Let’s Talk with Debra H. Goldstein

Changing Colors
by Debra H. Goldstein

When we moved into our house a year ago, the trees outside my office window were luscious and full of leaves in stark contrast to one dead tree that stood proudly in the midst of the greenery. In the Fall, the leaves fell, and all the trees more closely resembled the dead tree. Spring and Summer came and a comparison of pictures from the year before would have been identical except for a small tree blossoming in front of the dead one. Its leaves blocked the alabaster trunk that had made that lone tree seem so independent.

Recently, we had a few cold nights and suddenly the leaves are changing colors. Yellow and orange highlights dim the greenery except for the small tree. It not only still obscures the simple lines of the tree behind it, but it stands in glory in a splendor of red.

I love the copper shadings of the small tree, but I hate how it detracts from the one I fell in love with. Considering that I’m not going to climb over the fence, scramble down a hill, leap the drain/creek, and chop down the new tree, I’m going to have to accept it – even though I know that if it is as healthy as it appears, within a few years it will block my view of my favorite tree. Writing is comparable to the evolution of my trees.

One moment, an author sees a clear path to publication, but then a publisher goes under, a contract is not offered, or original ideas run out. No matter what the roadblock is, the writer must adjust. If one is not as flexible as Margaret Mitchell’s willow, one will find one’s career totally stymied. The irony is that the changes are as predictable as the annual changing of the color of the leaves. And sometimes, one must accept the beautiful replacement over what one was comfortable with.

Have you had to roll with changes in your life or career?

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