For most of our marriage, my wife and I have enjoyed staying home. We have restored eight houses in multiple states; Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, South Carolina, Florida, and now, Mississippi. – Most have been over 200 years old and we do 95% of the work ourselves including careful, historically sensitive demolition, hand-plastering walls and ceilings, hand/on our knees floor restoration, painting, electrical and plumbing. Further, we do (my wife does) landscaping and gardening. Now that we are retired and in our 70’s we work from 9-12 am, break for lunch and a nap from 1-2 pm, work from 3-5 pm, shower and drink some wine together as we walk around the house to see “what the workers did today”. I wish more people had the interest and option to do what we are lucky to be doing.
If you have to stay home, watch Youtube videos on DIY subjects and get to work on your house!
My work is comprised of poetry, short stories, and long form fiction
written to express feelings of sadness, loneliness, and desperation,
morphing into recovery, self-awareness and healing. My current
project is historical fiction; “MARGUERITE AND THE CUBAN
PAINTINGS”. This work is evidence of both my Cuban heritage and a
long standing family mystery.
“MARGUERITE AND THE CUBAN PAINTINGS” is a fictionalized
rendition that tracks a small collection of valuable paintings from
the 17th and 18th centuries through Europe,
Spain, Cuba, and the United States. It focuses on the people closest
to the collection and how it affected, inspired and in some cases
destroyed them. The family charged with their safe-keeping is my
own. My grandfather, a Cuban diplomat was exiled with his family to
America in 1937. He brought nine of the paintings with him. The
mute, haunting journey of the paintings tormented the conscience of
my Cuban-American family. “Were they stolen or smuggled from Cuba
or sent to America for safe-keeping and protection?” That question
has yet to be answered. However, the burden proved detrimental to
heroine, Margaret (Marguerite) Bourke, is a reporter for a well-known
Philadelphia newspaper who uncovers an intriguing story of Cuban
history and is ultimately haunted by the paintings and her own Cuban
writing is a documented legacy of my own life’s journey. The
legacy informs my children and future generations of our rich,
multi-cultural heritage and my readers who will learn about Cuban
culture and how it changed when brought to America.
I am not sure why or when I have become or became afraid to write. It certainly didn’t help to try to read Charles Johnson’s book “The Way of The Writer” . According to Mr. Johnson, you have to spend 30 years reading and studyng the classics and every piece of style stuff before you write anything. Then, you have to revise it over and over again. He also said that writing from “personal experiences” alone is a waste of time. Nice, Charles. Your classes must have really been inspired. His book is more of an autobiography about how wonderful he is. Guess what? I stopped reading it so I can get back to writing, evn if it is bad writing. Now I am not sure who I should give this book to…Goodwill?