I celebrated a birthday in April, and as one does I got a little reflective on my life. At my still (relatively) young age, I already have friends who are no longer here, so I’m grateful for each day that I get.
This year, I do have a lot to celebrate. Exactly one year ago I was writing the chapters that would be Rising Ridge, and I can count on one hand how many people knew about it. I thank them from the bottom of my heart for keeping that information to themselves until I was ready to share with the world some seven months later.
This morning I completed an interview that will be made public sometime in June, and one of the questions was about my road to publishing. What was it like? I will save my answer for the interview, but leave you with the idea that any overnight success story is really twenty years in the making.
It takes a lot of work, and dedication. There is a lot that goes on here, and after an entire lifetime of being a stay at home mom, my family is scrambling a bit because I have a job that takes me away for the first time ever. My oldest son recently went away with his youth group for the weekend. When he came back, he told me what a great time he had but I had neglected to pack him anything to sleep on. No sleeping bag, no blanket. Mom of the year, right here.
I know it’s a small thing, but it’s something that former me would not have done. Today I will spend the day trying to find my desk, after I write this blog (one day late), and catch up with all the paperwork of our lives. My to do list, no doubt, will be longer at the end of the day than it is right now. I haven’t had breakfast, because we have no food. Why? Rising Ridge hit the top five downloads last week and the attention that it got was A M A Z I N G. I spent the better part of my five day work week trying to keep up with the flurry of activity on my social media. I followed this by attending a workshop put on by a panel of award winning novelists who were so kind as to share their advice on writing and publishing. At no point did I actually get to the grocery store. There was a panicked text to my husband this morning when I realized there was no milk for my tea.
But there was, at least, tea.
I’m in a bit of a mood today because I am anxiously awaiting notes from my editor on The Dreamer. Our deadline is this week and it’s going to take the mother of all miracles to make it. My kids need to be in three places at once this evening, and I have to stop what I am doing to drive across town to replace a pair of uniform socks because there are team pictures and the small child who lives with me can remember everything when it’s my fault but claims ignorance when it comes to what he did with his own socks.
Former me is struggling. But, it’s all for the greater good. I feel like a kid does, in those first few very hard pushes on the pedals when they are starting to ride their bike. Particularly when they have to go up hill. Sometimes, your foot slips and you scrape the back of your leg with the force you were exerting and it hurts like hell. Any one of my personal friends will tell you that I had an interesting experience with Facebook last week, and it was a scrape that hurt like hell.
But, I keep going. I put my foot back on the pedal and I will stand to give myself the energy I need to get up this hill. I will remember the sleeping bag for the next trip, I will find the desk, I will buy the milk, and I will drive across town to get the socks. Somewhere in here, I will make a deadline. I hope.
There will be more scrapes, I am sure of it.
But, I am closer. Closer to that kid who gets to take her hands off the handle and throw them out into the air. I am closer to that kid who can stop pedaling for a minute and feel the wind on her face. I am closer to flying free.
Something that former me is totally cool with.