Sunday, 7 February 2010

dead line/ life line

Ok. So I've actually made a verbal commitment to my friends and my spiritual director: I will really, truly, actually send the manuscript off to the local publisher who expressed an interest. Really. By Valentine's Day. That's 8 days away! How can I possibly pull it together by then? Well the truth is, it is together. No more pulling is required. Tweaking, yes. Ruminating, for sure. Waking-up-at-3-am-cause-I-thought-of-a-better-way-to-word-something: check. But the pulling together of the thing has pretty much been finished for quite a few months.

I have had opportunities to submit my work to a number of interested parties over the past couple of years, but ~something~ always prevents me. I'm actually feeling a bit nauseous just sitting here considering the fact that I may actually do this. To be sure, the suspense of what a real honest-to-goodness publisher thinks of my book is killing me! I'm DYING to get some critical feedback from someone in the business. And clearly I can't put off my friends forever... Last night I had my 5 close friends over and they threatened to tie me to my bed and send the thing out on my behalf! And the frightening thing is, they could have done it! There are no passwords or anything else preventing them (or anyone) from getting at my book. Hmm... I suspect this may be the catalyst to my sudden change of heart vis-a-vis the submission: the prospect that someone other than me could take matters into their own hands is terrifying to me. Which is probably a very good thing. In any case, it looks like I no longer have the luxury of sitting on this piece of work, this thing that takes up so much space in my head, much longer. "The time has come", the Walrus said, "To talk of many things"...* And those 'many things', for me, are all of those hundreds (thousands?) of written words demanding to be spoken, nearing mutiny!

What is it they say about the pain of remaining in the bud? I love that quote and it's screaming itself at me now. Hang on while I look it up. ---

Ah yes, here it is:

"There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." -Anais Nin

I'll admit then, to myself and to you, that I am extremely uncomfortable here in my tight little bud and I suspect I've stayed tucked in here way longer than is wise, much longer than Nature intended. I long to push out, to struggle and thrash against my green cocoons and finally see the light of day. But to blossom, what then? There is no returning to the bud, no way out, no way back. There is only forward and that is something I cannot see. I never could get that old quote about being caught between 'a rock and a hard place'. I'm getting it now. I guess the only thing left to do (and quite likely the only thing to do,) is the thing I have known all along: that simple, insistent, still, small thing. How did I miss it? It's too easy, too simple, too obvious. Pray about it, they said. "Yeah, yeah. But what else? How will I know when it's time to let it go? How will I know where to send it, who to trust with it, how to do it?" Again, the chorus came from all around: pray about it. "I know! I know! That's what I'm all about!" I'd reply. Of course I pray about it! I do it all the time. But there has to be more to it than that! "WHAT", I would ask and keep asking, "AM I MISSING?"

I trust you see where this is going, and I'm eager to put the next part into words if I can. But, as a dear friend of mine says, life is calling and I must go take care of the supper dishes and put the laundry in the dryer. Even in the midst of these life-altering epiphanies, we all need to stop and make sure we have clean underwear and socks for tomorrow.

And while I take care of these house-y duties, I will indeed heartfully "pray about it" and I'll ask God, point blank, what I am to do next. And then, (gulp), as you are my witness, I'll endeavour to actually DO IT. Even if it means sending the manuscript, say, tonight. Stay tuned.

* The Walrus and The Carpenter, Lewis Carroll
(from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)

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