Friday, 19 June 2015

About Children

I never wanted children. Sorry to say that so bluntly but been thinking for a few minutes of how to begin this blog and I keep coming back to that statement, but I don't want to offend. So I hope you'll understand and keep reading.

As a young child, I didn't play with dolls. Sure I was given dolls but I never played with them. I preferred my brother's Tonka toys.

On the street where I grew up, there were many families of boys. Two were across the street, two in the house beside us. Three from around the crescent, and another boy who was friends with them and always hung out with us. All these guys were older than me so adopted me as their little sister. We wrestled and hiked in the woods. One day, they found abandoned bunnies and gave them to me.

Growing up, I was only interested in sports. I played baseball, volleyball, waterpolo, badminton, and soccer. I refereed volleyball and basketball for $20 a game. I worked the penalty box for hockey and the down box for football. I was also a lifeguard and swimming instructor. Boys were to compete with or a good rival. Never considered them as possible husbands.

Only after arriving in Israel, did I learn about sex. While there, I joined a kibbutz who offered the opportunity to study Hebrew and work on the kibbutz in trade for the lessons. It was an amazing experience.

Every month, we received 30 packs of cigarettes for free. Also they gave away the Pill for free to any woman who wanted it. Since I had met someone, I accepted the offer and went on the Pill. I didn't want to take a chance. It never occurred to me to get pregnant. I never thought about children or getting married.

A few years later, I was living in Tel Aviv studying English Literature at the Tel Aviv University. My boyfriend and I broke up so I went off the Pill. To make a long story short, we got back together and I got pregnant. While my boyfriend was serving his yearly military service, my best friend and I sat down and made a list of pros and cons about keeping the baby. I had a semester to go to finish my degree. Danny and I weren't married and I wasn't sure he'd marry me. I was alone in Israel without any family. Could I be a single mother?

Yes, lots of cons. One other big one was both Roni and I felt there was something wrong with me and I shouldn't be having children. I had always thought something was wrong with me but all the doctors said it was nothing. With all these thoughts, we both believed that it was best I have an abortion, which is what I did. In Israel, any single woman has the right to have an abortion.

In 1986, I returned to Canada and in 1987 I was diagnosed with Bipolar Affective Disorder. I was advised that it is hereditary and I definitely carried the gene for the illness. Much mental illness rained on my family. My brother was diagnosed Bipolar too.

I didn't want to take a chance of having children. I couldn't bear seeing my child go through the hell I've been through. The doctors agreed that I should be prohibited from having children so performed a tubal ligation. I've never regretted that decision.

From my 20s to my early 40s, I lived like a gypsy. Marriage and family were the farthest things from my mind. Running away from my problems was my sole occupation. When things got hard, I'd quit my job and move somewhere else, even to another country.

Now, I'm in my 50s living a very free life. Yes, I have the responsibilities of my cat, dog and house but I'm satisfied with my life. Sure whenever I see a baby or child I don't wonder what if, but then I think of all the work. They require constant attention, which continues for the rest of your life. When I think of that and what it would mean to have a child here demanding my time, I'm glad I didn't have kids.

I'm poor. I'm a struggling author. I work every day of the week. I'm constantly on my computer putting words together. Some days I don't even take the dog for a walk. How could I look after children? I couldn't. I made the right decision not to have kids.

Do you agree with me? Do you understand?

have fun,

my children:

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Update about Signings

I try to remain positive in my blogs. No one wants negativity; there's enough of that in the world. So I keep my blogs positive and optimistic. However, I'm going to change that policy with this blog. I need to vent.

I'm an author. My job is to write and then sell my books. One possibility for this is a book signing at a bookstore. Here in Ontario, Chapters is the major chain hosting signing events. It's very easy to book a signing: just call the store and ask to speak to the person who organizes the events. Never had a problem talking with that person and, after a detailed email about me and my books, I scheduled a date.

Most stores place a table for you in the front of the store by the front doors. I thought this was a great spot, but I have learned the ropes. When people walk in a store, they don't want to be accosted especially by someone selling something. But, when you are sitting there, you have no choice but to say hello and invite them to look at your books.

Most people say, "No, not interested." I don't mind them not being interested but I wish they were more polite. At one store, people were just rude. I'm sorry to bother you but this is my job. Being rude is totally unnecessary. You can say no but be polite about it. At the end of the day, I feel terrible and beaten down. If it weren't for Miriam, who drives me to all my signings, I'd be upset. She is a gentle soul who knows just what to say.

At the Guelph store, the manager put the table back into the store on a main walk-way. People were more relaxed because they were already shopping and would stop by my table to hear about my books. I sold quite a few at that store and the people were really nice; even the ones who said no but they said it with a smile on their face.

Today's signing was a disaster. There were more staff in the store than customers. Everyone I tried to interest in my books said, "I don't read," "I have no time to read," "I'm not much of a reader." Well then (sorry) but what the fuck you doing in a bookstore? Sorry but seriously? I only stayed at this store an hour as there were no sales and I couldn't be bothered to waste my time further. This is the first time I've left a signing early. Usually I stay from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

I do signings because it's the best way to get your work out there and I will continue to do signings. Each year, I have a new book to add to the collection and I want to promote it. Even though I find them so difficult, I must persist. You never know who will buy your book and maybe it could lead to something. Also, I sell more books at the stores than I would sitting at home. I just wish people were nicer.

In my next blog, I'll give you an insight into my new novel, The Discerning Heart. I don't know the genre yet. My editor will help with that. I call it adventure.

have fun,

From my signing in Guelph: