There is a reason for this demonstrable silence. You can’t know how much I’ve wanted to crawl into this small space of a home and inhabit it with words, and take hundreds of photos of the dishes I’ve been making (or, eh-hem, ordering). But two phone calls turned my week inside out, made me look at my life as if it was the first time I’d seen it.
The first call was from my agent, who is discerning, and brutally honest about the state of publishing, which has been the same state since I was employed by a publisher all those years ago. Everyone assures me that it’s worse. No one’s buying books. No one’s buying fiction. No one’s buying “experimental” literary fiction. If you’re not an alien, hobbit, vampire, or a mean girl, nobody cares, is the constant refrain from everyone, everywhere. So you can understand how I expected the worst, as my agent tends to only take on sure things. Big books. Big, sweeping things. On speaker, he started in about publishing (the usuals, the particulars), but then he said this: there’s something brilliant here.
You should know that my agent doesn’t toss around the word brilliant very often. Over a hundred pages, I somehow created a world where loss, love, sociopathic and psychopathic tendencies, Jonestown, W.S. Merwin, The Shining, Carnival of Souls, adultery, peacefully co-exist. I can’t quite explain what my book is about, as I tend to obsess over characters and watch them play out on the page. Although I will say that I’m exploring loss, the definition of mental illness, hurt, feminism and love.
And my agent said the unexpected: he told me to prepare 100 tight pages for a small submission to publishers come November. He thought the book was that great.
I’m still recovering from our chat. By the way, I’m titling my book Mammoth.
The second call was a siren song from the west. A job opportunity that keeps coming back, and I’ve been moving through the interviews at ease, not excited, non-plussed — I’m just playing out the hand, seeing where it’ll all go. Yet, this morning it occurred to me that I don’t want this opportunity. It’s extraordinary, ambitious, and can give me the financial comfort one would think I needed. But…but…
I don’t want it.
Finally, I’ve made this blog a space I’m proud of. Finally, I’m writing, really writing, not just playing pretend with 300-word blog posts. I’m architecting a family, building a life. Finally, my head’s straight, clear, focused, and I’m off the sauce. Finally, I’ve allowed myself to love a new kitty, Felix. Finally, I’m allowing people in. Finally, I’m taking on the kinds of consulting jobs where people really respect me. Really believe in the work that I can do.
I don’t want to give that up.
So you can see how things have been out of sorts. How it’s been hard to come to this space and make the world simple. But I will say one thing that’s given me joy this week, and it’s the VITAMIX.
Friends, this is not a digression, but another step in making my life a healthier one. Every day I’ve made myself a green smoothie, packing it into a mason jar so I can get my veggies in on my way to the office or to run errands. Appearances are cruel in the way that they can be deceiving, but I honestly feel as if I’m tasting a mango smoothie. AND!! I’m also noticing a marked difference in my complexion. In short, I don’t look like a CORPSE.
All good things. Now only to get editing. Only to get to making a decision.
1 cup chopped mango
1 cup kale leaves (not the curly kind), packed
1 cup spinach leaves, packed
1 apple, cut and cored
1/2 cup coconut water
If you’re mad, like me, and made the fortitous leap to procure a Vitamix blender, simply add all of the ingredients and blitz away for 30 seconds – minute on high. You may need the plunger to ensure that the fruits get evenly diced.
If you’re of the normal stock, you can absolutely enjoy this smoothie by blitzing this in a blender and using a fine mesh strainer. Simply pour out your smoothie into a strainer nestled on top of a bowl and you’ll have a delicious morning elixir.