Living in the moment has its pros and cons. I have been trying to do more of it as a way of balancing my chronic need for planning, and this week’s events have provided plenty of fodder for me to practice. A few random and totally unexpected things have happened to me this week that have flooded me with so many ‘feel-goods’ that I’m not apprehensive in sharing some of the negative that came along with the mix. A singular moment of ‘feel-bads,’ for whatever reason, can shatter the placid pond of contentment, so I have a tendency to go all Michonne on pessimism when it rears its ugly head in my life, and I do my best to keep moving forward, no matter what, even if it involves a change of plans.
I finally submitted my first manuscript for traditional publication consideration, and now the countdown has begun. My week started out pretty amazing. I tweeted that I was forcing myself to take a writerly break to clear my head. The actual tweet was: “Restless to be writing again-forcing myself to breathe until Sat then diving back into the deep end. 1 novel down, 2 to go! #writers life”.
The next day, Oliver McGee (news celebrity) favorited it. Yes, that’s right. Encouragement comes from all corners of the universe, even the reporter I see on CNN (and every other national news station all the time, for that matter) is cheering me on–and that little boost had me walking on clouds all day. And, even the next day too, when I was huddled under a table in my classroom with all of the spider-webby-scuz-that-nightmares-are-made-of stuff while our school was in a real lockdown that turned out to be a hoax and was followed up the next day by a false fire alarm yanked by our very own, very old, and very hard-of-hearing janitor who misunderstood, “There’s a *fight in the cafeteria!” for, “There’s a *fire in the cafeteria!” putting the same class period that was in a lockdown with me two days off schedule.
Insert change of “lesson” plans for the week.
I still saw sunshine and all the colors of the rainbow (and even gold/white and at one point caramel-smattered-with-black/lavender in that media frenzied dress) all the while traipsing through a dancing field of techni-colored tulips in my head as the week’s early setbacks were all behind me. I had even had a dream that I was writing and had solved a snag in the plot transition between novels two and three that I had been fretting over. It’s a really cool experience to wake up and lunge for the journal to jot down the ‘ah-ha’ moment that came from an actual dream of peering over my own shoulder while I’m typing away in my sleep.
Then, I screwed up and peeked at my manuscript that I had submitted after vowing not to, and I found a type-o. A missing set of quotation marks, to be exact.
I realize that there’s grace for blatant mistakes that are in no way a reflection of the intellect of the writer behind the titillating romance, but, in that moment, the English teacher in me keeled over and died a heart-wrenching, princess death, with full-blown, arm-flailing and, “Why me?!” sobs, lamenting that I may have ruined my chances of publication forever and ever and ever.
Then I pulled myself together and forgave me.
My overzealous urge to go from, “I can’t keep rereading this anymore. I’m no longer seeing the words now; I’m just going rote because at this point I’ve memorized the damn thing,” to, “Let me take a look and see if I could tweak this scene a little if I am asked to downsize it even more than the 10,000 words I had just shaved off the final draft to meet a word count limit,” caught up to me. There it wasn’t, staring at me invisibly like a cackling witch that I’d just thrown water on. But, instead of continuing to read more beyond the faux pas, only to seek out further disappointment in myself, I opted to stop and breathe. Wasn’t that what I was supposed to be doing anyway per my tweet?
Insert change of “life-lesson” plan and get back on my mental sabbatical.
I had every intention to plunge back in on Saturday and work on the trilogy again, but that didn’t happen either. I gave up my scheduled writing time to watch my darling-angel-baby-loves-of-my-life play at the park all day with a new friend my oldest daughter has made at school. A side bonus is that I now have a new mommy friend to add to my collection of amazing women my children keep introducing me to via the need for weekend play dates. There’s a book plot in that kind of set up somewhere that I may entertain some day…diverse women becoming unlikely friends through prearranged kiddie play dates…some kind of mommy club mischief with teen siblings involved since YA Romance is another avenue I’ll explore someday alongside my first love, Rom-Com. I have way too many hysterical and unnerving adventures to incorporate into YA novels being a teacher for nearly two decades not to explore that possibility in writing some day…but back on topic…Insert change of “writing” plans and hope that Sunday works out for me.
But, it didn’t.
I rolled out of bed with a stinging headache—you know the kind that blurs vision and makes things buzz all up between the eyes with too much sunlight. I am my own pain in the neck getting in the way of my plans today. At least, I’m pretty sure that the kink I feel in my neck is the actual cause. 60oz of water, a few ibuprofen, and a caramel macchiato with extra drizzle and whip in hand (that the world’s best husband ran out and bought me) later, I finally opened my laptop and sat down to write. I have opted to start with this blog first. I haven’t written any fresh content in a while, and I need to make time to do that regularly. I’ll just come up with a “blogging post” plan that I can insert a change of plans on later. I am after all, trying to live for the moment, right?!
Here’s to another week ahead…now, if you don’t mind, I’ll get started on some plot mapping–you know how I love to plan….