Sunday, June 22, 2008

Squaw or Squawk

A friend of mine submitted a body of work to Squaw Valley Writers and was accepted! Very exciting, very prestigious. I'm really excited for her, in fact, we critique each other's work, so I'm especially happy and proud of her.

I thought about submitting but decided to take a different path. I asked a published writer (of several novels) to review my work. Also, we're going to be out of town during the weeklong conference and I wouldn't be able to attend anyway.

So my husband and I were getting ready for bed the other night and as I was standing over the sink getting ready to brush my teeth, I told him my friend's good news and that as thrilled as I was for her, I still felt the bite of that little green-eyed monster lurking and he said, "How can you be jealous? you didn't even submit anything." He's right, I didn't but still ... you know?

Should I have applied anyway, even though I couldn't go? Suppose I applied and was accepted! What then? I had this great fantasy about Squaw while I stood in front of the bathroom sink brushing my teeth ...

I'm at my desk writing and I hear the mailman's truck drive up. I'm torn--write, get the mail, write, get the mail (I have little self control and I'm very nosey--but aren't most writers?) It's a Saturday afternoon, I walk downstairs, out the door and follow a dirt path through a meadow with wildflowers blowing in the breeze (don't you love make believe???) and make my way to the mailbox. I'm wearing something "writerly" (although I have no idea what that would be) probably something "flowy" or gauzy and my barefoot toes are sending up little puffs of dust as dirt quishes into them. Obviously, I'm clutching a pen in my left hand, too. I'm distracted because I'm in the middle of an important scene, but the call of the mail was too loud and I had to, just had to get to the box. I open the small mail door, eagerly stick my hand in and find an envelope with the Squaw Valley Writers return address (let's pretend it's a manila envelope) With trembling fingers I slice through the envelope and guess what? I'm accepted! I hoot and yell and jump for joy -- and then I sit down and pen a note saying, "Gee, I'd love to attend, I so appreciate the invitation and I'm thrilled that you like my work (Sally Fields you like me you like me) but unfortunately, I can't.

There, done. I love fantasy ... maybe that's why writing works for me. But what I also know is that when I feel this way (with the green eyed monster) it means there's something I need to be doing. So I always use things things in two ways:

1) as a sign from the Universe that something related and very exciting is coming my way


2) that I have work to be done -- otherwise I wouldn't feel any pangs of jealousy

All of the above said, it's sort of silly to be jealous, although I am very happy for her, because I didn't even apply. It's like being sad you didn't win the 10K when you slept in...

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