Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Best Laid Plans and Lucky 13

So the past two weeks I have suffered from the worst migraine in my life that ended in a trip to the ER for a migraine cocktail. As for the past two years, well, they've been full of surprise health challenges that have been frightening, but I got through them. Yesterday, I forgave myself. My body. I acknowledged that the human condition is one of complex frailty and that if I am to learn from failure, I must let go of my unhealthy frustration and expectations of how my life should be unfolding right exactly this minute.

But I will also honor my dreams as best I can, with whatever thimble's worth of diligence and determination I can muster day by day.

When I attended the Fargo SCBWI regional conference in September 2019, I was in horrendous pain from what I later found out was pelvic floor dysfunction. I couldn't go to the bathroom properly, and sitting was utter agony. I carried a hemorrhoid pillow with me everywhere. I was mortified when an editor sat at my table during lunch and I had to repeatedly excuse myself for bathroom breaks. But you know what? I learned so much at the conference! I had a marvelous time with all my fellow writers despite feeling terrible. And someone liked the premise of Agent Regalia and is expecting me to complete her story.

So I won't give up. I am more than the sum of my pain, ink is also in my blood. 2020 is going to be a good year, I know it . . . because it marks the thirteenth year since I started writing novels. And 13 has always been my lucky number!

Here is a surprise peek at the opening to the sci fi verse novel I am writing, BAD SPECIES. I hope to finish both Agent Regalia and this new experiment this serendipitous year.




The Grit


Humans like me
aren’t born on Earth anymore,
but Mama still believes
the memory of that planet
twists through our DNA
in all the ways bones branch into
skeletons and knuckled fingers.

No Homo sapien has set foot on the blue sphere
in more than forty years.
(It’s not ours anymore)
Maybe that’s why “Earth” rolls like a hollow orb
on my tongue: Urrrr—
(a deep growl rises in my throat as I sound my ancestry out)
tthhh . . . .
that single syllable always ends in a pathetic lisp!

Yet Mother wants me to believe pretend
that stupid dead word holds some
secret power in the saying, like maybe—
home can never be stolen away, not when
the core of the world curls inside the wail of each newborn
and terra firma
solid ground—
finds form in the flesh of a child.   

So she named me “Pearl,”
not after the shiny nacre,
but for the precious grit
that lies at its true
origin point—
a tiny speck of Earth lodged deep inside my heart.

I can never escape the weight of it.