Saturday, May 31, 2008

TEN


(photo source: here)

If you read around this blog often, you know by now that I very *rarely* take on memes--but this one was just too intriguing. I came across it at a fellow Literary Mama's blog, here.

Ten Years Ago
I was in college with two majors. A year earlier, an advisor said that my one low semester meant I wouldn't be able to graduate with the English Education degree. She told me to "explore other options". Instead of letting her bruising pronouncement get the better of me, I told her I would earn a 4.0 for the next two years, which I then did. I juggled this heavy academic task with mothering one luminous little girl, age two. We lived in a cozy little apartment, a family of three, surrounded by a rowdy crew of other college kids who smoked cigarettes on their front stoops and had loud drunken fights on the lawn at night.

Ten Months Ago
I was busy teaching at the college and spending long days with my three kids, sometimes by a pool. I was frustrated about my novel all summer, lost in "the middle" and half-certain I would never finish the damn thing. To force myself to organize my thoughts, I applied for a state grant with a July 31st deadline two days before it was due. I was feeling stuck and in a creative and life rut.

Ten Days Ago
I was sitting in my morning cafe "office", writing in my journal, finishing up grades for student portfolios, sipping Chai. I also had a stack of postcards with me to give out to my cafe patrons and the indie bookstore folks next door about my public reading of that formerly "damn" manuscript as part of fulfilling my requirements for the state grant win.

Ten Hours Ago
I was wandering through a store with my oldest, trying to purchase summer clothes. She is a terrific shopper and I (unless we're in a bookstore) am not. She insisted I try some things on and picked out a few cute t-shirts. A raging thunderstorm was blistering the street outside and we lost power for a minute, prompting her--in spite of her undeniable adolescence--to grab my arm in public.

Ten Minutes Ago
I was finishing up preparations for the "talk" segment of my first solo public reading and discussion tomorrow afternoon at the Arts Alliance.

Ten Minutes from Now
I will be printing out the section of material I am reading and getting a bath after a quiet night alone to breathe.

Ten Hours from Now
I will be sipping Chai and watching the sunlight in the trees from the kitchen table, hopefully not a bundle of nerves and worry over who will (or won't) show up and how the reading will go over.

Ten Days from Now
I will be poolside or in the yard working on the gardens, summer vacation in full swing for the wildies--which means my semester of teaching will have opened up. I will be treading gently over creative terrain, learning from last summer's workaholic blues that June-August are my quietest months.

Ten Months from Now
Well, why not dream big? I will be finishing up book two...teaching full-time at a fabulous high school...finding Migration Summer a home out in the world via the hands of a trusted agent...settled in my personal life and slowly adjusting to the fact that my "baby" is in elementary school with her big brother while the oldest is in (gulp) junior high.

Ten Years from Now
I don't really know...it feels like a decade is light years away. I know two of my children will be old enough for college and one will be high school age (oh my). I will be in my early forties and if all goes well will have a couple of my books sitting on the store shelves I visit so often now!

If any of you are so-inclined...I'd love to see your ten minute ten! I promise an update on how I survived the reading (maybe even with pictures) soon...
Link

7 Comments:

Blogger kristen said...

Oh, thank you for a delicious meme. One that catches me up with you dear girl, but also, gives me something to write...miss you.

Love. xo

11:29 PM  
Blogger odessa said...

hi d,
thanks for posting this meme. i really enjoyed it! hope the reading went well. i can't wait to read your book.

2:13 AM  
OpenID meetmahima said...

ooh
this one is inviting me to respond.
i loved reading your response.
im back on the blog after ages and it feels good to come here and read your words again.

3:57 PM  
Blogger Melba said...

inspiring!

7:20 PM  
Blogger Left-handed Trees... said...

kristen: i hope to see your ten soon!

odessa: thanks for the kind thoughts about the reading...

meetmahima: glad you're back.

melba: so are you!

Love,
D.

2:27 PM  
Blogger Frida said...

I'm not even sure if we can call it a meme, it feels like a writing exercise... I love it.

Huge congratulations on getting through your first reading. I can imagine I would be very nervous, but I liked to see that once you started reading it was all more than fine.

(PS: You did make me giggle with the image of you trying as you might to get the plants to grow faster - don't we all do that?)

1:06 AM  
Blogger Left-handed Trees... said...

Thanks Frida!
Love,
D.

3:34 PM  

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