Tuesday, October 14, 2008

It's been a while (Book Update)

Well. I'm up to about 125,000 words now. That's crazy. Who was it who said she didn't believe there was anything else for her to say when people started coming out of the woodwork back in 2005 and prompted me to write a book? And that was before the LGBB was even thought of. Cripes....

I think I'm creating a trilogy, frankly! I mean, I'm not even up to the year we did IVF. I haven't even started on the second year without Ellanor. It is such a fabric, literally has a life of its own. I get dragged out of bed at very uncivilised hours of the dawning morning sometimes, I'm merely the button pusher it feels like, in these moments. It's a feeling like, if I don't get it down, it will be lost. And sometimes the words and paragraphs form in my head like big waterbombs, all loaded ready to go. Perfect as they are. Who'd want to lose such good stuff? And if I don't get to a computer (or at least paper and pen to jot main points in order to pick up the threads), it's as if it all smashes on the floor of my brain.

I've come to trust that the good stuff will always float back to the surface and I'll think about it in the front of my mind again. I'm learning that what is ending up on these pages is really only the good, useful, tangible stuff. The peaks, the troughs.

An excerpt, I hear you say? Why, of course I can oblige :) Here's an early one:

I received my licence as an agent’s representative. But I never put it to good use. Four days after receiving the certificate, I felt an overwhelming and undeniable urge to resign. For the first time since being offered my first full time job by John, there was no alternative job to go on to. I was jumping without even checking if I was secured to the other end of the rope.
“Are you sure?” my boss was a bit shocked. Probably also somewhat concerned – I was leaving at a fairly busy time of year – but the doubt and disappointment on her face could not persuade me to change my mind for the sake of keeping her happy.
“Look, I’m only telling you this because we’ve become friends since I’ve been here and I don’t want you to read anything else into my decision,” I started to explain. “I’m pregnant again.” Sandra congratulated me.
“Well, if truth be told, it’s actually the fourth pregnancy I have had since I started here,” I said.
“Fourth?!” Sandra replied incredulously. “My gosh, I’m so sorry,” she added, as the realisation sank in that I had obviously had three miscarriages in the space of time she had known me.
“Thanks, it’s okay. I’m okay,” I assured her. “But it has been incredibly difficult. I’ve been lucky, I guess, that I can keep working through them.” I thought better of saying more, something held me back. Part of me wanted to lay on the table to Sandra that, despite the resistance I had always felt from her that she was doing me some huge favour anytime I had time off (which was extremely rare, as I was never one to take sick days), I had trudged on. Come in even though I could have stayed home. I realised in our meeting now, though, that it had all been my doing. My decision not to stay in bed under the covers and mother myself properly. My choice to push myself and put myself last, not as a martyr but in order to (I thought) make it easier for everyone if I did everything I could not to make waves or draw attention. This was not Sandra’s fault. The actions I took, had always taken, had always lain with me and my thought processes. When I became loyal to something or someone, especially in my work, it was difficult to stop me doing everything in my power to be there, to pitch in, to improve whatever I could to make it easier for everyone involved. And being that Sandra and I had genuinely become good buddies over the course of my two years there, it was surprising to me that I was still adamant.
“Well, we will be very sorry to see you go. You’ll be missed… I’ll miss you!” she said. “I’ll call Andrea in, she’ll want to see you.”
“Oh… do I have to?” I knew Andrea would try to convince me to stay. But it was the one thing Sandra overruled me on. A meeting was set up and so, later that day, I had to again face my Manager and now the Area Manager to advise of my decision to leave.
“I hear you’re thinking of leaving us,” Andrea started.
I felt a bit ridiculous as we all sat there in our black power suits around the beautifully polished boardroom table. In such a relatively short space of time, I had grown out of this corporate world where I used to feel so comfortable. Now, it was holding me back, I felt.
“I’m not thinking about it, I have actually made my mind up, I’m afraid,” I replied, somewhat apologetic. My conscious mind, even then, was thinking things through logically. It was as if I had it on one shoulder, counting on its fingers all the things I was giving up. A great career with a promising outlook – promotion appeared to be a given, it was just a matter of waiting for a position to open up in this expanding building corporation – a wage I had only dreamed of as a kid out of high school with no savings to my name and already trying to find enough for rent; a wide variety of people contact that never staled; a sense that I was doing something good there and really making a difference.
But on my other shoulder, here was this little presence. “Just do it”, she coaxed, very simply. “Be strong.” And that’s all she gave me to go on as I made a life altering decision in the presence of my work superiors.
“I’m actually almost six weeks pregnant,” I explained to Andrea. Sandra glanced at me and smiled encouragingly. “This isn’t the first time I’ve been pregnant. But this time, I have to give it a chance. I have to stop putting first all the things I can see in front of me and take a leap of faith.” I could not believe these words were coming out of my mouth, it seemed so flaky in contrast to the perfectly groomed power-dressers in the imposing boardroom. But I went on.
“This time, I have to put my family first.” I choked on the words in my mouth and uttered a tiny gasp. My family. In that instant, I realised something that gave me a tiny head-spin. It was not just a pregnancy Steve and I were trying to maintain here. Not just an accomplishment to rack up in order to say we had done it, had “beaten the miscarriage gremlin”. The flourishing of my family was being stunted and I felt, in no small part, that it was being prevented from coming in by me. I knew then, even looking at the uncertainty on Andrea’s face, that I was definitely on the right track here. Fear and all.

What do you think? Does it move anything in you? Is it relevant to you?

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