Today call me back

When something breaks, we have various options for handling the situation.

For the purposes of this post, I’m narrowing the field to three because

A. This is my blog and B. I’m bossy and C. One of those two statements is true. (Hint: A.)


When we realize something’s broken (let’s say an air mattress or a manuscript or a blog)

  1. We can fix it.
  2. We can seek a new one.
  3. We can live without it.

This compels me to mention a fourth option – to surrender our power and wait to see what happens – however, this choice is my least favorite because

A. I prefer duct tape. B. I’m proactive. C. One of those two statements is true. (Hint: A.)


In case you hadn’t noticed (I mean, we’re all busy these days) my blog wasn’t functioning.

Also, my manuscript – especially those pesky opening chapters – was less than perfect.

And finally, two of our family’s three air-mattresses (yes three shut up) had slow leaks.

So. I explored my options and divvied them up.

Instead of fixing our old air mattress or seeking a new one, I decided to live without it while camping. I prefer being low-maintenance (isn’t that the point) and let’s face it:

If I’m not going to shower or change my clothes, I can slide into a sleeping bag and greet the ground in its natural state.

My manuscript was/is a monumentally bigger issue (except perhaps at 2:00 am on Sunday when I discovered a rock under my spine). But instead of starting a new project or living without writing, I decided to fix my old one.

It seems that in the working and re-working of my YA novel, I have strayed too far from my original voice and intent; so I’m going back to basics because at the very least it is me. My vision, words and goals.

And if it fails, I’ll have no one to blame but myself.

As for the blog, I tried living without it; but if you scroll down through previous posts, you’ll see that aside from these past two weeks, I’ve kept up my blistering once-a-week pace throughout my blog’s temper tantrum.

This space also didn’t want to be fixed. No, it wanted to be upgraded to a newer version of WordPress).

So I got a new blog. (I know it looks the same but shut up it’s totally new and improved.)


In the interim – when my subscribers weren’t getting post notifications and I couldn’t reply to my comments and the summer filled up with sunshine and sandwiches and smiling kids –   I briefly surrendered to the brokenness.

In fact, I embraced it. I gave myself permission to not read other blogs or write new posts of my own; I barely glanced at twitter and Facebook before slathering on another layer of sunblock to head out the door.

And I’m not gonna lie. It was lovely.

But another truth is that I also missed you all. (Maybe even more than I missed that air mattress at 2:00 am on Sunday morning.)

I missed the part of me that faces reality.

So today, call me back.

Hooray! Right?

(Don’t worry. I know that collective cheer’s merely an echo from the closing ceremony of the Olympics.)

Still, I’m back and prepared to hold your hand if you too need to address something that’s broken in your life.

If you want to fix it? I’ll share my duct tape. If you want to buy a new one? I’ll cross my fingers through your search.

If you decide to live without it? I’ll quote Thoreau for you. Again.

(Simplify. Simplify. Simplify. It never gets old.)

My optimism may be hanging by a thread. My determination to succeed is limping beside me. I might have to wrap myself in duct tape before this fight is over.

But I won’t give up.

Not on my new-ish blog. Or my fixable book.

As for the air mattress? It’s in the trash. Because, after all, I’m no Princess with a pea.

I am Julie C. Gardner.

And I’m back.

Last Modified on January 26, 2018
This entry was posted in Life
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56 thoughts on “Today call me back

  1. Julie

    I absolutely did not mean to publish this right now.

    But oh well.

    Sometimes the universe has other plans…

  2. I think it’s perfect. As are you. Also? Air mattresses are for suckers.

    Welcome back…you were missed.

    ps I have the upgraded WP, too. Not sure what the difference is, but I feel like a technical dynamo for having it 🙂

  3. Right now, you, you would be the perfect neighbor. Come over share wine and hold my hand.
    I could do with that.
    My optimism is in fact hanging by a thread …

  4. L’chaim, congrats, you continue to be awesome. I sleep on a fairly new aero bed, cause the first one popped a leak and I could not live without it. Or you, for that matter. Or coffee, or witty repartee. But cod I could live without. Also melba toast really never did a thing for me. I’m sorry, what were we talking about? Oh yes, you, awesome, back, yay, as previously stated. xo

  5. You may quote Thoreau, but I’m going to quote Hook:

    “Oh, THERE you are, Peter!”

    Seriously. Welcome back. I’ve missed you. But I get it. I relish my time off the grid. And yet I always come back. I just can’t seem to stay away from blogging.

    So, now I’m going to quote Brokeback Mountain:

    “I wish I could quit you!”

  6. I love when you comment on yourself. 🙂

    Also, I’m glad you’re back and enjoyed your summer and survived without an air mattress (because OUCH.)

  7. Julie

    Thoreau, Hook AND Brokeback Mountain?

    My day is complete.

