Friday, March 12, 2010

Enlightened by that which has gone before...

Looking back over this week of TNG posts, it strikes me that the conversation has gone a little like this:


all leading up to my small contribution to the dialogue. I call it enlightenment, but not in a grandiose way. Small 'e' enlightenment - but enlightenment nonetheless.

I personally think every entry from the Girls this week should be considered required reading. Individually, they are each moving in their own way. Taken as a whole, they offer up a kind of truth. This is what we do, as humans. We hope and plan and daydream about the future. Then reality sometimes smacks us upside the head. And that makes us reevaluate the present.

I honestly struggled with what I would write about this week. I've always been the kind of person who lives pretty 'in the moment'. If I think too far ahead, I tend to run madly off in all directions. At the same time, I also tend to dwell on present problems and magnify them way out of proportion - I get stuck down the well-hole of my mind. Now I just think my duty to the topic is to point readers in the direction of my fellow Girl's posts.

Because here are the things I have taken away from this week's words: Tracey and Maureen's posts remind us that it's important to have dreams and aspirations. Lisa's post reminds us that it's important to recognize life may have other ideas. And Jillian reminds us, in that light, that maybe it's most important of all to not ignore the present for yearning of what may come.

I don't know where I'll be in ten years. You know what? I'm not even going to speculate. Ten years ago, if you'd asked me the same question, I would have answered. And I would have been wrong on just about every last thing I would have said.

Now it's more like: "Second star to the right, straight on 'til morning."
I don't know where I'll be in ten years.
But I am determined to try and have fun and appreciate the journey while I'm getting there.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Lisa’s post yesterday reminded me how precarious and fleeting life can be sometimes, and I feel so deeply for her and her family, not just because Lisa is one of the sweetest women I know (because she is) but also because I’ve been a little self-absorbed as of late. It’s surprisingly easy to do, when you’re promoting a book, when it feels like everything in the world suddenly revolves around you eating/drinking/sleeping/talking about/tweeting about/blogging about said book. And lately, in the midst of promoting THE LIFE OF GLASS, I’ve also been having what feels like some bad luck with some of my new projects, and I’ve found myself obsessing over my writing career, where it’s going, what I should be doing next, what’s going to happen to the books I’ve written but haven’t yet sold. But then you step back, or you read a post like the one Lisa posted yesterday, and you remember that there is writing and there is life. Lately, I’ve been forgetting somewhat about the life part.

And so it almost feels odd to blog today about what I want ten years from now. I had a list of goals in my mind all week, things I would write about here that had to do with my writing career, my family, where I’ll be living. In ten years from now, I’ll be in my early 40s, my kids will be teenagers, and I will hopefully be an established writer. I hope I’m writing full-time, that I’ve been able to move to a city that’s not so achingly hot in the summer and where my kids can actually get a good public education. I hope that all these things will be true.

But today it feels more appropriate to talk about what I want to be doing now, what I should be doing now. Lately, I’ve been paralyzed by fear, unable to really genuinely start work on a book I want to write because I’m afraid I can’t do it or that it might not sell or that maybe it’s a project to put off for the future. I’ve been doing everything I can to keep from starting it, all the while letting it and other book-related things consume my thoughts.

Today, I’m going to start that book. I’m going to remember to write because I love writing, but also, that writing does not equal life. Today I’m going to take a deep breath and stop worrying/thinking about/obsessing over the future.

What will you be doing today?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Needing Prayers

To my fellow Novel Girls and all of our devoted followers,

I'm unable to post on topic today. Tragedy struck my family on Saturday. My youngest sister, Melanie, is in a deep coma after suffering a heart attack and brain injuries. She is only 39-years-old. My family and I would so appreciate your prayers.

With much thanks and love,


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

My Ten Year To-Do List

The topic for this week is 10 Years From Now, I... as a kind of response to the post we did a few weeks back, 10 Years Ago, I... I had the best time reading about how far we've all come in the past decade, so I thought it would be fun to break out our crystal balls (as Tracy said!) and predict the future!

So, here we go:
  1. Continued writing success. Over the next ten years, I hope to have launched around a book a year. I hope that my writing continues to improve and reaches a larger audience each year.
  2. Travel. As Tracy put it, I'd love to have a few more stamps in my passport. My husband and I visited Australia for our honeymoon, and I'd love to go back sometime. Hopefully, our toddler will be slightly more well behaved in ten years! I'd also love to go back to Hawaii and take a cruise around the Mediterranean. My craziest travel goal (although I really don't foresee this happening in ten years) is to someday visit the Galapagos Islands.
  3. Own a car with mileage that is not in six digits. My husband and I bought our cars soon after we graduated college, with the assumption that we'd upgrade in five years or so. The darn things have held on so well, that they each hit the 100,000 mile mark with little signs of slowing down. ( I do realize that I may have jinxed myself by putting this in writing...)
  4. Own four bedrooms. Right now, my husband and I live in a three-bedroom townhouse that is quickly becoming WAY too small for all of the various pets/toddler toys strewn around. We'd love to move into a house, with a real backyard. Hopefully, soon. Or else I'm moving into the garage.

Of course, there are many other goals, like to hit the New York Times list with one of my books, to own a fabulous vacation home in South Carolina, and a whole closet full of Prada, but those are more dreams than concrete goals. Oh, and a pony. I'd like a pony.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Dusting off my crystal ball...

So, I've pulled my crystal ball out of storage and have dusted it until it shines. I've lit candles and asked the mystical ball to show me what my life will be like in 10 years. I see...

  • A spanky office for me to write in that has shelves filled with books, a honking-huge monitor on my really up-to-date computer, and my own professional-grade cappuccino maker. Ah...what's that? Ohh, it's a massaging desk chair. YES!
  • Pictures of grandchildren (wow, this really is possible, as in ten-years, my daughter will be 29 and my oldest son will be 27). Um. Yeah. Grandchildren. Freaky thought, that.
  • A stable writing career where I am able to continue to write the stories I love and find an audience for them.
  • A passport that shows I've done some traveling. To Ireland, Italy, and who knows where else.
  • My twin boys, now almost 8, are getting ready to graduate from high school.

And um, that's about all I'm willing to speculate. I hope we're living in the Pacific Northwest, and it would be even better if I could hear the waves crashing outside of my home. I hope I'm happy and content with life and whatever progress I've made personally and professionally in the past ten years. And most of all, I hope my family and friends are still healthy and doing well.

I have other hopes and other dreams that I'd love to see come to fruition, but I think the most important things I hope for, I already have: family and friends I love who love me, a career that pushes me to be the best I can that I adore doing, and yes, good health.

What about you? Where do you see yourself in ten years?