Sunday, 17 August 2014

Done, done, on to the next one

Reading: The Philosophical Baby by Alison Gopnik (Almost finished...!)
Listening to: OneRepublic "Counting Stars"
Outside: In come the winds of Autumn...

"Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?" - Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You'll Go!

My shelves are lined with books. Yes, those poor shelves groan under the weight. All those books. Pages and pages and pages stretching back years, dutifully dusty, fables canted slightly from disuse. Pages I wrote. Exhausted at three a.m. while manning (womanning?) a hotel front desk. Back-breaking afternoons at Bracken Library on Ball State University's campus, hunched over a table under humming florescents, handwriting words that came too fast to record. Whole afternoons lost at my bedroom desk. Detailing dreams that woke me in the night, swinging through nightmares in a mind-melted autumn world. Crunching leaves in my hands, in my head, as I put them on the page.

Me caught writing on the train to London. (Jan. '11)

I take a leap of faith today, because if the Foo Fighters taught me anything, it's knowing when it's time to move on to the next one.

That's because after years of seeking author representation, I have decided to shelve another book. (My love, my love, I must put you away now, because it's not your turn yet.) Another gritty literary story whimpers quietly on the shelf. Drowning Rachel, you have done me proud. You moved me, and you moved a few literary agents. But it is just not the right time for you, not now. Not yet.

("The publishing world, she's a tough old mare," I say to myself, touching Rachel's spine one last time.)


Sweet Brown, I love you.

'Cause guess what! This Momma ain't done. Not yet.

Because the best thing about every ending is there is always a new beginning. Every. Single. Time.

Today I picked Lemonade up and I smiled.

Mmm hmm.

I greet this book like I am greeting an old friend. It was sitting on the floor in my office (aka Writing Cave), leaning against a wall like a neglected painting (how could I forget you?). It reflects me-before-baby. I flip to the last page of this first fragile draft - and there it is, its completion date, March 31st, 2013. The day I discovered I was pregnant. The day I changed forever.

Today I will begin reading. Edits. I will walk into this story the way you walk into an ill-lit attic, where light glints off of things only for a moment - scared but open, submissive, listening. There will be trouble, terror, tragedy. Love.

In perhaps my most merciless story ever, I will roll up my sleeves and brace myself. I will take a machete and hack through the undergrowth, find that single, burning truth. And sip something refreshing.

I'll have a little Lemonade.

Tangy, zippy, sweet aftertaste. Pucker up, sunshine!

Maybe the world would like to see it someday.

Maybe, World, you will.

Happy Sunday, everyone - may you, too, always find your new beginnings when they seek you out.

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