    Hell. Make that my whole summer.


  8. NORM!!!!!’

  9. Julie


  10. Hi Julie – I’m a relatively new reader, but I thought this post zipped along. No need to worry about publishing it prematurely! I can relate to how lovely it is to live without the worry of updating FB, Twitter, a blog, etc. They can either feel like a time waster or a lot of work!

  11. I am still in a Speeding trying to tan my cheeks, but I do check my email periodically. For you, I clicked over because I have missed you. Glad you’re no longer broken or leaky. Who did get the good mattress anyway?

  12. allison

    Glad you’re back.

  13. Missed you but I completely understand the space not-blogging/social-media-ing creates. It’s lovely but missing something. Oh simple and balanced… why are you both so elusive?

  14. And the world is a better place with Julie C. Gardner back in it.

  15. Yay! She’s back- I know it sounds odd- but I did wonder where you were!!!! I figured you were still in the thralls of glory from getting your book published! I’ve got a new blog now, too- less child-oriented and more “think” oriented. Please don’t think I’m trying to self-promote but I thought you might find the flowchart in the “Shoud I Start A Blog???” post I just ran here:


    Welcome back, Julie!

  16. Diane

    You are back…the blog is great …and Lily is going to kick butt! XXXOOO

  17. You are awesome. Thank you for this reminder about surrender. I needed it! XO

  18. Nikki

    I like it. It’s clean and crisp, kinda like autumn air.

  19. Karen G

    Great post! And thank you for confirming my suspicion that camping is not for me.

  20. New to the blog but enjoying it a lot. Glad you’re at it – again! Thanks.

  21. Air mattresses are so worthless and unreliable!

    Glad you’re back on your newish blog.

  22. Jbutt

    The smell of sunscreen on clammy kids is so sweet.

    Welcome back. Kotter. No, not Kotter. Gardner.

  23. Loved it, accident or no. Love you. Glad you’re back. (can we talk about the blog switch?)

  24. Suzie

    I say you get yourself a cot and never deal with rocks in your spine again! As for Lily, it’s an amazing book and I love it and YOU, just the way they are!

  25. I’m so glad you’re back. Also I don’t trust air mattresses ever. Ever.

  26. Isn’t it a bitch surrendering to brokenness?

    but I have found that when I do… it feels sooo good to let go.

    Glad you’re back, Julie.

    The blogmosphere is not the same w/out you. Xxx

  27. You know I relate! (Well, not to the air mattress/camping thing – I would take my actual mattress with me if Mark would let me). So glad you’re back, but equally glad that you enjoyed your time away. I’ve been away a lot this summer; it’s hot, the kids are climbing the walls, we’re at the pool.

    As for your manuscript, I also have a very broken pile of pages and recently resolved to address them. For months I told myself I was done and the book was a joke, a lark. Then one day I accepted that I want to tell that story (dangit), so here goes nothing. Or everything.

  28. Guess who’s back, back again {sing it like Slim Shady, baby!}
    p.s. I ain’t bad at fixin’ shit, you’ve seen my shower pics, correct? Duct. Tape. Baby!

  29. I giggled at Poppy’s comment, speeding to tan her cheeks.


  30. kim

    Missed you.

  31. I was going to run over to wherever you live and hunt you down.

    Easier that you came back all on your own. Hauling a 3 month old mammoth baby around seeking Julie (ooh, movie title!) would not have been an easy task.

    But seriously, MISSED YOU. xo

  32. Welcome home! I mean, to your Jewish home (I keep typing newish and my kindle keeps correcting me…)

    I have not yet found my way back to my blog, perhaps the new school year will kick me in the button? (I keep typing butt and my kindle clearly wants to send it’s own message…)

  33. I am broken right now and could use some Julie Duct Tape.


    I have missed you.

  34. Surrender, and float away, meander really, down the stream of life, seems to be the one that works best for me.

    Only took me half a century to figure that out.

    love to you, dear lady, and we’re here, only a button push away.


  35. Welcome back, Julie! I’m glad one of us hasn’t given up yet. I could use a little duct tape myself (and a new air mattress, to be honest. Ours ends up flat before the drive-in night is over. So annoying.)

    In any case, best of luck with the manuscript. Trust your instincts, I say. My own steer me wrong all the time, but what do I know, really?

  36. Robin

    So great to hear from you! And please keep reminding me why Thoreau’s “Simplify, simplify, simplify” is so important!

  37. Welcome back! (I know… You don’t know me 🙂 I’m the silent reader type that doesn’t always comment, but I DID miss reading you!)

  38. Julie!

    I hardly know what to say.

    This is probably my favorite post ever from anyone, and I’m about to tweet that to the wold.

    But first.

    I think I was supposed to call you today.

