I had every intention of continuing our ode to spring and the plants we put in the ground to honor the season, but time slipped away before I could snap pics of my new pots and the pretty flowers they contain, so I’m scratching the gardening post (some of you are rejoicing; others are disappointed we don’t get to gab about green things) and going with something not quite so organic. Even though I did insert a pic of Lady and the Tramp from Epcots’ Garden Festival.
Just so you get where I’m coming from, let me say I have a very tight deadline and need over 17,000 words by next Friday to complete my book - my Christmas book - so it’s really hard to think cashmere scarves and twinkle lights when I’m eyeing strapless sundressess and the bottle of sunscreen sitting in the bathroom winking at me when I go by to remind me it’s almost time to put on the swimsuit (It doesn’t really wink – just trying out my skills in personification). But every day I get closer and closer to my deadline and closer and closer to a summer where I will not have as much time to loll about on a beach chair at the pool because I have more books to write. Seven more on my contract to be exact. So as I sit in this chair I feel a little claustrophic, and as I read about people frolicking at RT and other conferences, I feel extreme jealousy that everyone is out having fun, doing booksigning and posing with cover models, while I’m sitting her on my too white butt churning out lines about Christmas carols and shiny boxes with giant bows.
So when my neighbor asked me to sub in at Bunco down the street, I played mother of the year, skipping my boys’ baseball games, pouring a glass of wine and hopping into the golfcart to head down for some dice rolling and some time to forget about writing.
But thing was….I couldn’t.
Well, not so much the actual writing. It was more the fact I couldn’t forget I’m a writer.
Know what? Writing has changed me a lot. It’s very strange, but it has. I’m super observant and not very content to carry on conversations about ballet, school testing and shopping. Once I was good with it. That was my world – one of monograms, recipe exchanges and tips on where to find the newest Tory Burch sandals. Caterered meals, driveways full of Suburbans and Louis Viutton purses lining the antique sideboard. Club memberships, camp choices and the cutest serving trays. Bizarre how alien I feel in a world I was once so comfortable within. The whole time I sat and listened, rendering the occasional comment, I wondered if they could tell how different I was.
Not because it’s wrong to talk about all those things, or to care about them. Hey, whatever floats your boat, right? And I like the women there. Good people. But it amazed me I had changed and hadn’t really realized it. Like, for example, I knew more about Facebook, Twitter, etc, than they did. Okay, well, they had me beat on Pintrest, but otherwise, I was more connected. What? I know. It’s true. I pulled out my phone and showed them how to tweet and follow people. And then there was the part of me that felt all scientist behind the microscope, analyzing the things they said, the things that were important to them….the shoes they wore, the lip gloss and the way everyone drank water with cucumber slices in it. And then there was the actual game. Um, nobody really paid attention to it. They kept miscounting and forgetting to keep score. This drove me nuts, and I guess it’s because in writing we’re constantly competing with each other – either on the editor’s desk or in the reader’s good graces. It’s all about bringing your game and playing to win. And that wasn’t the purpose of Bunco it seems.
All I can say is that I’ve changed. Sorority party girl, charming cheerleader and playground social butterfly had faded and in it’s place a different woman has emerged. My interests are different and I was definitely fish out of water. Maybe it was because many of the ladies there are “friends’ but not “friends” …or maybe it was because they weren’t writers and didn’t “get” me. There was no talk of POV shifts or what’s hot in YA at the moment. No gabbing about confernces past and present or the agent who clipped her fingernails during pitch sessions. Nope. None of that.
Just very, very different….and made me wonder about who I’d once been and who’d I become over the past few years.
So now I’m eager to know if you’ve ever felt like odd man/woman out at a gathering. Did you stay and fit in? Or was it too much for you to overcome? Any tips for being the odd duck?