Seize the Time

It takes time to get over a loss. It’s taken me a couple of years to come to grips with the fact that I’ve been depressed — because my novel didn’t take off as I had hoped, dreamed, counted on. I didn’t have a real marketing plan from the get go. I didn’t take a hint early on from a friend that the audience for my book is young adult and to act accordingly. I drifted, trying to connect with friends and colleagues in the Reproductive Justice movement for speaking engagements and house parties, while I went about other parts of my life — as a part-time freelance writer and editor; an officer in the National Writers Union, UAW 1981; and a copy editor and writer about choice and labor for Workers World newspaper, among other WWP activities.

But with the resurgence of the women’s liberation movement, beginning with the global Women’s March and Women’s Strike a year ago — in response to the totally retro-toxic-on-every-possible-issue Trump presidency — then the emergence of the #MeToo Movement last fall and now Time’s Up, I am finally coming out of my self-induced emotional coma. The struggle continues! And my novel, Love Means Second Chances, must be part of that action. While many movies have included abortion as a secondary element in the plot, and a few have taken on the issue — “Citizen Ruth” (1996), “Obvious Child” (2014) and “Grandma” (2015) — with varying degrees and types of humor, it’s time for a movie that addresses abortion from both sides, showing anger, fear and compassion, with texture and nuance. What inspires me is that women are now saying: “We need movies that are women-centered, that are written for women, by women — that reflect women’s lives.”

Hey, if it took a white supremacist, capitalist warmonger, philandering misogynist, predator in chief in the White House to set off this seismic upheaval in the centuries-old status quo of racist capitalist patriarchy, so be it. Maybe that’s what it took for well-bred white females to stop functioning like the scared, obedient children we were trained to be — though, truth be told, I started rebelling in 1966. Thankfully women have begun speaking out within the last six months with consistently loud voices that have become as one — like the scores of gymnasts who addressed sadistic pedophile Larry Nassar, mascarading as a medical doctor — during his sentencing in January. All these women workers — from Hollywood actors to hotel housekeepers, posh publishers to nail polishers, food servers to farmers — have exposed harassment, rape and unwelcome sexual advances of any type, be they verbal or hands on, as a primary violation of their human space, their bodily integrity, their hopes and dreams.

This is a new day, the beginning of what I hope will blossom into an era of profound social and political change.

As I write this, I’m searching for words to encourage myself to step into the public arena with my progeny, my book, held close to my heart — only this time with more authority, daring and fortitude. I must admit that scares me — because of all the physical and verbal attacks on pro-choice advocates.  But if I want my book to be turned into a movie, I have to take that risk. I believe my novel tells a story that deserves to reach a wide audience as only movies can. So now I’m giving myself a new assignment, which you’re witnessing: I have to devote more time to promoting my book; restablishing its Facebook page and posting to it weekly; boosting the book on Good Reads and selling it on Google; writing a one-act play and entering it in contests; giving more readings. Yes, it scares me, but I don’t have a choice. My new motto is “Seize the time!”