So this is what it feels like––to set a goal for oneself and meet it.
I’ve set lots of goals in my life: learn French; stop automatically saying NO to my children; walk 10,000 steps every day; lose the new-baby pouch; learn to wear make-up; stop pronating; be a school principal; be unenvious of my sister; become a Master gardener: build a house with Habitat in Zimbabwe. The list of unaccomplished goals goes on and on, despite the fact that, as I recorded in my personal journal, I truly believed I could do each and every one.
Life intervened. I didn’t go to Paris again, my sons grew up, my knee got iffy, the pouch became a paunch, mascara makes my eyes water, my ankles stayed crooked, I wasn’t hired, my sister’s life isn’t that perfect, I live in a condo, Zimbabwe needs a new government, not an old woman in jeans.
Then, three years ago I set yet another goal, to publish Graffiti Grandma. Self-publish, since twenty agents either said ‘Not for me,’ or didn’t answer my queries at all. My progress, complaints, new skills, depressions were all recorded in this blog, which I called Breakout Novel, A Race to the Finish: .A seventy-five year old novelist chronicles the mulling-over, editing, sharing-with-friends stages of the push to get Graffiti Grandma, her fourth novel, read and then published. This is not the first time she’s taken on this task. Perhaps this time? Or will senility win the race?
The few of you who have followed this long process know that Graffiti Grandma is, as of this month, officially published as a paperback. Kirkus Review, very positive, came in one day before the launch party, which made the champagne and hors d’oeuvres even more festive since my husband made a huge, laminated poster of it and hung it over the table.
As I wrote in my emails to friends, when the book is launched, and so will I be, out of my chair as a marketing executive. I have met my goal, not terribly graciously, these last months of internet fishing warping both my body and my personality, but I’m pretty sure that I’m not senile yet. Or maybe I am. Perhaps that is why tomorrow I will set another goal: to finish that fifth novel, the one about the old lady who wakes up one Christmas morning lying next to her dead husband. Finish, not publish.
And, perhaps I’ll create a new blog, someday, about the joys of writing just for oneself. Until then, thanks for reading this one. Jo