Tag Archives: living the dream

Pruned! There’s a Nap For This

13 Sep

A year ago, I made what I still believe is a right decision. I put family needs before personal wants, although, in fairness, I believed I could manage both. I now know I cannot. I also know the road back is not as simple as reversing my trajectory.

It took a potted plumeria tree to show me the road ahead.

We call it the Lily Tree, to honor its previous owner. Soon after we brought it home last fall its leaves began to drop. Sad looking thing—a three-pronged stick in a pot. However, a friend told us to be patient, saying it’s a hearty tree and worth the wait.

As instructed, we set it in a dark, quiet corner of the house and left it alone to nap, not even disturbing it with water. Apparently, the plumeria is the introvert of the tree world. This was difficult advice and counterintuitive to our way of thinking, but we ignored it.

plumeriaThis spring we set the tree outside, certain it had died. However, its three spindly branches developed green tips almost immediately, and within a few weeks sprouted tiny leaves. Only then did I allow myself to become emotionally invested. I looked up plumeria on line.

There I learned another name for this plant is frangipani, which is SO fun to say, and that it’s native to Hawaii—the source of those lovely lei flowers Hawaiians string together to welcome visitors to the island. Of course, this discovery gave me cause to whine.

Hey, why don’t we get flowers?

We researched possible reasons for this barrenness and discovered the plumeria likes certain nutrients. In case you’re wondering why I don’t name those nutrients, the botanic realm looks a lot like math to me, all those phosphorus levels. So, I recommend the following:

Look it up, sigh heavily, then turn it over to a problem-solving spouse.

My husband, whose thumb is far greener than mine, purchased some fertilizer and worked it into the soil. The Lily tree’s leaves fanned out and grew appreciatively. We’ll never know if flowers were forthcoming, because just when the tree seemed to be at the pinnacle of joyful thriving, a strong gust of wind blew the plant AND its heavy terracotta pot off our deck. Two branches snapped off and the third lay helpless atop a now-flat basil plant in the garden below.

As I stared at those pots, I saw a somewhat depressing similarity to my own life.

For more than four years, I lived the life I’d dreamed about since my teenage years. During that time, I was blessed to receive a glimpse of the writer I might be and know for certain that writing is my life’s calling. Every writer’s group, conference, networking contact, and writing class, as well as the feedback from people who read my books and articles, all fed me nutrients, to the point where I could practically feel the blossoms emerging.

And then my pot blew over.

Anyone who follows this blog has surely noticed the almost eerie silence about the place for the past year. In the few entries I did manage to write, I’ve remained true to my Pollyanna side, trying to paint a rosy picture despite evidence to the contrary. I sprouted green leaves even though I lacked proper nutrients.

To be frank, I’m in a season of inner conflict. Blessed with more than I need, yet somehow still unhappy because I don’t have what I want. Trying not to complain, because it feels wrong to whine about writing woes in view of the myriad people in my life suffering real trauma right now. So, I’ve been stuffing my emotions to the point where any time I’m asked, “How’s the writing coming along?” I practically burst into tears.

Because it’s not coming along. In focusing on the mundane demands of my detour, I’ve managed to dissolve nearly all ties to writing groups, magazines, contacts, as well as that part of my brain that sees a story in every situation. I paused a book project mid-way through the interviews, and it seems to be on perpetual hold. My leaves are gone. I’m a bare branch in a pot, left to nap in a quiet room.

I’ve been pruned.

Plumeria_StubMy gardener husband was not undone by either pruning. For the plumeria, he researched a bit more and learned that it’s likely not terminal. He set the pot back upright and gave the sagging tree some water. Then he picked up the branches and carefully pruned their leaves until they looked like two long cigars, which he set out to air dry. Then he planted them in a new pot, side-by-side so they’ll support each other through this traumatic time.

Apparently, if we bring them inside for the winter to rest in the quiet corner, we should have three thriving plumeria trees come springtime.

His solution for my own pruning was to give me wide berth and let me mope. He knows the more depressed I feel, the more I turn to the Bible for answers. He’s a wise gardener.

I learned that pruning is good news for both plants and people. The dream hasn’t gone anywhere, nor has the promise. In showing me Proverbs 13:12, He helped me see that those four years represent a hope deferred, a glimpse of a tree of life, a vision of who I’m meant to be.

