The Danger of Drinking Espresso on a Rainy Sunday Afternoon

I should be grading.  I have my computer ready with ten summer reading projects loaded up and ready to be edited and analyzed.  But I’m buzzing with caffeine and just can’t seem to focus on one thing for more than a few minutes.

My heart is lifted like a wind-swept butterfly.  I have 28 agents selected.  A friend of mine introduced me to Query Tracker which has helped select over 400 more.  I have spent hours going through each individual person’s name, checking them against their agency, checking them against Publishers Marketplace.  I’m still going to hit them against Predators and Editors.

I’m so ready.  So ready to move this forward.  99 more rejections.   I might shoot for 424 if I follow what I’m doing through Query Tracker.

I’m sitting on the cusp of my life, dangling my feet over the edge, and just want to launch myself forward.  I will teach as long as God has me ready to be in the teacher’s world.  But I’m ready, so very ready to start writing as much as I can and to invest myself in other people’s writings.  The same friend who introduced me to Query Tracker wrote, recently, about Kazuo Ishiguro’s novels, specifically Never Let Me Go (everyone needs to buy and read this piece).  And I keep on thinking about the novel, about the quietness of tone as it explores human cloning and organ harvesting.  It is dystopian without being like 1984.  People accept their fates without questioning their fates…

I’m not questioning my fate. I’m chasing my fate as hard as I can.  The only problem is that I don’t know if this is my fate but I feel like this is my fate.  I feel like this is what I’m supposed to do and that now is when I need to run after it as long and as hard as I can.

My hands are outstretched.  My hands are out at my sides and I am running through a field of mature, ripened dandelions, my fingers sifting off the seed parachutes.  And behind me flow this long contrail of wishes.

I wish for world peace.

I wish for kindness and compassion.

I wish to be a published novelist.

Yeah…I’m selfish.  Sue me.

I have to confess.  I dream about walking into Barnes and Noble and seeing my novel.  I dream about writing the next and the next and walking into bookstores and….ooops!  Is that my book right there?  Are those my words and my pseudonym which is drawn from my parents’ first names?

Is that mine? And did I make this?   And will I draft up others which might someday be on the tables, even the bargain tables….I don’t care.

I just want to be published….

Oh…I am dreaming hard.  My blood is churning faster with these dreams fueled by Bosnian espresso that my husband made way too well and way too thickly.  I should be out running right now, but the night has fallen and the rain cascades in heavy sheets and I will drown myself in dreams and raindrops.

Or, I’ll just fall and screw up my ankles for another two months.  Yeah….I’m still prone to hobbling.  And I almost fell down today.  In my house.  Because I tripped on a dog.

Only me.

A former student/adopted daughter/family friend/my daughter’s first word had the word “Breathe” tattooed on her ribs.  In my handwriting.  I received a picture of it yesterday and I almost wept.  My words are on her ribs.  My handwriting is splayed across the body of the woman who gave me my novel.  She is my muse.  She gave me my novel’s plot line through a single memory which bothered her and I heard a story deep within in.

I will dedicate my novel to her.

Please, God, please let my novel be published.

It’s Sunday afternoon/early evening.  The night is falling and I graded piles of papers this weekend but not the summer reading assignments.  I will get to them as soon as I can keep my brain focused on one thought for at least five minutes.

I will get to them as soon as Puck leaves the room and stops whispering into my ears, “We are the stuff that dreams are made of.”

My muses are lounging around on the sofa, smoking a cigarette, whispering words into my ears.  I chase the words to their lack of conclusions…I follow the wisps of these dreams.   They are mine.  They are mine to chase, mine to follow.  I will not be afraid.

I will not be defeated.

Writing is a curse.  It is my greatest joy.  It is my God-given gift.  It is my greatest nemesis.  And I love it.  I love it.  I love it all.

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