By Barbara Poelle
I got an email from a colleague recently that just said, “Is this March?”
Now because you don’t speak Death Kitten, I will translate: March was a tough month for me. I felt like I was zipped inside of a hippo carcass and made to fight to the death in the name of entertainment on the dusty, blood soaked sand floor of a stadium packed full of screaming faux royalty.
You know what I am talking about.
Like, they aren’t really royal blood of any kind but they wear shabby chic skinny jeans and silk shirts with voluminous necklines dotted with oddly clustered rhinestones and feathers. And their hair looks like a cross between Beetlejuice and Justin Bieber. And they say fake exclamatory words like, “Flytastic” and “Suge-nasty”. And they have reached such stratospheric boredom in their lives that the only thing that could possibly turn their flaccid existence into anything resembling kinetic movement is watching a literary agent get sewn into the still fresh carcass of a hippo- which smells oddly of spaghettios and leather- and fight someone in a llama suit to the death.
Wow. What the hell was I talking about again? I got so totally distracted about the dystopic world I was building just there. Like Mad Max meets Project Runway.
Okay, wait, I got it. March.
Right! Okay, so for whatever reason, March just kept kicking me in the teeth. I felt like I just couldn’t get ahead of my slush and that I was talking MONTHS to read manuscripts and that I was violently apathetic about the current commercial trends. I was frustrated and shameful and ate my feelings as if I was getting paid per calorie.
Yup, I had the summer blues…in spring.
Now that we are into the dog days, or hippo suit days, of summer, I am fielding a lot of conversations from colleagues and clients alike that sound EXACTLY how I sounded in March. Add to it some 90 degree thigh-kissing weather (you know, like how when it is so hot and you wear a skirt, your thighs kiss as they pass each other) and an inbox that resembles the log book on Liberty Island, and you got yerself a March on your hands. Summer can throw schedules awry and heat up tempers and frustrations inside as quickly as the temperatures rise outside. It is more important than ever to lean on your support system of fellow authors and give yourself permission to close the laptop, grab a lemonade [couch cough add vodka cough] and go outside and READ!
I am telling you, what got me through March was reading some really spectacular works already on the shelf. It reminded me how much I love being a part of this fabulous-frustrating -fantastic industry and how much magic is still out there waiting to break free and shine. And I am privileged- SO privileged- to be a part of that.
You KNOW there is a book on your nightstand you keep meaning to read, but feel guilty that you should be writing or doing yard work- even though when you simply walked out to get the mail your thighs basically got to second base with each other.
Those of you having a March in July, I hereby give you permission to lose yourself in a story this week. In fact, treat yourself to that hardcover you have been eyeing. Remember why there is NOTHING better than a good book. Remember why you wanted to plunge into this crazy stadium to begin with. Remember why you thought this whole writing gig would be so flytastic.
I am off to bedazzle this silk shirt.