Through reading the Bible, I’m reminded repeatedly that my status is not terminal. In fact, the passion to write is stronger than ever, with new ideas developing continually and those unfinished stories sill intact in a dark still corner of my brain. Resting. Waiting for spring.

Lately, I’m starting to feel as if spring might be on the horizon.

However, I won’t emerge as the same writer you knew a year ago. You see, I was elated just to be writing, satisfied to be producing beautiful shiny leaves. But that was never God’s plan. My tree is supposed to produce large, aromatic flowers. My tree had to be pruned to prepare me for more than I knew to ask or imagine.

plumeriaSo I’m going to essentially start over. Write a short blog here and there, attend a writer’s group or two, take on an editing assignment. This time, though, I will keep before me a vision of the plumeria flower to represent God’s plan for my life. If I have to, I will go about the mundane hours of each day singing, “frangipani, frangipani” (likely annoying my coworkers), to stay focused on the something better that lies ahead. I will remember (shout out to the poetry of Rob Thomas) that I am a black and white person with technicolor dreams. But I don’t have to be.

———————–

He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. –John 15:2

Love Tosses Caged Sparrow Over Another Hurdle

27 Aug

I honestly believe it will never be this special again.

First, some great news…We have an agent! Her name is Diana; she read my proposal for Joe’s story and asked for the manuscript Friday. Over the weekend I went through it one last time and pronounced it finished Sunday night. I sent a hard copy to Joe and electrons to Diana; she is now working on finding the right publisher. I couldn’t say for sure whether Joe or I was more excited, but as I listened to Joe’s elation over the phone Friday, I was tickled to pieces to have witnessed it. (I do believe he did a little jig.)

Completed manuscript

One step closer to the book rack!

It was a sobering moment, Sunday night when I hit the “send” button, and with one click, transmitted more than a year’s worth of work and dreams off to an unknown world in cyberspace. I sat there staring at the “message sent” notice for a long time, contemplating the true scope of this journey, which actually began in the early 70s, sitting with my Nana in her giant four-poster bed, listening to her read from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House in the Big Woods. I became so inspired by Laura’s storytelling gift that I knew, just knew, it was what I wanted to do for my life. I started writing with abandon, and when my English teacher, Mr. DeRobbio, said I had a gift, I positively soared. I was going to be a writer!

But I didn’t do it. Not really. I stifled the call to write, with a military career (during which I wrote as a journalist, but not for myself–yet even there I received encouragement from people I admired and still try to emulate, like Pat Gibbons, Tom Bartlett, and Ken Smith-Christmas…), and I put it aside for two wonderful children and years of busyness. All the while, I knew God was nudging me…“So, when are you going to start?”

Then He put friends in my life to nurture and encourage, each one sending me a little closer to the ledge—Susannah Johnson’s “The Artist’s Way” class pushed me to Sarah’s writing group, where she, Martha, Meredith, and Anne dared me to dream about “what if?”

One domino toppled the next. I found myself at a writers’ conference that fanned the spark into flame, and met inspiring people like Beth Pensinger and Erin Elizabeth Austin. Over the next year I was a fly on the FB wall, watching their struggles as Beth wrote and published a sweet read called, “Let Me Fall: The Love Story Between God and His Dimwitted Daughter,” and Erin inspired thousands by sharing her battles and victories over darkness and founded Broken but Priceless Ministries. I’ll never be able to express to these women how integral they’ve been in my journey, and yet we barely spoke to each other.

But I STILL didn’t listen, so God forced my hand. He sent Linda Rondeau, a fellow writer and perfect stranger. She just appeared outta’ nowhere, armed with a story about a man who went to prison for a crime he did not commit and looking for someone who might want to write it. Another domino. This led to Joe and his awesome story.

Desire, ability, a story that absolutely HAD to be told–I had no more excuses. I even had my husband’s wide-eyed, “I’m-a-bit-nervous-but-I-know-this-is-important-to-you” blessing, and two sons who were glad to see me doing what I loved. And then sweet, sweet Phanalphie, of RhueStill Inc., who didn’t even know me yet but read my writing and offered me a net to jump into, and she probably would have flown out here from Oklahoma and pushed me off if I’d asked her to.

