Life just keeps getting stranger.
After posting the blog entry that precedes this one, I returned to the Twitterverse. Decided to let my eleven followers know that I was back (surely able to fit posting one-liners into a schedule devoted to fiction writing, right?). I joked: Heard you missed my tweets, Yoko, so I’m back. BTW, this year could we ALL finally give peace a chance?
And then I checked my messages. There was only one, sent way back in August. It was from Yoko Ono. I thought that maybe this might be an automated response to anyone who decided to follow her so I checked her stats next. Not surprisingly, she has over a million followers, but she only follows less than half of them (a paltry 486,774). So far, she has posted 2,269 tweets.
Yoko sent me a shout-out. What are the chances? And this morning the hubster told me about a vivid dream he had last night about us hanging with John Lennon. My left brain/head tells me this is because I told him Yoko had sent me a message; my right brain/heart tells me not to discount synchronicity, to stay open to other possibilities.
After all, the life lesson of the past couple of months seems to have been that almost nothing is as it seems. Suffice it to say that December was surreal.
I went to the October bloggers conference to learn about best blogging practices and the biggest takeaway turned out to be a reminder of how much kids hate it when a dog dies in a story; a presenter referred to a popular booklist (“No Dogs Die”) that reassures readers in advance that the pooch in the book doesn’t perish. That did it; I decided to let my dog live. So, I asked an agent who had requested a “full” if she would please wait a bit longer so I could revise the book, which I did in November.
And it was meant to be. Not only did letting my canine character live improve the arc of the story, but all kinds of inspired writing enriched other elements – the addition of a minor character in the form of a kickass grandma, more details on b-girling, an entourage of angel-dudes in a hospital hallway.
I emailed the manuscript to the agent and admitted that a number of advance readers originally had urged me not to kill off the dog, so I was finally honoring their instincts: “The dog in the story now lives,” I told her. “So, incidentally, does my own dog Tuck, who, at 18 ½ years, may, in fact, turn out to be ‘everlasting.’”
As if this claim to immortality was what my beloved dog had been waiting for, he died in my arms the next morning.
I’ve been thinking about a blog post of mine (“Tuck Everlasting”) about Tuck’s earlier reaction to the completion of a draft of the book. And others that have in common the awareness of the road trip to publication being something of a magical, mystery tour: certainly the recent “Letter to the Universe,” two posts on synchronicity in Santa Fe; two posts on guidance coming from out of the blue; yet another (The Ultimate Collaboration”) on cosmic nudges; two on “Signs & Wonders” –signposts or markers that prompt one to keep moving forward, to name a few.
Yes, my novel is about a girl who prefers to be “invisible” and another who sees the invisible… but focus in this blog on the metaphysical has gone beyond the story itself (Mona & Me & the Other Side: aka 2 BGFs & the Dz) to my writing process, not to mention a way of experiencing the world. Perhaps it’s a direction to go in the new and improved blog, if I don’t decide to direct content specifically to tweens or to zero in on content driven solely by marketing savvy — on any day wooing as many visitors to the site as possible. We’ll see. I’m happy that I’ve recorded the journey, so far, for my own future reference and, perhaps, for others’, once the book is in the world.
I’m holding this thought: there are limitless possibilities (which I’ll explore by and by). But now, to the work at hand. Ciao!