The Ebb and Flow of Writing: Part 2

In memory of Roger Dale Walters (2-28-49/7-16-14)

In Part 1 of The Ebb and Flow of Writing, I wrote:

The flip side—the ebb—of creative writing is that there will be times when it seems that nothing will come. This too is an important phase in the art of creation, since being a creative writer also requires rest and relaxation.

Little did I know at that time that life would come crashing down around me with the death of my dear brother, Roger, and that my writing would take a sustained hit. This article fell to the wayside, as did much of my work on my second novel in the Jazz Malone series, titled, Lie Down with Cellos and Nightshade.

As many of you know from experience, the loss of a loved one can throw you completely off balance, not only in your personal life but in your professional life as well. My brother and I were not just blood brothers, we were soulmates—he was, quite literally, my only true family.

I found that my motivation—to do whatever—disappeared completely over the course of the last six weeks or so since his death. I found it difficult to even read other writers’ works, and for me, that is a difficult thing to admit, since I love to read—and write. Especially write.

Faced with the typical transcendental questions that accompany death, I began examining my life, searching for meaning and purpose, putting my own outlook and sense of values to the test. What I found—something I think we all revisit at several junctures in our lives—is  that it’s what my younger brother contributed to the quality of my life was one of the things that made him so important to me.

Roger was an excellent cook, preparing recipes and meals as if he were born with that particular mastery. He loved what he did, and the people he cooked for knew it; you could “taste” the love with which he imbued his preparations.

Roger had a website, (no longer available), where he posted many of his recipes free to the public. He was that kind of person: more interested in making sure you got a good, home-cooked meal than he was in making a profit from his recipes.

I helped him publish a cookbook of his recipes, titled, Sharing Recipes with Roger “D” (available on He never stopped cooking, never stopped writing, and never stopped giving of himself; he was like that.

His was soul food. Inspiring. No other way to describe it. Or my brother.

Again, as I wrote in the June 3, 2014 issue of Publishing Pointers:

If you simply accept the fact that creative momentum is always present, and that Source never stops providing inspiration—even if we don’t immediately recognize those resources—you will always be writing, even if just a few words a day. And being a creative writer is more about consistency than about discipline or momentum.

There are times, like this one with my little brother’s death, where even consistency and forward momentum falter. It happens, but that doesn’t mean it has to remain that way.

So, here I am, back at the keyboard and the notebooks and the scratchpads, doing what I love to do. Knowing that, with a crooked grin on his face, my little brother is saying to me:

Where the hell have you been? It’s about time you got off your lazy butt and got back to work!