And again, I didn’t leap off the cliff. I more or less attempted to inch my way over the rim, scraping my knees as I fumbled blindly for toeholds, and I found myself only a couple of feet down, clinging to a ledge by my fingernails, half in and half out of two vastly different worlds. It took more nudging, by many more friends. Carrie and Kevin, my best friends and confidantes from work, helped pry my fingers off the ledge by assuring me that “the gang” would be fine, and although they’d miss me, I had to leave or risk going through life not knowing. Since I left, both of them have sent me inspiring notes when I really needed them, and many others from work continue to check in. Chuck and Rebecca check in almost daily, and let me whine on their e-shoulders when things don’t quite work out the way I want them to.

I also received tremendous support from my prayer partners, Kathy, Dino, Linda, Chris, and Michele, from my neighbor Julie, and friends and family from all over like George, Heidi, Jo, and Willa.

And a book was born.

While I was writing this I thought, you probably wouldn’t want to read a bunch of names of people you don’t know, but then I realized, this isn’t about the names. You do know these people. They’re in your lives as well. You just call them something different.

The bottom line is, if there’s ANYTHING you want to do, you can do it, but not on your own. Dare to dream. Then surround yourself with positive, prayerful people, and listen to God’s nudging; remember that He put this desire in your heart in the first place.

I will write more books. Joe’s story is powerful, but it probably won’t make either of us famous. I will write better books, and more than likely a few flops. I may even receive recognition for some, although that is not my measurement of success.

But it will never be like this. This is special. This is the end of the beginning. And you helped.

Thank you.

Waiting on The Call: Roping Time with a Molasses Lasso

3 Jun

I’m not good at waiting.

I remember a time early in my marriage when I was struck by a creative muse and got up around midnight to write a story that wouldn’t let me go. When it was finished, I liked it so much it made me giddy. I wanted so badly to share it that I woke my husband from a sound sleep, turned the reading lamp on to its highest setting, and pushed my story under his nose.

“Read it!”

Startled by my exuberance and the brilliant illumination, he shielded his eyes and squinted at me to determine the source of my distress. When he realized there was none, his entire body sighed with exasperation. He would have given me his incredulous face if he could have held his eyes open.

Instead, he took the pages as he rolled away from the lamp’s glaring light, and slid MY MASTERPIECE under his pillow on his way back into dreamland.

Not one to give up easily, I yanked his shoulder back so I could retrieve the captive pages and encouraged him again to take a look.

“I can’t believe you won’t support me,” I wailed.

Sensing he was somehow in the wrong, my husband struggled to sit up. He took the papers and honestly tried to focus. Instead of reading, I suspect his brain was weakly calculating the requisite number of seconds he had to sit upright before I’d believe he’d read it. He handed the papers back and mumbled, “Looks good,” before slipping away again. Never mind that they were upside-down.

I spent the rest of the night pouting.

He finally read it the next day, somewhat alert and mostly awake after a poor night’s sleep. He gave me good comments and some constructive feedback. His serious attention to the details compelled me to go back and look at it again. I realized it wasn’t as good as I’d thought the night before, and I rewrote it three or four times before I liked it again.

Since then, I’ve learned to be a bit more considerate about when to share, and to put my ego on the back burner. At least I hope I have.

However, when I took Joe’s story proposal to the writers’ conference recently, that giddy kid resurfaced. I drove down to Asheville feeling a bit like Ralphie in A Christmas Story, who just knew his teacher would like his paper about the Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot Range Model Air Rifle with a compass in the stock so much that she would tell his parents to purchase one immediately.

My appointment with the agent was on the first day, and I approached her table with a mix of excitement and fear. I didn’t bring the giant basket of fruit as Ralphie would have, but I did almost give her that knowing wink. And I must confess, I looked around for a blackboard on which she could scrawl “A++++++!”

She took my proposal and read. For a long time. The voices in my head waged a battle of conjecture as I watched. “She loves it. She hates it. She’s read 50 others just like it today alone. I should have worked harder on the opening. She nodded! She likes it. She’s taking too long. She hates it…”

At last she looked up, smiled at me, and said, “Would you e-mail this to me?”

YES! YES! YES! Wait, what?

She didn’t ask for my manuscript, but for an electronic copy of the proposal. For a while, I was crushed. Surely, she saw the potential in Joe’s story. I’d been expecting to leave this place an agented author.

