“April is the cruelest month. . . .”
. . . especially when cowardly lions in Congress were afraid to vote for even the mildest form of gun control – followed by the massacre in Boston. True, explosives were used there, but the killers also had  ammunition.. Did anyone realize that the murdered and wounded officers  might be alive if guns weren’t so easily procured?

If the massacre of 20 children huddled in their first-grade rooms with six courageous teachers (teachers who could have taught senators what valor is all about) – plus Aurora, Tucson, Virginia Tech, Columbine and the thousands of victims who didn’t merit headlines – what Armageddon will it take to finally bring sanity to the gun scene? I respect our Constitution as much as anyone, but I bet if we were to ask our forefathers about the Second Amendment, they would be appalled to learn that modern day Americans think it’s a license to kill each other. I think the forefathers believed they were giving Colonists the right to “bear arms” in order to battle an enemy country. Militias, not massacres. Not of one another, at least.

It’s easy these bleak days to have a “what’s the use” feeling that evil has triumphed. But I find a measure of hope in the courage of many people who refuse to give up – especially the Newtown parents whose hearts, as one father said, are broken, “but not our spirits.” And indomitable Gabby Giffords who wrote a powerful op ed piece in ”The New York Times,“ saying in effect that if certain senators lack the moral fiber to vote for background checks, we will change the senators. It also heartens me to know we have a president who does have that moral fiber and who will continue to lead the fight for sane gun control. And I’m inspired by the resolve of the resilient people of Boston and its suburbs , who played a vital part in the capture of the assassin. (Imagine finding him in your backyard!)

I guess I cling to hope because what else is there?

As a character in Tennessee Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie” says: ”I may be discouraged, but I’m not defeated.”

Now it’s up to us.

WEBSITE: annehosansky.com

BOOKS : “Widow’s Walk” – available through iUniverse.com; “Turning Toward Tomorrow” – xLibris.com; “Ten Women of Valor” – CreateSpace.com and Amazon.com

All also available at Barnes & Noble



I thought I was making a simple request. Yet the responses ranged from the few friends who shrugged and accepted my “odd” need, to the many who just ignored my plea. What enormous thing had I asked for? Not to be phoned before 3:00 in the afternoon – because that was my writing time.

“Unless,” I foolishly added, “it’s an emergency.” Strange what constitutes emergency for some people. A few days later I had a call from a friend who said, ”I know you said not to phone but this is important. My hair’s a mess. Do you know a good beauty parlor?

Even those who honor my request sometimes cloak their words in patronizing passive-aggressive vocabulary: “I know it upsets you to be called…” I explain it isn’t that I’m “upset”, like some weak heroine of bygone movies. It’s just that I need uninterrupted time to write.

My request was actually made years ago when I was working on my first book, “Widow’s Walk.” Since it was emotionally difficult to write I expected understanding from a friend who’s a psychologist. We went to dinner one night and she proceeded to analyze my neurotic behavior. ”You should see a shrink about why you can’t be phoned while you’re writing,” she pronounced.
Choking on my curried chicken, I tried to curry empathy. “When I’m writing it’s as if I’m under water and a phone call shocks me to the surface and it’s hard to get back into the book.”
My clumsy metaphor failed to work.
So the next time my psychologist friend attacked the subject I asked, “Do you take calls when you have a patient with you?”
“Of course not,” she said. “But it’s not the same. I’m working.”

Sometimes, I admit, my need to be undisturbed backfires . Like the morning when the phone rang and I grabbed it to bark into the receiver, ”What is it?” The “it” turned out to be an agent who wanted to accept my manuscript! Fortunately she accepted my stammered explanation.

I’ve tried keeping the phone off the hook, but the click-click-click is equally disturbing. A writer friend asked, ”Why don’t you let the answering machine take messages?” Sounds reasonable, but even if the volume has been turned off a corner of my mind keeps fretting whether I should call back, maybe it’s important, she/he might be offended, etc. So this morning when I saw from Caller ID that it was a call from a friend who’s seriously depressed I felt obligated to pick up the receiver. She said, “I figured you wouldn’t answer if this is a bad time.”
“It is a bad time,” I said ungraciously, “but it’s okay.” (What that means is anyone’s guess.) She talked for some forty minutes, then I spent another forty minutes trying to swim back into my story.
My only consolation is that I’m far from alone in this. At a lecture some years ago I heard a well-known British author say she hated phone interruptions when she was writing. Afterward I went to the table where she was signing copies of her new book and asked, “Why don’t you let an answering machine take the messages?”
“What a splendid idea,” she said.

Phone calls can be a common hazard for all of us who work at home, not just writers. So I share what I think is our best line of defense: “I don’t ask you to understand my need. Just respect it.”
Then hang up.

WEBSITE: annehosansky.com
“WIDOW’S WALK” – available through iUniverse.com
‘TEN WOMEN OF VALOR” – Create Space.com & Amazon.com