Last night I dreamt that I put my pen away and took up a retail job. As my career. Now — I have nothing against retail. Or, more accurately, I have nothing against people who WORK in retail. But I worked in retail for ten years, and it’s not high on my list of Favoured Professions. Hence why I woke up from that dream with heart palpitations and an ugly taste in my mouth. I would much prefer a future that doesn’t have a Black Friday, a Boxing Day, or a Canada Day Blowout Sale. Please oh please.
Tomorrow is D(eadline) Day for the submissions that went out in the middle of November. Eep. EEP. I am, in a word, terrified. Although I am feeling much better about life in general than I was at the end of last week, when I got walloped by a nasty bout of existential malaise (ohgodit’snevergoingtoworkoutandi’mgoingtolivewithmyparentsFOREVERandiwillbeafailureuntilkingdomcome! Etc.) and spent approximately two days crying nonstop.
And then I had a lovely talk with my parents. My parents, who are hardworking and amazing and have never stopped believing in me and in this book. A talk in which they reminded me that everyone has moments in life when they struggle, when they don’t know what the future holds. (I also had the same talk — and broke down again — with my sister, a day or so later. She said much the same thing, and I sat on the bed beside her and felt like she was holding my heart soft in her hands the whole time.) And then we reflected on the fact that things could be so much worse, which is true. I have so much. I have always had so much. A family that loves me, friends who inspire me every day. So many stories collected over the years. So many opportunities taken and enjoyed. So much life experience! All of which means stories, and words, and more feathers thrown into that canyon, more moments spent waiting for that echo. I am so thankful for all of it.
Either way, these things will continue regardless of what happens tomorrow. This thought fills me with joy. And regardless of what happens tomorrow, this whole submissions process has been valuable, and wonderful in many ways. We’ve gotten some good feedback, and good suggestions for the manuscript. And should the answer tomorrow be no — on to the small presses. Or perhaps the American market. And in the meantime, there will be more short stories to write, other essays to explore, and a new life to begin, somewhere else in this country. Montréal? I think so. I think I hear it calling.
So … let’s see what 2011 has in store.