But then I remembered that long-ago late-night “reading” and found peace. I received the best possible response for a conference setting. There was no way she could give that proposal a definite assessment there, with hundreds of would-be authors clamoring for her attention. She wants to read it again, later, when she can give it serious focus. And I must wait. She said it could take two or three months for Joe’s story to reach the top of her pile. Sigh.

Calendar with the days marked off

Like sand through the hourglass…

I sincerely believe that because patience is one of the many virtues I lack, the less content I am with waiting, the longer it will take. So, I’m back at my writing desk. While I wait, I will finish the final chapter of Joe’s story and start working on my web page, to make it a more active place of business.

Instead of pining for answers, I will be thankful for how far along this book has come, and I will quote the Greek philosopher Epicurus, who said, “Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”

The agent will contact me at just the right time. I will be patient, and I will remember that she did smile.

I will also keep checking behind the stereo for a package. You never know.

 

“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:13-14

Real Freelancers Don’t Wear Flannel: ADD and Other Time-sucking Distractions

24 Apr

I’m learning some valuable lessons about working from home.

First and foremost, it’s nothing like the pictures in the brochures.

You know what I mean, all those things we imagined back when we were thinking about quitting that Day Job to start our own business—hanging out in pjs and slippers, tossing down the bon-bons and sipping from a glass of Chateau Morrisette’s Sweet Mountain Laurel while somehow creating reams upon reams of productivity every day.

Well I’m here today to tell you, that’s all rather bunk-ish.

Thinking of taking the leap? It’s not for the faint-hearted, my friends. And by faint-hearted I mean people who like to eat…anything other than Ramen noodles. Right off the bat I can tell you that bon-bons and Sweet Mountain Laurel are NOT in the budget. Nor are they conducive to prolific prose (although I do believe that some of my greatest work was—no, never mind…I just re-read it).

Sadly, I realized almost from Day One that the pajamas would have to go. It’s difficult to take work seriously when dressed in flannel strawberries. Also, there seems to be some strange subliminal connection between pajamas and sleeping that makes it impossible to stay awake for any great length of time. In fact, the first reams of production that this writer produced consisted of 24 forehead-induced pages of the letter “h,” in seemingly endless rows. When I awoke and tried to read it, my first thought was, “How cool, church pews!”

And, of course, to keep you from breaking away to type a bunch of “h” rows on your computer, I shall provide:

hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

And then, of course, I had to type 25 other letter rows to be sure the “h” has the coolest character. I decided the “m” is rather intriguing as well, because it looked like something I could fall asleep on…

mmmmmmmmmmmmmm

…which brings me to the second giant oak tree of a barrier that has fallen across the road ahead of me: Attention Deficit Disorder.

I’m learning that I will break for anything.

  • I break to watch the cat bathe. It’s mesmerizing how he can move his leg like that. I can verify that it’s not a feat humans should attempt to replicate because I gave it a shot (ADD at its finest moment) and nearly had to call 911. Fortunately, I was in my pajamas so I just slept it off until my limbs unfolded.
  • I break to check my blog traffic…every fifteen minutes. (By the way, whoever you are in Brazil, boa tarde and thanks for noticing me. Your visits make me feel like an international star!) Watching blog stats can be addicting if you aren’t careful. Every time someone views my pages, I know it. Sadly, that’s all I know: someone was there. I just wish the data could tell me if you read it all, if you liked it, if you hated it, if I made you giggle at least once, and if right now you ‘re lifting my words for some motivational poster that’s going to come to me on the next social media mass-mailing, or worse, to be used in a class on how NOT to write. For the most part, checking stats makes me smile. Plus, I’m still so new at this blog thing that every time someone “shares” a post rather than just “like” it, I do a grateful little happy dance, which, for someone with ADD, could also lead to a 911 call.
  • Even the food mocks me

    You Rack Diciprine!

    I break for food. Sometimes when I’m not at all hungry. The fridge has a telepathic ability to serenade me from the kitchen, and, as with any other earworm, I cannot get its song out of my head. The avocado will go bad in three minutes if you don’t eat it! …Chicken, I got some chicken heah! And the worst: Ahh, sweet, velvety chocolate; Easter is over, you can’t leave this stuff lying around!

