Kathy Ptacek opens the newest issue of her guide to markets, The Gila Queen, with a powerful statement after the recent death of her husband, Charles Grant. She writes: “Just three months ago, I wrote here about something that I had hoped would happen soon … I was so happy, so excited. Of course, that event was Charlie’s coming home after two and a half years in the hospital. He did come home … for ten days, and then he died unexpectedly.

“How quickly things change … in a matter of days, a few hours, even minutes. I left the room that evening on September 15 … when I came back minutes later … well, you know the rest.

“I don’t want you to dwell on the sadness, but rather I want you to focus on something else: I want you to do things that matter to YOU. Now. Been putting off writing? Sit down and write now! Then send your story, your article, your poem out … NOW! Who cares if the dishes aren’t washed or the laundry needs folding or if fallen leaves await a brisk raking? Those things don’t matter … not in the long run. They’ll always be there; as I know all too well, chores never disappear by themselves (You can do the chores on your “downtime”). But don’t delay on knuckling down on your writing—if it’s a choice between doing the breakfast dishes or writing, you know what you should do. Take half an hour here, an hour there, or just go off to a bookstore or a cafe or a park and sit and write for an hour or two. Just do it now! Don’t wait. None of us know what lays ahead on this road.”

Pay attention to what she says, and if you’re serious about your writing stop by The Gila Queen website and subscribe. It’s a valuable tool for any writer.

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