Friday, June 20, 2014


by Elizabeth

I had a plan the other day. Driving school for my son in the morning, with me at the bakery next door editing my manuscript, then home for lunch, followed by errands, dinner, and end the day with yoga.

The first part went great. Then home, pull out the meat to put into the crock pot...and oops. The first blip: the pork I'd bought the day before smelled funny, so dinner plans would have to be altered. Well, that was okay. On with the errands! Which went fine, and then home again, getting ready to fix the revised dinner, when blip two happened: my cell rang. My mom had friends flying in for a visit from California, but the last leg of their journey had been cancelled. Could I pick them up at DFW and then drive east until we rendezvoused? There went yoga. (It was actually my second trip to the airport in less than a week, and if you are familiar with 635 in Dallas, you understand this was no tiny favor.)

The first airport run*
But it was okay, all of it, from the spoiled pork to the lost Savasana. I mean, really, in the big picture, it's not like it made a huge difference to me. Plus, I got a chance to say hello to a couple of women my mom has been friends with over forty years, one of whom she met while pregnant with me.

Interesting this happened on a day I was deep in revisions. The flexibility required, the willingness to alter what has been planned, the ability to adjust on the fly, these are qualities necessary to a writer and useful to a satisfying life.

When I emailed my manuscript to three critique partners last month, I felt pretty good about the shape it was in. I'd written, polished, revised and revised and revised, and I was excited to hear what they had to say. Which was not 100% what I had hoped for, but enough of it was positive, enough to continue my belief I had a good thing going, and the suggestions for changes were doable. (They were also unanimous, at times nearly identical, by the way, so I listened. Boy did I listen!) Totally doable, and what I've been doing.

Even without yoga yesterday, I exercised my flexibility, both in my work and my life. The reward is that my manuscript is getting stronger and I got to play superhero for a few hours. Well-worth a cold dinner and a lost hour of yoga.

Good to remember. Good to be reminded. Good to be available, and listening, and flexible when life requires it.

*Please note that I am unfortunately not flexible enough to stash myself inside a carry-on bag and therefore did not accompany my mother-in-law and daughter on this flight to London. Darn it.

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