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    Rekha Ambardar-The Writing Life

    05 Sep 2014

    I have always thought of writing as a straight-forward activity.  I don’t mean the production of a book, story or an article--just the urge or longing to write.  When you feel writing coming on, you reach for paper and pen and scribble to your heart’s content.  But when I started writing seriously and needed a chunk of time to myself, I had to beg off from coffee klatches, invitations to lunch, birthday parties and baby showers.  I would hand in the present at a time convenient to me, in case they thought I was a cheapskate in addition to being antisocial.  It was then that I kept an hour-by-hour accounting of my time to be able to write. Through the years that I taught part-time at a university, I had an answer ready when folks asked how I spent my time.  Oh, I told them, I work.  And the questions stopped there.  Then came a time two years ago when my job petered out.  After the initial disappointment, I was buoyant.  I could now write full-time.  I had ideas for short stories, articles, essays and a book.  Besides, I could sit down to read and enjoy my personal library of books. . . .

    Except now, friends were puzzled as to what I could possibly be doing with my time, since my kids were all grown.  Well, I said patiently, I had a incredible number of chores both inside and outside the house, a beloved dog that clamored for attention, and then I wrote.  I mumbled the last, hoping they didn’t hear.  They stared at me blankly.  What was that again?  I wrote?  I nodded helplessly, feeling as if I’d made it sound as though I had a scribbling disorder that wouldn’t go away, and that it was somehow tied to my sanity.  They were all perfectly nice people, whose activities tended toward aerobics or meeting in somebody’s house for lunch.  Bright, involved folks, though they were, I gathered they didn’t do any serious reading.  Since reading and writing go hand-in-hand, how could I confide my writing habit, latent since the age of eight?  I felt hugely stifled, not unlike the angels at that First Christmas, had they been told to tone down their joyous refrain.I retreated into my cave with my guilty secret.  The people, whom I had managed to convince that writing was a serious activity, went away with the impression that it was a side business.  Like working in McDonald’s it was an easy means of earning a fast buck.  But it doesn’t work like that, I started to explain, and saw the futility of it.  The problem was compounded when my in-laws came to visit.  For years I hadn’t told them that I wrote, and my husband had obligingly ignored the whole phenomenon.  So I was safe.  Then, when several of my stories were published, I decided it was time to come out of the closet and ‘fess up.  Writing was such an important part of me, I felt I needed to share it with them.  After all, I’d known them for many years--or so I thought.  My sister-in-law showed an interest in reading what I had published.  Her husband, alas, had no idea about writing or writers, and judging by his comments, I realized it would take a tremendous amount of spadework to clue him in.  I decided he would just have to be excluded from my fan club, such as it was.  Among his comments were: only women read fiction, people took to writing because there was money in it, and being published must be an easy accomplishment.

    I would love to find a way of enlightening those who don’t know anything about the phenomenon of writing, but you’d be taking away from valuable writing time, which inevitably leads to your evolution as a writer.  These days, I rarely draw attention to my writing self, and that only when somebody asks about it.  If they find out for themselves, so much the better.  I can even hear what they’ll say, “But you never told me!”  And then I’d smile wanly and reply, “What’s there to say?” I like to read, write, activities that, to me, are justthe same as breathing. This is what I’d have liked to add, but leave it unspoken.


    Leave a comment for your chance to win an Ebook copy of Rekha Ambardar-The Helper!



    Evan Lavigne has his hands full being a single parent to his young son and daughter, plus dealing with life after his wife, Tessa, drowns in the lake near their cottage.

    As if out of nowhere, a mysterious young woman, who calls herself Deirdre, appears and takes over the household and the children. Did she just materialize from the lake? She could well have, judging by her knowledge of marine life. 

    Just when they all settle into a tranquil domesticity and Evan asks Dierdre to marry him, Evan’s agent raises doubts in his mind. As the wedding day approaches, the mystery surrounding Dierdre deepens. Is Dierdre truly the new love of his life, or something far more malevolent?

    A short story.



    It was a lovely day, no doubt about it. The gulls swooped under a powder blue sky, looking for pieces of bread crumbs that we would throw for them. A breeze blew off the lake, soft and deceptive, but the residents of Copper Range Harbor knew full well how a balmy blue and golden day could turn stormy and treacherous for sailors and fishermen.

     It was on just such a day that Tessa had taken a boat from Nick Howell’s rental place to go fishing just a few hundred yards downwind of our cottage. She was an avid fishing aficionado, and invariably returned with lake trout and sometimes whitefish. But that day a gale had whipped up, as it often did unpredictably on Lake Superior. She’d gone missing for two hours until old Nick called the police. I had been too much in a daze. They found her five hours later, the boat capsized and her face down.

    What perverse goblins of the mind forced those thoughts on me as the children ran out laughing and chattering? I willed away the images, but the horror of those dark days lingered and I was reminded that if it weren’t for Robert and Louise Dempsey, Tessa’s parents, and my parents, who took the children for a few days while I pulled myself together, I’d be a basket case. I couldn’t spend the rest of my life hiding away and crying while the kids needed to be fed, clothed, and looked after.

    Published by: Untreed Reads


    Rekha Ambardar has published two contemporary novels, HIS HARBOR GIRL (Whiskey Creek Press) and MAID TO ORDER (Echelon Press).

    She also has over one hundred short stories, articles, and essays published in print and electronic magazines, including The Writer’s Journal, ByLine, Orchard Press Mysteries, Shots Detective Magazine,The Indian Express, and Writing World.com, Her paranormal, horror, and mystery stories have also appeared several anthologies.

    She is a regular contributor to The World and I Online where she publishes articles on current topics.

    Rekha also teaches courses in marketing and business communication.


    To find out more about Rekha Ambardar follow the link below.





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