The path from the Martin’s house to the small strip mall, with its grocery store and Starbucks, is a 3/4 mile long trail that’s been cut into the desert. Everyday and sometimes twice a day, I walk or bike ride through the dirt, even if I don’t need anything at all. It’s become a ritual — my time to commune with myself, Van Gogh, God, the fates and the future. I talk out loud, spilling secrets, worries and wishes into the sky, into the sagebrush, into the ears of whatever benevolent guardian might be listening.
And someone or something has been listening, I’m sure of it.
My future still hangs in the hour-by-hour and I have no idea where I’ll go in 17 days, which is when my lease with the Martin’s expires. I still don’t have a car, or a sense of security, and there are no big miracles in plain sight, but. . .
- I needed an interior book designer for the paperback version of Elephant Girl. I found one.
- I needed to redo the electronic versions and correct a few errors. I could.
- I needed to order proofs to get to the next step of the process. I did.
- I need to see a dentist for an emergency. I get to see one on Monday.
Small miracles are happening every day. People are good and kind. I am grateful to long-time friends and new friends alike, who have offered assistance and encouragement, and who are spreading the word about Elephant Girl.
While I haven’t sold as many e-versions of EG as I’d like, the response so far has been positive. Nine people have left reviews on Amazon and 352 people have “liked” the Facebook fan page. Many people have told me that they are waiting for the paperback version and if all goes well with proofs and corrections, it may be available in less than two weeks.
I’ve always found it frustrating that I can’t draw or paint. I’m a visual thinker without the ability to use more than words to bring my mental images to life. One day, I was telling my friend Karoli about a picture that I had in mind. I wondered if perhaps her teen daughter, aspiring artist Kaytlin Kuns, would want to give it a try. A couple of weeks later, I received this beautiful watercolor in my email. It is so close to the kind of life-saving, happy visions I carried around in my head at 14, 15, 16 years old that I was moved to tears. One day, I will frame this painting and hang it in the imagined room with the mahogany desk.
I’m living on faith, heart, belief and imagination. I’m making plans one day and one possibility at a time. And although I haven’t been blogging as much, I have been writing. Letters to Vincent, a short-story collection, and the yet-untitled sequel to Elephant Girl, which will be written as a novel.
I have my fears and worries, and there are times I wonder what the hell I’m doing, and how far I’ll get before I end up starving and homeless, but as Toni Morrison once said, “If you wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.” Fear is a heavy weight, and doubt wraps chains around even the most believing heart, so when I feel myself starting to sink I just spill out my burdens and dust off my wings.