Y’all. This week has been the proverbial emotional roller coaster. Book release and dream come true. Yay! The very next morning at approximately 2 a.m.: Oh my gosh. The book is out. Will it sell? Will it tank? Will they love it? Will they hate it? I can’t sleep. Did I lock the back door or is a serial killer hiding in the closet? I can’t sleep. Did I turn off the stove? No, wait—I didn’t cook. I haven’t cooked in a month. Where’s Cheeto? Is he on top of Dave’s head? No. Dave looks fine. But still. Where’s the cat? I’m hot. I’m cold. What time is it? If I’m not asleep by 3 I’m getting up. I need coffee. Or maybe not. I need some sleep. Who are we kidding? Dave’s not snoring. So whose snoring woke me up? Oh. Right. I do that now. Man, I’m old. Maybe I should go to the gym. When it opens. Do I have a 9 o’clock meeting or is that tomorrow? I never cared for that guy Mary Ellen married on The Waltons. I wonder what she saw in him. What time is it??????
I once read a transcript of an oral history interview with a Hurricane Camille survivor who referred to worry and fret as “quitty quieting.” As in “I’ve got to quit my quitty quieting.” I love that. (Thanks for sharing University of Southern Miss.)
Let me tell you I have done some serious quitty quieting this week. Over GOOD news. So much that I developed total brain freeze on the manuscript for book 2, which is due in . . . MARCH!!!!!
Finally, yesterday morning, I realized that staring at my computer screen was getting me nowhere. So I started looking at old family pictures. And smiling. And breathing. And sharing them with my cousins on Facebook. They came back at me with their own memories of those photos, wonderful little tidbits I never knew or had forgotten. We had ourselves a virtual reunion that stretched across the Deep South and down to the coast.
My family is the reason I started writing in the first place—to see if I could tell stories that were as good as the ones I grew up hearing on the front porch or around Grandme’s dining room table. (I wasn’t allowed to actually sit at “the big table,” but I could lurk once dinner was over and the coffee started flowing.) I've probably told you this before—because I repeat myself a LOT these days—but when I was in college, a friend was listening to me tell some family story or other, and she looked at me and said, "It's like you're going through life with this big safety net under you." I was. And I am.
After a morning with the family, I wrote just fine yesterday afternoon. I slept just fine last night. And I said a prayer of thanks this morning.