Dispatch from Someone Who Has Just Hit Send
Posted on November 11, 2019
Recently, I had lunch with a friend who I’ve known since college. We did the usual catching up about kids, spouses, jobs and our mutual desire to own an Airstream and cruise the country taking in the sights. And then she asked me to tell her about the book I’ve been working on with Raye Montague’s son, David, for the past year. The details tumbled out of my mouth in a sea of “and then this happened…and that happened…and the learning curve was steep and the deadline felt so tight, even though I turned in the book early, and…sometimes it felt so hard, but I learned so much and grew so much and I’m so grateful and wow.”
Amazing storytelling, I know.
The book has been with our editor for more than a week now. We have yet to get his feedback, other than to know that he really wanted to bring a story about an engineer to market, as he came from a family of engineers himself. Our agent sent us a very kind email about the manuscript. That has given us a little wind in our sails.
Things are good. Life is good. I am happy with where we find ourselves at this moment, with this book. There is more to do, of course, but I am grateful for where we are. I’m following an interesting path right now and, fortunately for me, it’s not all that dissimilar from following my heart. Although I did go back to school to study one particular aspect of history that fascinated me, there are a lot of other things that fascinate me too. Working on this book has taken me on a journey I couldn’t have expected, and it has been for the best. I’m excited in a way I haven’t been for some time about whatever comes next, storytelling wise.
So, I’m just curious: Is there any path you’ve followed that has, in some people’s eyes, meandered, but made perfect sense to you, either at the time or in retrospect? What was it and how did it make you stronger, and put you on the road to becoming the person you are today? Or, did the path you began to follow take you somewhere you never could have imagined possible? If so, what was it? I’d love to hear about it. Don’t hesitate to leave me your account in comments, or email me from my contact page.
Also, now that I’ve come out from underneath my manuscript rock, I’d love to answer any questions you may have for me. Please don’t hesitate to reach out!
Some things I’ve been seeing and doing:
- If you have the chance to hear Ta-Nehisi Coates speak about his new book, The Water Dancer, do not miss it. I saw him speak with Tayari Jones last week, and I could have listened to them both for days.
- A former colleague of mine has a Twitter feed for Rupert, her sourdough bread starter, and you can typically find me drooling over the loaves she posts online. Bread lover and Francophile that I am, I recently purchased Apollonia Poilane’s debut cookbook Poilane: The Secrets of the World Famous Bread Bakery, because I am on a mission to recreate those beautiful breads here at home. I’m usually a terrible baker, but so far…so good. Knock wood, or at least the bottom of the boule…
- Last Friday, I heard the Atlanta Symphony perform Tchiakovsky’s Violin Concerto in the morning, before seeing a member preview of Virgil Abloh: “Figures of Speech” at the High Museum of Art. Having moved back to town a year ago, I’m not sure if the ASO does matinees on a regular basis, but this one was packed, and I’d definitely go again if they put another on the schedule. The Abloh exhibit is worth seeing, in part because of his relatively new role as creative director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear line, but also because of the way he has made his mark across a number of creative disciplines. If you’re in Atlanta or nearby, check it out before it closes on March 8, 2020.
- I spent part of a truly gorgeous Saturday at the Decatur Wine Festival with friends, where I lucked into a primo magnum of Cabernet, before heading back home to watch an LSU/Alabama game that pleased me to no end.