Monday, June 22, 2009

tug

What would it feel like to devote time, solid blocks of blissful time to one thing?  To write and not think about the laundry, the meals, the dogs, the horrific mounds of dog hair that collect in the corners of our old house, the daughters', the husband....

It would probably feel weird.     

Friday, June 19, 2009

loose ends

One daughter graduating high school, the other eighth grade - we've been crazy this month tying up all the loose ends, except we're really not.  This unraveling is just a part of life.  Thinking we're controlling it is our way of dealing....

I've been working on a new manuscript about a mother and daughter who have to say goodbye for good.  Except the mother isn't quite done teaching her daughter everything she'll need to know.

Even with ( I hope) a full lifetime ahead of me to complete this task...I wonder, are we ever done?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

I Wrote That?

Going through the copy edits from Harper's is an eye-opening process.  Their job is different from the editor's who bought my book.  Basically, the copy editor gets the manuscript on the way to production and checks for grammar, punctuation, continuity, repetitive words, that the character gets on the right subway car route or mentions the correct address - all the niggling details that can trip someone up as they read if they're not absolutely correct.  I'm sure, on their end, it's an especially tedious and thankless job.  

For me, I get to see all my lazy traits.  For example, I seem to LOVE to use the phrase: the fact that AND add an S on the end of the word toward.  I'm really getting a good look at all my writerly quirks and tics  highlighted in all their repetitive glory page after page after page. 

As I go through the pages I cannot help but get excited.  This is really going to be a book...and soon.

Monday, June 1, 2009

It's Official

From Harper Perennial, the title of my book is now officially: YOU SHOULD HAVE SAID HELLO....I love it!

Time To Go

Saturday morning at the Farmer's Market I stopped to talk with a fellow mom in my older daughter's class.  With one week to go to graduation our conversation quickly veered down the path of: Where has the time gone?  Soon, our children, these babies that only yesterday (or so it seemed) needed us for everything, would be gone and on their way to starting lives of their own.

This woman shared with me her own story of leaving home, how, a few weeks after her high school graduation, she was traveling to Europe to work before college.  Her mother had never expressed anything other than joy that her daughter was embarking on such an amazing adventure.  On the day she was to leave, she had hugged her mother goodbye at the door and got into the car for the airport.  It wasn't until she turned around to look through the window and wave one last goodbye, that she saw the tears streaming down her mother's face.  
Decades later, as this woman recounted the story to me, she teared up remembering that feeling, and I felt myself choke back tears.  

Back in September I had made a promise to myself to enjoy the little things.  To enjoy our last year, really, as a close knit family of four, because, despite everything that teenagers bring to the mix, we all enjoy spending time together.  I kept reminding myself that next year when daughter #1 is at college, and her sister is relegated to the position of "Only Child", life as we know it would be radically changed.  

So we are here, almost, a week from graduation and then a few more months at home before she heads off to college.  Did I hold steady to my pledge?  Yes and no.  Life has a way of getting in the way.  Schedules need to be coordinated, surprises always abound.  But I tried.  I think we all have.  Certainly I notice the sisters' getting closer, perhaps knowing that these ordinary nights of ice cream and a movie curled up on the couches with the dogs are going to be harder to achieve when one of them is four hours away.     

Inside I'm saying: not yet, it's too soon.  Don't go.  Stay.  Put your little hand in mine and keep it safely there.  I want to say: stay, but I know I have to let go.  I just wish there was a little more time...