Life Changes

When I retired, not only did I transition from employee to retiree, but also I transitioned from homeowner to apartment dweller. To survive the life changes, I had a mission: simplify my life. I eliminated years of accumulated clutter that I thought I couldn’t live without. Not a simple task, but I did it. Finally, I’m living on the South Carolina coast, the place of my dreams. My apartment is in order, and from the window above my desk I see water and moss-draped live oaks. 

In the past, I published several humor essays. I love writing humor, and the short humor essays fit into my busy work life. My most recent humor essay “How I Survived the Great American Dream” was published this month in Sasee magazine, a local South Carolina women’s magazine. You can read the article at

Now, I have a new mission: write every day. To be more specific, I want to write and publish a romantic-comedy-mystery. Think Stephanie Plum turns 50. Okay, 60. But I can still remember what it was like to lust after the Ranger-type bad boys. I have to admit that after a divorce and teaching college English for fifteen years, my thoughts have turned more to murder than romance and comedy. 

At last, I have time to write what I want to write. I hope you will join me on my journey through the writing life. I’ll share tidbits of knowledge gleaned from years of studying creative writing and teaching composition and literature. I’ll share my ups and downs, my successes and failures.  Maybe you can learn from my mistakes and I can learn from your successes. I’m looking forward to this new life phase, Life-After-Retirement, where my main focus is writing and publishing.  

But first, I must get started—the most difficult part of writing. According to Walt Disney, the way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. So, my new writer friends, I encourage you to join me on a new writing adventure.  


About Susan Harvey

I'm a humor writer and a newly retired college English instructor. I enjoy reading and writing yet don't take time to do what I really love--writing. I began writing a mystery-romance novel three years ago. Now that I'm retired, I will make time to write with the goal of finishing my novel.
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13 Responses to Life Changes

  1. Pamela Overby says:

    Susan, I’m so excited for you! Gives me chilly bumps! Not a day passes that I don’t benefit from your oh-so-positive influences along the way. My writing is better, my confidence has risen, and my students (well, most of them anyway) now believe me when I say they CAN write. Yes, they can! And the look on their faces when they realize that writing a simple essay is not as hard as they thought is priceless! I look forward to joining you on this journey. Please keep in touch! (Am I your first official blogger?!! ;->)

    • Susan Harvey says:

      Yes, you are my first official blogger! As friends and former neighbors and colleagues, we have had many adventures—most of them involving some form of writing, reading, or dear ole Shakespeare. I’m happy you will join me on yet another of my “crazy” adventures. Even though miles separate us now, I know you are there waiting to read my next essay or hear my newest life twist. Can you believe I tossed all my wooden spoons? And last week when I took the grandchildren shopping, the girls took my arms and marched me right past the Coach outlet! I think I’m having more-is-better withdrawal symptoms, but I’ll survive. I keep telling the new me that less is more, and less means I can spend my time writing essays instead of grading them.

  2. Pamela Overby says:

    Well then. Let’s begin. I’ve been riding the bus uptown now since September 14. So far, I’ve read 26 books!!! Can you imagine? I’ve read more books since 9/14 than I have in any year total for the last 11 years. I can read for 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the afternoon. Sometimes, I’m so engrossed in my book that I have to scurry frantically to put it away before the bus rolls on with me still on it! One day (and only one), I left my books at home, and I suffered panicky withdrawal symptoms the whole day. How would I pass the time? I might actually have to TALK to someone… But I survived, obviously, and now I keep two books with me all the time. It’s refreshing and invigorating to travel to all those places in my mind…to Afghanistan, India, China, England, Africa, Scotland, and Thailand. Yes, I’m quite the world traveler these days, all from the comfort of my cushy seat on the express bus. What a blessing it is to be able to READ!! Take care, Susan. More later.

  3. Judy says:

    Love your picture at the top of your blog. Will enjoy reading your blog and your future book endeavors. Keep going! No more passive voice…..gungho active voice….

  4. Marion Simpson says:

    I’m so happy to hear you will be writing everyday. We’ve been waiting a long time for you to get busy on that book. I can’t wait to read your first book because I know it will be exciting, romantic, funny and most of all, well written. You go girl! Good luck with your simplification – I’m not there yet especially in the kitchen and dining room area. You know I love my stuff. I love the look of your blog page.

    • Susan Harvey says:

      I’m so ready to work on the book full-time. Write daily! — my new mantra. Some of the writing will be junk, but at least I’m writing. Please don’t discard anything in your kitchen or dining room! You’re such a fabulous cook and hostess that everything should be preserved forever–sort of like Julia Child’s kitchen. I had that problem with my books, but I managed to part with 300. Now my bookshelves have empty spaces on them. So far, I haven’t missed any of the books or purchased any new ones.

  5. Sonia Butterfield says:

    I met you @ your Humor Workshop in Charlotte, NC last April. I gathered much useful information from you that I’ve been using. When is your next workshop because I want to attend with my writing partner?

    How is your novel writing going? Do you have any tips for me about writing dialogue?

    Thank you for answering my questions!

    • Susan Harvey says:

      Sonia, thanks for attending the humor writing workshop. I’m planning another workshop for spring 2011 in Myrtle Beach. Once plans are finalized, I’ll post them in my blog. Keep writing!

  6. Leslie says:

    Many wonderful essays make their way to my inbox, but when I see your name pop up, I always know I’m in for a treat! Congratulations on taking charge of your life and making your dreams come true.

    • Susan Harvey says:

      Leslie, thanks for giving my humor-writing career a start. It’s great to work with such a great editor and team.

  7. Cindy Link says:

    Wow!! I’m impressed! Your own blog! I enjoy reading all of your writings, one of which I had a part in your inspiration to write. I am very proud of you. Not because you are my sister, but because you are a wonderful person. I know there are great things ahead for you. I know you are right where you have always wanted to be. You are a great inspiration for me.

    • Susan Harvey says:

      I know! A blog created by a technology-challenged woman. Should I tell the world that you were in the white-water rafting adventure/fiasco with me? Hey, at least we had the courage to try; that counts for something. Right?

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