Right after my son Joshua died, my plan was to become a hermit. To curl up in a ball and shut out the rest of the world forever. When that stopped feeling like the right thing to do, my plan was to keep bees and chickens and make butter and cheese and wear long skirts, Birkenstocks with socks and grow my hair out – a sort of homesteading crazy cat woman if you will. That stopped being any fun, too.
Turns out I can’t even go crazy the right way.
When I have nothing to do, I do nothing. I don’t take advantage of the time to relax or dream or create. I obsess. Ruminate. Fret. And, as it turns out, poverty is not character building. I had forgotten Maslow’s hierarchy of needs suggests that when you are worried about having your basic needs me, you have no energy to be creative.
So, I’m going back to work. I’m going to put that expensive Master’s degree I worked so hard for to good use. For me, there is something to be said for having far more on your plate than you think you can accomplish, so I’m keeping my previous goal of publishing every year. You will hear me whine about not having the time or energy to write. But I’ll write on my lunch break. I’ll wake up at 3 a.m. and write. I’ll pull over on the expressway to capture an idea. And it will be fine. In fact, I’m betting it will be more than fine. Shutting out the world – while quiet and peaceful – shuts out life. And I need input – my ideas are sparked by the things I see and hear and experience each day. This lack of input has my brain sort of atrophying. (Did you know there are 82 episodes of Man Men on Netflix?) When I am once again fully engaged in life, I’m counting on my muse to wake up, shake it off and turn out some amazing stuff.
So what’s up with Wailing Wall? I am in the line editing phase with my publisher which means someone with a passion for finding errant commas has combed through the manuscript. Yes, there are people who love this work and I’m damn glad of it. I’ve gotten the edits back along with a few suggestions for tightening up wording and I’ll be diving in to that next week. More exciting than errant commas is cover design concepts that will be coming my way in the next couple of days. A couple weeks ago, I spent an hour on the phone with a mysterious, artsy woman (at least that’s my fantasy of her) in NYC discussing the book and my vision for it. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with for cover art. I’ll post them here so readers can weigh in on your favorite ideas.