Sunday, July 3, 2011

Introduction: Finding My Joy

Amy McVay Abbott lost her job within a few months of her only child leaving for college. After a thirty-year business career and eighteen years of mothering, she was at a loss with no job and her only child a thousand miles away.

Abbott always loved writing, having started at the South Whitley Tribune as a freshman in high school in 1971. With the overabundance of reporters in the Watergate era, Abbott chose another path, that of health care marketing and sales. 

She married, raised a child with her loving husband, and succeeded in the business world.

Then she turned fifty and stuff started to happen, as it does to every woman.  In addition to her only child leaving home, Abbott's mother was diagnosed with multi-infarct dementia. 

And in January 2009 -- the month with the most recorded job losses in this Great Recession -- Abbott and 4,000 of her closest friends got the pink slip from their Fortune 100 employer.  What to do?  Where to turn?

"In an empty house in the midst of the Great Recession, I had no idea what I was going to do.  

On the advice of a friend, I contacted the newspaper where I worked in college.  They were open to printing my bi-weekly column.  I started writing for the Columbia City Post and Mail, a daily I worked on in college. 

My reach has grown and The Raven Lunatic now runs in eight Indiana newspapers. 

I also branched out and wrote for numerous publications in southern Indiana as well, and various curated on-line sites.  I can't explain it; a fire somewhere deep inside was lighted and continues burning brightly.

Readers started talking to me about doing a book.

Writing the The Luxury of Daydreams has been a wonderful journey for me, with  time to sift through memories and gain some perspective. 

What do I write about?  Well, I see myself as a little bit like Erma Bombeck and a little bit like Harry S Truman.  If I can make you laugh a little, and think a little, and soothe your soul a little, then I've done my job.

I hope you find your joy in this book as I did."

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