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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

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What's next.


On Sunday, I hiked with my nine- and eleven-year-olds up the hill we call Pinnacle Mountain. We spent thirty minutes or so at the summit, catching our second wind and taking in the spectacular view, and every few minutes, I would panic, because my five-year-old was missing. Then I'd remember he was with his grandmother, hunting for alligators at the base of the hill, and my heart would start again.

Lots of people have been asking "How does it feel?" to have completed my manuscript. It feels just like that. Brief interludes of satisfaction, punctuated by the sudden, gaping certainty that something Very Important is missing.

I'm also being asked, "What's next?" I've so far resisted responding with "Next, I smack you right in the mouth," because I am practicing my interview skills for when I go on Oprah*.

What's next is making a birthday cake, shaped like a dragon, for my newly-minted six-year-old. Putting on a haz-mat suit, and cleaning the bathrooms. Helping my 5th grader with his science fair project, and taking him shopping for a shirt and tie to wear for his graduation from elementary school. Sewing the new Bear patch on my cub scout's uniform. Taking a deep breath and a hard look at the bills I've been rotating to the back of the stack, the to-do's that keep getting carried over from one day's list to the next and the next.

What's next is doing the same job I've done every day for the past sixteen months, book or no book, but getting to do it without feeling like I'm supposed to be doing anything else. At least until I hear from Oprah.

* I joke. All my hairbrush interviews are with Terri Gross and Craig Ferguson.



Blogger Rowena said...

Ah, so after the book comes life. You know, living. The same thing as before the book?

That's a good thing.

And congrats on your book.

10:44 AM  
Blogger S said...

I was just flipping through my GH and was struck by something on page 209..."I recognize that name/blog" I thought to myself...and then, sure enough, it was you! I didn't realize you were a contributor...I only recently stumbled on your blog. Coincidence or not. Cool. I especially liked your advice #15 and 17.

5:24 PM  
Blogger Scout's Honor said...


5:01 PM  
Blogger Jomama said...

I eat my heart out with jealousy that you have found something interesting enough to write a book about. I am impressed at your discipline in doing the hard work to turn it into one.

And then I laugh at your description of the return to everyday life. The chores are always there, aren't they? But that's life, and in the cleaning and the sewing, and the cooking, there's the family you do it all for, and the real joy.

12:24 AM  

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