If we were to meet and I was wearing lipstick, it would be a signal to call the family, complete your bucket list, and watch the cows come home. Wearing lipstick is like hang-gliding in the mountains – sounds like fun, seems like it would be pretty, but likely to end in disaster. Doing laundry, on the other hand? It’s my happy place, and there’s a load in the basement waiting for me like a high school boyfriend – all smelly and ready to tumble.
What you just read was the opening paragraph to my book, Lipstick and Laundry. I drafted the first version in November and editing it has been like fingernails on a chalkboard. I wanted to write stories funny, witty, and engaging in order to hook the reader from the beginning, sell millions of books, quit my job and retire to Colorado. My plan was to lure them in with clever prose to make him or her fall hard and fast – like high heels on a waxed, gymnasium floor. Unfortunately, my query letter is better than the book itself and chapters are dying like my favorite characters in Game of Thrones: Season 3.
You haven’t seen me in the bloggy-sphere for a while, and that’s purposeful. I’ve gotten e-mails and texts from many of you and it makes me smile to know that you think about me sometimes. Through this absence, I’ve been writing. Every single day and on any scrap of paper or seed packet I can find if my computer isn’t handy. Some of the writing is good. Better than what you just read. Way better. I’m even working with a submissions agent. But not with this book. This book sucks, and I’m thinking about shucking the whole thing.
With regular writing comes natural hibernation. I love people, I work with people, I LIVE with people, but I’ve gravitated to extra alone time. Instead of boxing with ultra-social groups of extroverts, I’m running on quiet trails and practicing peace on the yoga mat. Reading other authors’ works has replaced reading drama on Facebook and I have thoroughly enjoyed being away from the constant string of information and stimulation. That said, I miss seeing pictures of my nieces and nephews and will be back on our Becker FB page this weekend (I promise, mama!)
I’ve also been gardening, basking in my greenhouse, and dirtying my hands in the expanded plot that my husband tilled for me. Butt cheeks and elbows are sky-high as the obsession with tickling life to the surface multiplies with each year.
Does anybody need tomatoes or snapdragons?
I’m not even going to say that I’m busy. That’s what I always say, so I’m striking the word from my vocabulary. We are ALL busy. We watch life rush by at the speed of life while hanging on by ragged fingernails and frazzled nerves. My boss called yesterday and asked how in the heck I was going to make it up and back from Kansas to South Carolina next Monday and still be coherent for an 8:00 meeting on Tuesday morning. I reminded him that I possess questionable coherence even without twenty-hour travel days and that our whole team needs a vacation day.
Life isn’t all serious though. We are in the midst of high school baseball season, and when I’m not watching my favorite Shawnee Heights freshman team, I’m watching or listening to the Royals. Moose is on fire this year and leads the team with .356 batting average. The NFL draft is under way and we are pulling for Eric Kendricks to go to a good home (he’s the son of a co-worker). The Mayweather-Pacquiao fight is on Saturday and we’re hoping to catch it without having to shell out mega $$ for pay-per-view like we did for the 14-second Rousey-Zingano show.
My husband makes me laugh out loud at least once/day, and my wicked heart thrives on inappropriate text messages from my bestie. I’ve accumulated enough wardrobe malfunctions and airport fails to write an entire memoir and guidebook for wayward adventurers.
Things I learned in the past two months:
- It’s faster to drive from Atlanta to Chattanooga than it is to endure a 3-hour layover in Hartsfield-Jackson
- The Chattanooga Choo-Choo is real! Who knew?
- Midwestern girls acquire a Southern accent if we spend more than two days south of the Missouri border
- Wearing a flowy skirt or dress is less comfortable and more complicated if you forget to pack certain articles of clothing. Windy Denver days add to the adventure.
- Teenage boys are moody
- Big boys can be moody, too
- Come to think of it, we can all be moody
- A messy bun passes for a professional hair style on days that start before 5 a.m.
- The Nashville airport has better live music than anything I’ve seen on TV
- Sweet tea and Varsity chili dogs in Atlanta should have a place in the Food Guide Pyramid (Thanks for the heads up, Christy!)
- And finally, I learned that it only takes a belly laugh or a good night’s sleep to change a melancholy mood
Spring is the time of year when pictures on my iPhone go from snow to rain drops. Rolling clouds and citrine landscapes replace snow and ice. My camera is nestled next to the journal I carry with me and both hobbies fill pages of books and files that I’ll enjoy for years to come – even if nobody else reads or sees them.
As always, thank you for reading my ramblings. This isn’t a real post, but wanted you to know that I’m still here. I’m working on a story about how we carry people with us – living and deceased – for later in the month and I’ll be ready to be social again very soon. Your friendship gives me the inspiration for what comes next. In fact, if you have any ideas on how to fix a broken book, you know where to find me. If I’m not in the garden, I’ll be down in the laundry room washing away the world’s problems. Love to you all!