There are only a few clouds in the sky today. The bay is emerald green and rippling from a slight breeze that rolls across Turtle Back Mountain. Madrona trees surround me, serene, majestic, and comforting. It’s a good day but I have to say that I’m still grieving. I don’t know how long it will last and I’m afraid it could be the rest of my life but I’m sure it’ll get better. I hope. So to heap more change onto everything I’ve decided to moved my studio to my dad’s old office on our property. It’s a bold and bittersweet decision that’s come with a lot of tears. He loved this little cottage and he worked in it nearly everyday until late in the evenings. My daughter would visit him after school and I use to wonder what they talked about until I heard her speak at his funeral. Mind you, she’s only seven. “He’ll never have to pay bills anymore. No more bills, bills, bills!”
God, I love that kid.
This small space holds so many memories and it’s been hard to move or change anything. I just keep cramming my paintings in among his stuff. I can’t even move his eyeglasses. They sit right where he left them as if he might come back and put them on. So as I wait to hear from agents and publishers about my recent middle grade submissions,( and a picture book,) I ready myself for what comes next. How do you balance rejection with grief? I ask myself that question a lot and I always come back to the same place. You keep creating, building, writing, painting, and expressing yourself. After all, we’re all entitled to paint and write, even if it sucks. Seriously! Great ideas can only come about if you give them a place to live and an opportunity to be revised, then hopefully, when the times right, you have the guts to stick them out there for the world to see. Frankly, I sometimes feel like it might be easier to run naked across a crowded park but I’d better not do that because I could give someone a heart attack and I don’t want that to happen.
I should also mention that next week is the debut of “A Garden for Pig,” at the BEA. I’m crossing my fingers that it goes well!