If you know me at all, you know I’m sort of all about handstands. Someday I want to be a seventy five year-old lady in a bikini on a beach somewhere, popping into a handstand and having all the locals freak out because all that skin is suddenly sagging in the wrong direction. I want to be a badass grandma. The ones my kids are mortified by but their kids think is supremely awesome.
I hurt my shoulder eleven months ago (rock climbing) and haven’t been able to do handstands. I did physical therapy and even got an injection into the damn thing and now it finally feels pretty good. However, on the day my physical therapist signed me out she wrote a date on a piece of paper: July 4th. “No handstands until then,” she told me. I have to be pain free doing everything: yoga, dancing in my undies, flipping pancakes, flipping motorists the bird, whatever. And even after that, after nothing hurts me at all, I still have to wait. July 4th.
Waiting blows big time.
Before this happened, my goal was to be strong enough to press into a handstand like my 50 pound niece does in gymnastics. I do not weigh 50 pounds, however, and so I need big muscles to press into a handstand, and a lot of core strength, and fearlessness, and a bunch of other stuff including two good shoulders.
So I am waiting, and building strength, and doing other things that I think will make me ready when Independence Day rolls around and I finally kick up my feet and pray that my arms don’t break.
In related news, I finished a book. Let’s call it draft three of said book, even though the first 25% was written in hundreds of drafts before I finally had a good enough idea of what was going to happen that I could rough outline the rest. I wrote the book. I read it and fixed what I knew was wrong with it. I sent that second draft to my corps of beta readers, and then the waiting began. After they got me their feedback and I fixed what needed to be fixed, I sent it to my agent, and now am waiting for her feedback. And once we get it in its party clothes and plumped and primped enough for company so that it can go on submission, that’s when the real waiting begins.
Usually this is where I would start writing another book, but I don’t have anything to write. It’s out there in the ether somewhere, waiting to say howdy, but it hasn’t yet. And so I have been reading. A lot. I am living inside other writers’ books, analyzing how they structure their stories, let their characters speak, how they make me feel things. All the strange and wonderful approaches they can take to crafting a story.
I am trying to learn something from every one of them. I am doing what I think will make me ready once it’s time to start writing.
And when my next story says howdy I will kick up my feet and write and hope my arms don’t break. But if my heart breaks a little, that will be okay. I will know I’m on the right track.