Most fields are optional; the only required fields are those that will help me organize responses better. If you are uncomfortable answering anything, please skip it. I have tried to make this as non-triggery as possible.

*The questionnaire is now closed. A warm thank-you to everyone.*

dIf you want to get updated on my progress with the story, you can subscribe to my blog or click on my social media links to follow my author page on Facebook.


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