Friday, October 2, 2015

The Eagle

For the rest of my life, whenever I hear "The Eagle", I'll think of my friend Jessica's car, back in high school. It was a station-wagon-esque boat of a vehicle that could be started without a key. In the scope of cars, she was a sturdy, mustachioed Polish woman with a soft side and a mad craving for Taco Bell. We called her "The Eag" for short. Because we were busy.

And that rabbit trail perfectly illustrates the problem with being a writer.

Words and phrases have limbs and joints. They carry weight and occupy space inside my head, scurrying around, cuddling up to old memories. They fire off and ricochet around. They make me feel - a swirling symphony, a sonic boom.

They derail my train of thought.

I did not come here to talk about cars or Taco Bell or even my friend Jess, though she is totally blog-worthy.

I came here to tell you THE EAGLE HAS LANDED.

I turned in the manuscript for my book late last night.

WHAT.

It has me all:
 
 
 
Because this is inexplicably important to me, I'd like to announce to the whole world of FPFG readers that it wasn't actually due until Monday. This is the first time in my life that I've turned something in early. And not only that, I still had time last night to unwind with a bowl of generic peanut butter "Cheerios" and two episodes of Parks & Rec. (We're almost finished with the entire series but I'm far too fragile to go there right now...)

I honestly don't know what to do with myself today, or what to think. Or if I even can think. Or if I can do anything at all except drink tea and grin.

At the risk of sounding like a giant whiner, pulling this off was one of the hardest things I've ever done. It took me by surprise. I started off on my high horse, "I write every day! This will be a cinch!"

But before I'd even officially started, the horse had pitched me off and run for the hills, my pride was sore, and my countenance took on the eerie glow of a crazed woman.

Then I accidentally took the entire summer off.

Then I plunged straight into the depths of fear, despair, and copious amounts of Coffee Shop food and days on end where I barefly moved but still fell into bed exhausted.

It was also really fun, some days.

Mostly, it was all consuming. I've heard of "baby brain", and this feels like that baby's cousin.

The process was something like:

 
{here we go...}

{falling apart}

{everyday, I'm hustlin'}

{caught something!}

 
{hello???}

{oy.}

{piles upon piles of clutter}

{led by a pillar of fire???}

 
{get me out of here!} 


{grrrrowllllaghhhh!}

I took two wrong turns for every right one, and I honestly don't even know if I ended up where I was supposed to.

That's not a problem for today.



Today is for:







As of now, my big plans include writing a proper list, getting a full cart of groceries, and (shocker!) making dinner. This hasn't happened in a while.

I also have some books to read. (Hey! Hey! Hey!)


Tea and/or basil gimlets to drink.

Salsa to eat. (Said Ms. Obvious)

And an entire house to clean. (It's quasi-terrifying in here.)

There are miles to go and months of editing ahead of me, but today? I regroup. 

I want to thank you from the bottom of my dusty, mixed-up heart for all the ways you cheered me on. Part of me wishes I didn't need cheering. I know most of you accomplish much harder things, every day. It makes me want to deliver dark chocolate brownies to your door, and it also makes me feel a little like a baby for feeling so dramatic over my own stuff.

But then I remember that's sort of the whole point of the book I just wrote - that we were made to need other humans. We were created to own our smallness and lean on each other. We were built to fall together, not to climb mountains alone.

I'm more fragile than I thought and I'm learning to see vulnerability as one of the best things I can offer God's kingdom here on earth.

So, thank you for the notes and packages (you guys!?!!!), the prayers and the emails, the text messages and the butt-kicks, and the half-gallon of cider with donuts that just showed up at my door.

I love all of you big-hearted weirdos. You're my favorite kind of people. 

 
Honest to goodness, next to God and Cory, you're the reason this is happening. And while a month ago, that made me want to write passive aggressive notes to you and tell you you're mean, like Silas sometimes does, today it makes me want to sit really close to you and kiss your cheek, like Silas sometimes does.

I'm beginning to accept that the point of all of this isn't to make any single human proud of or happy about my words.

But if I had to bend the truth just a little, I'd bend it toward you.

Ever and Ever,
Shannan


*All photos found languishing on my wonky phone.
*Amazon links. (duh)