Whew! I survived! In case you missed it, last night I presented my current book project before an audience and panel of experts for their comments and advice. It was exciting and nerve wracking at the same time, not because I had anything to lose, but much to gain that I didn't want to miss.
In a way, that parallels life. What do we have to lose by giving it our best shot, scary or not? Paint your world the way you want it to be right now. Write your own story. Sure, there may be plot twists that surprise you, but if you leave it to chance, or someone else, it may not come out to your liking. Don't miss your opportunity. Don't deny the world your beauty.
Nope, not my hand - but I can relate. Not all hard work is intense physical labor. Sometimes it's mental. Sometimes it's just being pulled in too many directions at once, so that even having fun is just one more thing on a "to do" list. I've experienced the lot, and as for what's simplest, I'd say honest, back breaking labor. But I've chosen this rocky "writer-ly"way, and I"m determined to keep digging until I hit pay dirt. For me, that means mastering the marketing end of things, thereby having more time to write, and not having to work a day job (which takes me away from writing) to make ends meet. In case you can't tell, I love to write! What kind of work would you love to do, and is it worth the hard work to get there?
You've heard of celebrity roasts, right? Well, how about grilled writers? This Wednesday I'll experience the hot seat firsthand as I (along with three others) present my current book project and challenges to a panel of successful local authors for their comments and advice. If you're in the St. Johnsbury, Vermont area stop in and participate in this fun, fast paced event from 6 - 9 pm at the St. Jay Athenaeum.
Hope to see you there!
Now, back to getting ready....
Ever feel like you're always racing and getting nowhere? When I'm working hard, struggling to complete something I've started, but keep getting distracted from it (Squirrel!), it seems like I'll never get to the finish line. That's happening now as I sit typing in one room, and my youngest keeps calling me in to help her with a game she's playing in another. My natural tendency is to get exasperated, lecture about the importance of work over play, and leave both of us feeling frustrated. And while I might be justified, a little compassion and consideration on my part will go a lot further toward making us both happier. Yes, work matters, but people matter more. Ask any dog. (Squirrel!) And then, actually work like one.
Where are all of the Joy & Michael Brown's of the world? According to an article I just read in Reader's Digest, they were the patrons who provided Harper Lee with the means to take a year off from her job as an airline reservationist. She used that time to pen the first draft of what has become one of the world's favorite books.
For years, I hoped for my own patron saint to come along and make things possible for me, only mine would have had to provide child care, housekeeping and taxi service too! But eventually, I got tired of waiting for the life I wanted to lead, and decided to just live it. I may still have my day job (and not-so-pristine home), but I've learned I'm capable of so much more than I ever thought possible.
This morning my youngest told me something amazing. "Did you know that a turtle has been alive since dinosaur times?!" I gently corrected her, saying that while as a species turtles have existed since prehistoric times, individual turtles don't last quite that long - despite never dying of old age. If they did, the world would be overrun with turtles! I'm no expert, but I do appreciate that their longevity may be due to the following attributes: possessing only what you can carry, having a natural curiosity along with a hard shell, staying grounded and close to home, retreating from danger, chewing food well, living near the water, plentiful naps, and of course, taking life nice and slow. Acting like you have all the time in the world doesn't have to mean you're not going anywhere, as long as you keep moving forward. And just maybe, you'll be around a while to enjoy the life you're leading.
While I didn't go in for a shave, I did have my hair cut yesterday. Nothing drastic, only four inches of length and some bangs snipped in. It was time for an update. I can always tell when it's time because as soon as I decide to have it cut, I have a perfect hair day. It's almost as if the universe is challenging my desire for change. That's the law of entropy at work. But I've come to realize that if I succumb to the temptation of leaving things status quo, I'll soon regret it. When I boldly charge forth, even if the result is less than satisfactory, I've at least moved. Who wants to stay in a rut? Obviously, this applies to a lot more than hair.
And by the way... thanks, Bruce - I love my new 'do'!