If We Were Having Coffee

Jamie at Perpetual Page-Turner posted recently as if she were chatting with someone, in person, face-to-face, at a coffee shop.  I’m just enough of an extrovert to be really really glad we have weekly game nights with our friends, and I know this blog has been, uh, quiet lately, so a faux chat over coffee is just what the doctor ordered.

So hello! Let’s chat.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that Friday will be my last day at my job! I have two reasons for moving on, one being my tendonitis.

It is not improving, and this job requires me to be typing and using a mouse all day. Even with an ergonomic keyboard and mouse, by the end of the day, my wrists are swollen and sore. Recently it got so painful that I couldn’t even pet River, and I broke down completely.  Kevin held me until I’d cried out all the frustrations of the last six months (six, that alone makes me want to cry again) of pain and uselessness and finally just said, “Put in your two weeks.”

It was a lightbulb moment.  We had always been planning that someday I would work from home and write – that would be reason #2 – it’s just that “someday” came up a little sooner than we’d planned.

But I honestly don’t think I’d ever heal if I stayed at that job, and I’d be stuck in a cycle of under-productivity and self-loathing for God knows how many more months. Now, I can use my dictation software all day, and I’ll finally be doing what I’ve always wanted to do with my life. I can devote more time to my church job. River won’t be alone all the time. I can finally finish my books!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I’m pumped up and optimistic after a writing conference I attended this weekend. It made me feel brave and capable and yeah, naive, because it will never be as easy as I’m imagining it to be, but no matter what, Friday is my last day.  After that, all I’ll have are whatever words come out of me.  So maybe I’m a little nervous, too.  Just a little.

I would also tell you that I have a secret, deeply-rooted terror of never healing. People keep reassuring me that tendonitis takes a while to heal, and I think “of course this can’t last forever,” followed immediately by “oh god what if it does.

But it can’t.  Right?

And someday I’ll get published.  Right?

Right.

(I’ve also been thinking about having faith vs. being in denial of your circumstances but that’s probably not coffee shop conversation.)

If we were having coffee, I’d probably admit that I’ve been devouring “Bone.” I’d read the first few issues back when they were published in Disney Adventure magazine, and now I’m discovering that the story is so much vaster and even more shamelessly fun than I’d imagined. I’m also making my way slowly through “The World Treasury of Science Fiction,” which has stories from the dawn of science fiction in the 30s and from several countries around the world. I’m also reading “Cleopatra: A Life,” which is very interesting so far, especially because it gives cultural context to the Greek/Egyptian/Roman madhouse that was her era. Her family makes the Borgias look tame. How about you, what are you reading?

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that River is doing great. She knows a few commands now, although she still gets “sit” and “lie down” confused. She even did them when my in-laws visited! We will have had her for one year this coming Sunday and she is scared of approximately 60% fewer things! She’s met other dogs and a puppy and lots of people, stayed with my mom, gone to (and been terrified of) the beach, been dog-sat, and discovered the deliciousness of scrambled eggs.  Do you have pets? How are they doing?

Thanks for chatting! Let’s do this again sometime.

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7 thoughts on “If We Were Having Coffee

  1. Thanks for catching us up on your life! 🙂 Although the reason for quitting your job really stinks, I’m excited for you and what the future holds.

  2. Well, if we were having coffee…I’d probably be drinking tea – most likely a Chai tea with plenty of cream and three sugars.

    When you told me about how tendonitis is forcing you to resign from your job but permits you to pursue your dream, I’d say it’s a good thing. For one thing the tendonitis does not last forever, in fact there are a number of anti-inflammatory things you can ingest which might help speed up your recovery. I am a health food/exercise fanatic and I take Barlean’s Flax Seed oil twice a day. And because I have acid reflux disease (which is also a blessing in disguise, much like your tendonitis) I am forced to eat pretty clean all of the time. There’s very little acidity in my diet at all. Plenty of leafy green vegetables also helps. Take a probiotic, eat plenty of fiber (at least 30 grams a day), and drink lots of water. Further I would say that I envy you. You’re lucky enough to have a spouse who supports you in pursuit of your passion. Now you can be free to live your dream.

    Yes, I would say that you will be published. The truth is anybody who wants to be published can be. E-publishing has become so popular that getting your book out there is nothing more than an exercise in self-determination. Now being read…that’s an entirely different story. As an aspiring author I struggle with understanding the whims of the masses. A story does not have to be good to be read, it is more important that it be captivating. I have watched movies and while I’m watching them I’ve known that they weren’t great but I could not pull myself away from them. A book that sells needs to be like that. Personally I like this guys strategy: http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-18438_7-10119891-82/self-publishing-a-book-25-things-you-need-to-know/ The overall idea is to self-publish, generate enough buzz that major publishers will be interested, and then get published on a large enough scale that the masses have access to you. I hired my friend as an agent (I mean seriously HIRED him, there’s a contract in place) because I can’t stomach rejection and he’s a great networking/idea guy. Good authors, in the past, get rejected a ton before they make it big. Keep things like this: http://www.buzzfeed.com/stmartinspress/20-brilliant-authors-whose-work-was-initially-reje-7rut in your back pocket to keep you inspired. I also think it’s important to remember that being a writer is something we do because we love it. Whether material success is achieved from it or not should not effect how inspired you are to write. Writing is an artistic form for people to feel the music of our souls expressed through words.

    When you asked me what I’m reading I’d tell you not too much. I’ve a book that’s just about complete and the proofing and revisions requires me to read and re-read my own manuscript quite a bit. I’ve found that short stories are more to my liking for the time being. Ray Bradbury is one of my favorite authors of all time, so I recently purchased a volume with 100 of his best short stories. The non-fiction book that I’ve been trying (unsuccessfully) to read is “Servant Leadership” by Robert Greenleaf. It really helps me feel less isolated and it drives me to continue to pursue my goal of making the world a better place through my writing.

    I’m glad to hear that your dog River is learning new commands. I’d have to confess I have no pets. Between weightlifting, work (which is at at least a 2 hour commute round trip), and writing I might be able to manage having some goldfish but that would be it. There are only so many hours in a day. I’ve been trying to negotiate with God to get a few more added – a 27 hour day would work better for me – but He hasn’t really been keen on the idea.

    Finally I’d say I’ve enjoyed our little chat over coffee (tea for me) and we should do it again.

    • Thanks for the self-publishing piece! I’ve always been a little wary of it because it always seems to be swamped with writers who didn’t want to go through the editing process, and it would require a higher degree of self-promotion, but it is still on the table.

      I am a huge Bradbury fan as well and I think I have the book you’re talking about! I like that they included some of his non-science-fiction work in it.

      Yikes, a two-hour commute? I got annoyed when mine passed the 45 minute mark! I definitely don’t miss it!

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