  • I break for email. Even e-mail from stranded Sudanese princes who need to put millions in my bank account to protect it from Somali pirates.

OK, that last isn’t true. Everyone knows even the Somali pirates have my account numbers.

My point is, I still haven’t mastered the art of what I’ve heard writer (and probably quip-lifter) Alton Gansky call “butt-in-seat” focus. I’m averaging about five hours of real writing each day.

On the helpful side, I’m fortunate in that my current project, Joe’s story, still fascinates me, and that some days he’s my greatest distraction—I really want to see how this book is going to end. I keep the pages open on my computer so whenever I DO untangle myself and sit down, I’m immediately drawn into them and start typing.

So,

  • Get dressed: check.
  • Turn off the computer sound, so the email ding doesn’t: check.
  • Keep sitting back down: check.

I’m sure there are many other words of wisdom my fellow ADD freelancers can share that will help us all up our game. Care to share? We’re all ears…what are your tricks for keeping at it?

(Ha! I just realized how mean that question is. I’ll understand if you don’t answer…but you can’t not, can you?)

Survey Says: What the heck was I thinking?

27 Mar

It took me a long time to decide to write this because I thought displaying my lack of faith would discredit the amazing things God has done for me thus far. After all, I’ve been saying all along that the one constant on my journey to become a full-time writer has been my conviction that it’s exactly what God wants me to do.

So, of course He’s going to take care of me, right?

Compass

To find your direction…

Well, he did for a while. It’s been two months since I left my paying job, and we’ve been successfully balancing atop a financially precarious fence by relying on predictability. I mean, absolutely NO surprises.

Then yesterday I noticed the cat behaving as if he has another infection (something he usually conveys by “marking” the floor). Setting that issue on the back burner, I took my youngest to his dentist appointment, where I learned his wisdom teeth need to be pulled, like, now. Also, the dentist says, his lower teeth are turning—he needs to go back to the orthodontist. Finally, as I drove home I noticed with dismay that the “check engine” light on my dashboard is flashing.

I can’t afford all of these crises, and certainly not all at once.

Despair washed over me in an avalanche of self-doubt:

What the heck was I thinking, leaving a perfectly good job? If I were “working,” these issues could have been easily resolved!

My knee-jerk reaction should have jerked me to my knees. But I sped right past that and settled for just being a jerk.

I have to make some income, I thought, turning to the internet in a panic. Somehow all my wild clicking landed me on some “pay-for-survey” sites, where companies “pay you handsomely for ten minutes of your time.”

Perfect! I have opinions…they want to pay me for them? How cool is that?

So I spent hours clicking boxes, typing in preferences, and disclosing the darkest secrets about the potions and lotions lurking in my medicine cabinet. My clicking finger became sore, my shoulders ached, my eyes started burning from staring so intently, but I kept on. Finally, when I could no longer focus, I quit for the night. I made $6.50, which, apparently, I now have to report to the IRS.

After a fretful night’s sleep, I started this morning stumbling blindly in a cloud of defeat, but this time I did turn to God, praying my oft-recited, “I believe Lord; help me in my unbelief.”

Instead of finding an answer, I found my mind wandering through an uncharted outline of an intriguing story idea, one with many layers, and action, and joy, and discovery, and—wait! I already have a writing project; I don’t need another!

Frustrated, I left my time of prayer (and I jotted down a few notes about the story idea, because it really is cool…)

compass and cross

…you first have to know where you’re going.

Then, on my way back from my son’s bus stop, I heard a one-minute radio spot that brought me back to solid ground. I was reminded that, much like a pilot navigating through a fog, I know where I’m going and I can trust the navigation tools I’m relying on to get me there.

I had to admonish myself for perhaps the millionth time: You’re exactly where God wants you to be. He never said it would be easy, but He did say, “Trust me.”

So I went into the house and got to work, beginning my day as usual by reading a psalm. Today it was Psalm 142. I got no further than verse 3: “When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who knows my way.”

With a bit of a jolt I thought back to the cool story outline. Criminy! That was His promise! He’s telling me there’s something next. And there will be something after that, and after that. The bills will get paid, and we will be fine. He knows the way; I don’t have to.

