Let’s face it, joy seems to be in short supply these days. The world is in trouble. Between global warming, hurricanes, floods, fires, and the pandemic, if you want joy, you have to seek it out. It no longer springs up and dances in front of you.
For me, joy often comes in small ways. I feel joy watching birds bathe in the birdbath. They splash about with such utter abandon, I grin from ear to ear. I get joy from playing with my cat, Ellie, and in hearing her purr. Or in seeing yet another gardenia bloom in my small but yielding garden. It’s finding the perfect word for a wanting sentence. That brings me joy and gobs of relief, of course. And I take joy in spending time with my life partner, a man I truly admire.
Speaking of which, my husband is a performer — mainly a singer — but also plays the guitar, drums, and piano. He often performs alone, singing jazz standards while accompanying himself on the piano. He’s also been a member of a rock and roll band for over 13 years. The group has a pretty solid following, although they haven’t played many venues recently with the pandemic. However, whenever I go along with him to one of his gigs, whether he’s solo or part of the band, I am struck by the sense of joy the audience experiences while they listen. Pure joy is written all over their faces. Live, good music can do that.
That got me wondering. Do I, as a writer, give any joy to my readers the way my hubby does to his listeners? I sure hope so. Every now and then I do receive the random note or email from a reader who tells me she/he is reading my book to a hospitalized or sick loved one, relative, or friend. They write a certain story or novel has taken them away from their current problems or worries. I am so grateful they let me know. Because I’m not there, the way a performer is, I can’t see any of this for myself. This could be one of the bigger drawbacks to being a writer, the solitude of what we do.
It is my hope my stories offer my readers a certain amount of joy, especially the lighter, more humorous books. That would be mission accomplished. As far as I’m concerned joy — no matter how fleeting or how it comes to us — is always a welcomed addition to our lives.