Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Funny the way things change

Last Wednesday, my local Grocery Outlet held one of its rare 20% off wine sales. For me, this is like Christmas, bacon-wrapped scallops, and an orgasm all rolled into one.

I filled two six-bottle holders with my favorite Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand and trudged proudly back to my car. Once there, I opened the back door and strapped the wine into the kiddie booster chair occupying my backseat.

"Best wine holder EVER," I thought to myself.

Then I considered how bizarre that was.

If you'd told me a year ago there would someday be a child's car seat in my vehicle, I would have asked about the length of your furlough from the mental institution. The idea that I'd not only be dating someone seriously, but dating someone with children was about as likely as the odds I'd give up romance writing to become a nuclear physicist.

But here I am now, ridiculously happy with the new direction my life has taken.

It got me thinking about other things I never imagined myself thinking or feeling one year ago. Last March, I was still five months away from having any books released. Now I look at Amazon and see Making Waves, Getting Dumped, and Believe it or Not lined up in a pretty little row. While that's a joyful feeling an I'm eternally grateful to have reached this point in my career, one thing I didn't expect to feel is terror.

Terror that I won't be able to keep up the pace or that I'll run out of ideas or that a ninja wombat will chew off all my fingers and I won't be able to type anymore. I'm coping fine, and there are certainly worse hangups to have, but the feelings are unexpected nonetheless.

If I go back two years instead of one, I see myself sitting here at my desk during that funny window of time when I wound up with a brand new three-book romantic comedy deal only a few weeks after I got laid off from my marketing job. At that point, I hoped there might be some way to avoid ever going back to a regular day job. I imagined myself as a full-time novelist eating bon-bons and typing at a feverish pace as my shirtless cabana boy mopped my brow and fed me frozen grapes.

Fast forward two years to today, I can't imagine myself without my part-time day job doing marketing and PR for my city's tourism bureau. I love my job, and can honestly say I'd consider doing it even if no one paid me. Certainly not something I thought I'd say before I discovered what a cranky, listless, unimaginative beast I am if I don't drag my introverted writer butt out of the house to interact with humans at least three days a week.

Do you ever play this game with yourself? Are there things in your life right now that you never imagined yourself saying, thinking, or feeling just a year or two ago? Please share!

And then let's all raise a toast to change with a glass of safely-transported Sauvignon Blanc. Cheers!


Unknown said...

2 years ago:
1) I didn't think I'd be able to make up my mind between my dream of travelling and my dream of settling down. Recent experiences solved that for me - now I just need to afford that huge farm for all unwanted animals that I wish to run.

2) I didn't see myself sharing my flat with a 3,5 legged cat and a bunny who's convinced he's immortal.

3) I didn't know the absolute joy of having a nephew - and didn't think there would be another nephew/niece on the way.

4) I didn't know how much I'd love taking lessons at a riding school and how nice the people there would be.

And just 5 minutes ago I didn't think I'll come up with as happy things as you had.

Patrick Alan said...

I don't want to say this is experience talking, but never roll bacon wrapped scallops and an orgasm.

Deborah Blake said...

Yay for wine sales! (I'm sorry--that WAS the important part of this post, right?) And yay for positive change.

I don't know that there is anything drastic I can point to in the last couple of years, but if you had told me in 2005 that I would be one of Llewellyn's core of authors, with six nonfiction books and slews of articles out, I would have laughed in your face.

Of course, on the down side, if you told me that I would FINALLY get a great agent and still not have sold a novel two years later, I would have doubted that as well. Still, I know it is coming.

More surprising to me are some of my internal changes, which are slow to happen, but still pretty impressive. Other than, ya know, the twitching.

BTW--I am loving BELIEVE IT OR NOT. I'm starting in on a humorous paranormal called (for the moment) "I Met God at Starbucks" which kind of reminds me of your novels, so it is good inspiration :-)

therese patrick, author said...

I would never have believed that I could follow the journey of an amazing writer (YOU) from pre-publication to now. It's been great!

And, no worries about that terror regarding future works and such. Everyone gets it and it is what keeps the edge fresh. Jayne Ann Krentz said it's there with every book, and she's always sure the one she just wrote will be the one that kills her career.

Jeffe Kennedy said...

You see, Tawna, bon bons and frozen grapes do *not* go together. This was clearly the problem with your vision.

It's lovely to see you happy!

(Even if Xavier is weeping into his pillow...)

Matthew MacNish said...

Next time, wrap your scallops in prosciutto, and marinade in a thin, spicy BBQ sauce. Expensive, but oh so worth it.

Jason said...

I never thought I'd say I don't need the extra money and would rather have more time. I asked for a demotion at one of my jobs specifically so I could have time, even though the cut in pay admittedly hurts a little. Maybe with that free time I'll finish my revisions. :)

Julie Glover said...

When I was a teen, I didn't want to marry or have children, period. I was going to be CAREER WOMAN! Twenty-plus years later, I have a hubby and two kids, I've run a preschool and a children's ministry, and I stay home now and write young adult novels. And I'm in love with my life!

I wouldn't mind a great part-time job, though. :)