So I write about my momentary lack of faith because it shows I’m human, but it also demonstrates how our faith can actually grow through moments like this. I’m more certain about what I’m doing than ever. Besides, as my friend Liz reminded me this morning, with some whiskey and a good pair of pliers, I can handle that ol’ wisdom teeth issue…

By the way, my inbox was flooded this morning with survey opportunities screaming at me: Tell us about your car! What’s the best soft drink? Do you have insurance? Click here, Click HERE, CLICK HERE!

I not only deleted the emails, but took the extra two minutes to hit the “unsubscribe,” which is the “morning-after” click for irrational internet panic.

Now I shall return to Joe’s story, my friend and current project, knowing I’m right where I’m supposed to be, and that He knows the way to where we’re going.

I hope He has pliers.

The Early Bird Knows the Secret

4 Jan

I awoke to four sweet, staccato chirps, and smiled as I listened to the persistent warbler outside my bedroom window. Again and again he beckoned to me with the same four-note aria, paying no heed to the drawn shade that separated us. I knew he was calling to me, but I didn’t want to stir from my warm bed. Tossled, twitching branches on the tree outside cast a quivery shadow against the shade, and a blustering gust of wind buffeted the house’s siding, confirming my suspicions: It was a cold, windy day out there.

I think I’ll stay put, thank you very much.

Still he sang. His notes were melodious and clear; I was content to just lie there and listen. So much joy from such a tiny creature! I couldn’t imagine what this bird might have to be joyful about. Surely if he knew the snug coziness of an electric blanket he might be singing a different tune out there on that naked tree limb.

Eventually though, his song (and the thought of a hot cup of coffee) got to me. I extricated my lazy self from the soft covers, covered my flannel jams with my warmest robe, and crossed over to raise the shade, mentally prepared for a bleak January scene.

How wrong I was.

Instead of bleakness, the world outside had transformed overnight into a pristine wonderland. Two inches of pure white blanketed everything around me, and a rather spectacular sunrise was radiating its golden orange light across the snow-covered trees and rooftops, glistening majestically as far as I could see.

And there was my soloist: a tiny brown wren with his beak pointed up to heaven, singing for all he was worth. How could he not? He cocked his head to look at me, as if to say, “See? Didn’t I tell you?” and resumed his joyful twittering.

I watched for quite some time, mesmerized. All too soon, the golden hue dissipated as the sun rose higher; leaving a scene that was still beautiful, but slightly less enchanting.

To think I would have missed that just to stay comfortable.

Then I went downstairs, where the morning had more delight in store for me. Entering the kitchen, I noticed a particularly large shadow cross the window as something flew to the birdhouse in the back yard.

Probably those darned crows, I muttered to myself. Such bullies they are.

I headed over to the sliding-glass door to thump the window pane (like that ever works). To my amazement, it wasn’t crows, but the return of our favorite winter visitors, the Pileated Woodpeckers.

Pileated Woodpecker

This is Dactyl. Don’t be fooled; that’s a relatively small birdhouse he’s perched upon.

Now, these guys aren’t your average woodpeckers. In fact, we’ve named them Terry and Dactyl, if that tells you anything. They are so large, even the crows give them wide berth. According to our bird manual, the Pileated Woodpecker can grow to about 17-inches long. They also have a deep red crest. I could watch one for hours.

The thing is, they never stick around long, and they’re early risers so we don’t catch a glimpse of them often. If I’d stayed in bed, I would have missed this as well.

How many of us live our lives like that? Chosing comfortable, safe, and familiar over the unknown, wondering what’s “out there” but not curious or brave enough to go look for ourselves? What do you suppose we’re missing?

At my office, I work with quite a few brilliant people who sit in their familiar cubicles day after day performing mundane tasks, all the while saying there must be a better way and purposefully ignoring the “I wonder ifs” hovering overhead:

  • I wonder if I could make it as a professional photographer.
  • I wonder what it would take to start my own brewery.
  • I wonder if I’ll ever go to law school.
  • I wonder if I should homeschool my child.

I know this, because they do occasionally talk about their dreams, and because I do the same thing. For the past ten years, I’ve been talking about leaving my job to write full-time, but the office paycheck is steady and my coworkers are great people. It’s comfortable.

But change is waiting for me, like the wren outside my window, singing, beckoning.

The time has come to throw off the cozy blankets. Can I do it this time?

…I’ll let you know next Saturday.