When I don’t know where to turn, usually I look to my iPod for direction. It always seems like something comes on that throws an idea my way. Inspiration, hope, courage. All that fun stuff I can’t create for myself sometimes.
The first thing I heard this morning was Green Day, “Holiday”. The rapid-fire beat helped to try and kick the blues out of my head, since the Golden Heart calls went out yesterday and I didn’t get one. Unfortunately the song is only about 3.5 minutes long; if it could go on for about 20 minutes, I’d probably be sick of it but I’d also be angry enough to find the adrenaline to push through the melancholy and keep going. On the drive in, Adele’s “Chasing Pavements” came on, and it made me wonder, just as the song goes, “Should I give up or should I just keep chasing pavements, even if it leads nowhere?”
The crazy thing is, this isn’t as low as I’ve ever felt when it comes to my so-called writing career. About two weeks ago, Robin L and I gave voice to the idea of hanging up our keyboards. It just felt like all we ever hit was brick walls. That was when I got the agent request and she found out she finaled in the Amazon Breakthrough contest. Until I heard “I’d love to see this”, I thought there was no point in going on; I don’t write what’s marketable these days and that’s all there is to it.
I’m still working on getting my submission ready to go out, and I hope to have that done today so I can leave for the weekend with a clear conscience. I like how it’s coming out, and I still think it’s a good story. Is it marketable? I have no idea, but I’m writing what comes out of my heart, and that’s the best I can do.
I think what tempers me away from really hitting rock bottom is that I went to Willie’s memorial service last night. Bad enough I cried in WalMart as I read through the sympathy cards–it should be against the law (since it goes against the law of nature) to need a sympathy card for a child–but to see that empty wheelchair at the front of the room last night, I completly lost it. Debbie, his mom, and I hung on to each other for a while. I thought I could be strong but I just couldn’t. I asked if she’d seen the episode of “Ghost Whisperer” with the autistic boy who, once he crossed over to the other side, was “whole” again, and I told her, that’s how I see Willie now. He’s whole and able and he’s laughing, and probably a little bit mad that we’re all crying over him. She said she sees him as an otter, flying through the water, free and at ease. I like that vision. Next time I see an otter, I’m going to know that he’s Willie.
There are more important things than the Golden Heart nomination. Missing out on it still hurts, like the deepest damn paper cut you ever had, but paper cuts eventually heal. I went home and toasted to Robin, who did final, and I toasted to Willie, who’s free now. I hugged the boys and wished them good night. (Alex will still let me kiss him goodnight; Ryan won’t.) I got up this morning and I’m getting back in gear and moving on, because I can. And because I have to.