On Boosts

By Edith

North of Boston

I’m feeling pretty drained right now. My dear friend Susan passed away three days ago. She was only 57. With two fine adult sons the same ages as my boys. And an adoring second husband. To put it completely without eloquence, it sucks.

So I’m thinking about what feeds us when we’re blue, when we’re out of energy, when we need a boost. For me, hugs from loved ones certainly help. What else?

A good walk in fresh air. Sitting in Friends worship or quiet meditation at home. IMG_3158Losing myself in an excellent novel. Homemade bread warm from the oven with a good slather of butter. A really nice glass of red wine, slowly sipped.

But what about compliments? I got a totally unexpected boost from an unsolicited source on the weekend.

A short story I wrote, “Just Desserts for Johnny,” was published in the online Kings River Life Magazine. That made me feel good, but I already knew it had been accepted. It was a satisfying story to write, because it allowed me to exact revenge in fiction on a very real fraudulent press I had a run in with several years ago. So it was doubly good that it was now out in the hands of the reading public. But again, I had written it a while ago.

When I read through the reader comments, though, I was blown away by one of them made by a very esteemed editor and writer after she

read the story. Chris Roerden won an Agatha award for Best Non-Fiction work. She has helped countless authors with her books Don’t Murder Your Mystery and Don’t Sabotage Your Submission, among others. I’ve met her at conferences and she’s a really sweet person.

So when I read what she had to say about my story, I was over the moon!

“Just Desserts for Johnny” by Edith Maxwell is a model short story, from the perfect opening line to the satisfying, twist end. Love it!

And that’s a boost that sticks with me even during these sad days. It reminds me to not be shy about handing out compliments where due, too, in case someone else is in need of a boost.IMG_3160

And then there’s this nice boost that just arrived in the mail. A box of twenty Advance Review Copies of ‘Til Dirt Do Us Part, out May 27! Isn’t that a fun cover?

Readers: What gives you a boost? I’ll give one of the ARCs to a commenter who offers a boost (and hope you’ll review it, too!).

20 Thoughts

  1. When things get me down, I rely on physical activity, preferably in the outdoors. It’s a way of nurturing the child in me, since it was her coping mechanism as well. With that said, I am off to a swim at the Y!

  2. What gives me a boost most days is knowing that I can still get up every morning and see the beauty in every day things, things I never took the time to notice when I was younger and so busy caring for my four children. Being alone me a lot gives time to reflect upon the things that are really important to me like a warm sunny day, the gorgeous ocean view we have or just the smiles on my grandbabies faces.

  3. when I need a boost, it just means doing something for ‘me’…….going shopping!!!! I used to go to the mall quite often, but as I got older, it has become more of an event, than a necessity……….so yes, shopping makes me happy……………

  4. Random acts of kindness give me a boost! Whether I conduct one, receive one, or hear about one, there is a little skip in my step!

  5. I am sorry for your loss, Edith.
    Chris was right on about your story. Perfectly crafted.
    I’m a walker. Without it, I get grumpy, and it’s always a boost. Endorphins or fresh air, or whatever, it works to wake up my brain and lift my spirits.
    You gave me a boost not long ago, regarding my writing. I wrote it on a sticky and posted on my monitor. Thank you.

  6. Writing is so solitary that getting out of the house is always a boost. And since I have Lily to walk I’m out several times a day whether I want to be or not. Spending time with friends and reading to escape life’s realities are the best way for me to not be blue. Thanks for this reminder about how important it is to think about how to give someone else a boost!

  7. I’ve found music to be a great boost! One of my favorite “happy” songs is “Daybreak” by Barry Manilow (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgGG5Ai5ZDc). Maybe it is the clapping beat. During baseball season, there is nothing like watching a baseball game. It is a great way to escape. The best boost of all is gratitude….there is a saying, “What if we woke up tomorrow with only what we thanked God for today?”. When I think of this and literally thank God for everything in my life I want to have again tomorrow, I see how very lucky I am and how much I have to be happy about. Edith, I am so sorry for the loss of your friend. I know just the thought of her can easily bring on tears. Remember, she hears you, and she will always be a part of your life.

  8. My animals…caring for them, playing with them, or just being with them is like balm for the soul.

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