    In which case, I totally blew it. And I suck. But maybe you were out buying more duct tape or maybe even new air mattresses. Like those really good ones that supposedly never leak.

    Or something.

    Anyway, you have been missed. And I’m so glad for your return.

    Don’t you know by now that you are delicious? Your words are like desserts that we want to devour and yet eat slowly at the same time. True that.

    We’ll sort out the phone thing. And you’ll sort out the YA (eventually) and maybe even the air mattresses.

    Try you tomorrow.

  39. Welcome back Julie.

    Sometimes you just gotta get out. I’ve been quoting Thoreau quite a bit here as well. This process is dang hard. It helps to know someone as awesome as you still needs the duct tape.

    Best of luck with your YA project. I’m here if you ever need anything – and I carry duct tape in my purse. No joke.

  40. You were missed.

    I have so much that needs fixing. Mostly now the basement floor that I decided to take up on my own. Anxiety does that to a person. I’m half done and wish I had never started.

    Mostly because my hands ache. Because I’m old.

    Can you fix that?

  41. I’ve missed you, Julie. Sometimes a long break from the blogosphere is just what the doctor ordered. (I’m no doctor, but I do have a Masters Degree in Beer Pong. Which is no use to anyone whatsoever.) Welcome back!

  42. I missed you!!!!!!!!!!

    Welcome back. I think everyone will agree life is much better when Julie C Gardner is around.

  43. As I was reading this, I could hear Steven Tyler’s magnificent yowl in my ear. “I’m baaaack. I’m back in the saddle again. I’m baaack.”

    You go, Mama. Shake that writer’s thang.

    Sometimes it’s the healthiest thing in the world to take that break. I stepped away from it all after my latest setback. I lived the days of summer with my girls and husband without hardly every peeking at my beloved Internet. Hardly, being the key word. And like you, I’m singing my song again, too.

    Fingers crossed for both of us, for all of us writer-girls. May the rest of the year bring only good to us.

  44. At least I’m getting notifications now. So, that’s a good thing. And sorry I couldn’t be of help fixing the blog. I wish I could have.

  45. Welcome back lady! And remember–you are ALWAYS entitled to take breaks. Never apologize. Life has to get lived full-time sometimes!! 😉

  46. Welcome back, Julie. 🙂

  47. I am so glad you are back! But I completely understand the taking a break thing.

    When I find myself overwhelmed, I continue to write but I stop responding to comments, bantering on twitter and visiting other blogs. The end result is a feeling disconnection from all the lovely people that I have been introduced to since I started.

    But sometimes you need to give yourself a break. And accept both the rewards and the fallout.

    ps: I hate air mattresses. The ground works much better. But then again, you will rarely find me camping.

  48. I am so glad you are back. My fave blogger evah.
    In other news our real mattress sucked and was under warranty. They came to get it 2 weeks ago and have yet to bring a new one. Moving a large farmer who sleeps in starfish position from a king bed to a double is not a good idea. Luckily we have two doubles so we start out together and then I have to go to the other bed. I am a princess and he is no pea.
    My summer has been blog slacking too. I used the excuse that I would read. I have read 2 books. Both, meh. The best part of one read was the characters were from England and said tickety boo when things were great. I am adopting it. I am not English but I speak it fairly well so I can’t care. You are back…tickety boo!

  49. I am very happy you are back and I’m glad you didn’t let the broken blog win.

  50. HOORAY for back!

    {I think you’ve been living just right.}

    But selfishly: HOORAY for back!

    {Also, that manuscript? Can’t wait to read the hardcover version WHEN it’s fixed!}


  51. I’m glad to see you back! Broken blogs suck (I know from experience over the past week and a half). I left my phone at home today and while it’s exhilirating to not have that desire to check Twitter every few minutes at work, I totally am having withdrawal from the desire to check Twitter every few minutes at work. Our microwave died four months ago. We have not replaced it. We’re living without it for now. Do you have colored duct tape or grey? I like to look fancy.

  52. YAY!

    (That is all.)

  53. Cameron

    Oh Julie! So very glad to see you AND you’re dispensing necessary wisdom! Thank you much for that and welcome BACK!

  54. Glad you’re back! I’m back as well after taking the summer off from the blogosphere. Perhaps I too should say it’s because my blog broke… hmm. No, I’ll just admit that I needed a break. But I missed everyone, especially you! Can’t wait until the someday when we finally get a chance to read your manuscript.

  55. Hooray for being back!

    Boo for rocks under your back.

    Also, you are not allowed to plan our trips because camping? NOT HAPPENING.


  56. Welcome back! There is only one type of camping to be done without an air mattress. And it involves a hotel. (I am a wimp; don’t judge me please.)

    Good luck finding your MS’s purpose and center. I have no doubt some duct tape is just waiting for you to pull it out and wrangle your thoughts and words into place.

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