I had a dream last night that I was flossing my teeth at a dinner party. This after re-applying my makeup at the table.
Maybe I'm feeling just a wee bit out of my comfy zone and off in some place I don't belong.
I've been attending the Pacific Northwest Writers Association conference. It's been a great experience; hearing lots of stories about how people "made it", about how to write, pitch your book, fix your book, end your book, begin your book, muscle up the middle of your book. Pretty much the whole front cover to back cover and everything else about the business.
Yesterday I met with an agent from New York. I'd done my research just like they told us to, knew who she was, who she represented, who she's worked for. What I didn't know is that she's a pretty new mom. I pitched her the book I wrote this year for NaNoWriMo--the one about raising good kids. I'd sent it off to Skinner House Books, the UU house, and they send me a very nice form letter 'yadayadayada, not what we're looking for'. At this conference every time I practice-pitched the book I didn't hear "oh good pitch or bad pitch" I heard "oh....my kids are growing up too, here, see this picture of my 15-year-old? she wants to go to the Air Force Academy" or "here's my three-year-old, I miss her so much being away" and other good stories. That's just what the agent did when I gold her about my book. We're the same age, but at opposite ends of raising kids. She was going to see her little one that night.
Funny small world, isn't it?
When I tried to go to school this spring, and had a miserable time trying to juggle three teens, a job and a partner who barely lives at home he's traveling so much, I think I made a series of decisions that I didn't even realize I'd made. I have always known that eventually I'd be a minister. Since age 11, I think. I started college as a philosophy major, feeling like that would be a good path to ministry. But I knew I wouldn't be a good minister at 22 (I had no idea there were paths other than parish ministry!), so we did other things, the babies came along. In my 20s I'd just think "well maybe we should try for a baby...." and I'd be gestating.
OK, well there's second career, life comes around again.
But maybe not for me. School with kids and work made me become a kind of mother I did not recognize. I was not a good person. I was unavailable, unkind and just not true to the kind of mother I know I am in my heart. I couldn't do it. So, I decided to let that go. The thing is, I didn't even realize it that this was what I'd done.
Now I do, and now I see that next hill coming along. I love to write, and I am taking that path now, well, I guess we'll just see where it goes.
I have an agent interested in my work, so much information to sift through, and a new calling to wrap my life around. I am a very lucky woman. Very lucky.