Not surprisingly, I’ve been feeling suspended lately. I recently told a friend that I feel like I’m on a starting line, all geared up for a race, waiting for the starting pistol to sound. Instead, there’s been only a few false starts and a lot of twitching muscles.
Ambiguity makes me angsty, but waiting slays me. I’ve been waiting eons, an eternity, two months and one week. Seriously, doesn’t it feel like forever since I announced that I finished Elephant Girl? The thirteen year-old in me, the one with the blue Smith Corona and Chinese Checkers box full of secrets and stories, feels like it’s been at least that long.
My wiser, more reasonable friends are split. Some are chanting the mantra of patience into my cocked ears while others are encouraging me to blast ahead. My spiritual friends are channeling the benevolent Universe on my behalf and telling me that great things are in the works. Lately, I’ve been tossing and turning, inside of bed and out. I’m navigating the subterranean space between breath-holding anxiety and fearless hope.
On the positive side, I’m pushing ahead with a couple of collaborative projects, including an Elephant Girl song with Suzen Juel. I love the raw and uncontrived lyricism of Suzen’s music and was honored when she agreed to help me out with a tune for my book trailer. The esteemed Aidan Morgan (known online as Palinode), has said yes to creating the video when I have the details of publication. Jessica Gottlieb recently e-introduced me to author Charles J. Orlando, who has experienced wild success with his book, which he published on his own and with a shoestring budget. Charles has managed to connect with over 500K Facebook fans in a little over a year and was gracious enough to share his experience and wisdom with me over the phone. When our conversation concluded, I felt ready to grab the starting pistol myself and run the race.
And when I fell in love with this picture by photographer Gregory Colbert —which could not express the mood of Elephant Girl any better — and learned that there was no chance that he would let me (or anyone) use it for a book cover, a couple of my artistic acquaintances offered to try their hands at a cover design. I remind myself every day that I am blessed to know some really talented and genuinely good people.
On the less positive side, my life continues to be very much up in the air. Which is okay and not unexpected—I knew I’d have to give up a lot to make EG happen—but I really don’t know where I’m going next, or for how long, and it’s kind of scary. I have loved living with Jess in Albuquerque—it was a stroke of luck that I found her roommate wanted ad and we’ve become good friends—but her daughter is moving back home soon and I’d really like to find a place to call my own for at least a year or so. In the meantime, Jess’s parents have offered to rent me a room in the upstairs of their beautiful home and I also have standing offers to come to Iowa, Nebraska, and North Carolina for a while. I’m not geographically picky, but I do like the warmth of New Mexico. Ideally, I’d like to find a small studio somewhere, get EG launched, and write my second book. Fantastically, I dream about going on another road trip, this one a cross-country book tour. Of course, I’d have to have a book published first. And a car. And book stores and readers who were interested.
So everything is very close and yet still so far away. And I hate cliches like that, even when—especially when—they’re true and I’m living them.