Posted by Lynne
There's a Griffin family conversation that happens every year around this time. Someone asks, "What do you want for Christmas?"
Tom always says, "Socks and underwear." Caitlin, "Books and candy." Stephen, "Music."
And I say, "I don't need anything, I already have everything I want." To which I get booed for being "cheesy."
I say this every year, because a person with a supportive, loving husband and two healthy respectful teenagers is already more than blessed.
For more years than I can count I could've said, "I want a hard-working, well-respected agent. One who understands my work and hopes to help me build a career. A woman preferably--one who knows how to talk about books, and publishing and even ventures into easy family chit-chat." No, I could not ask for this gift out loud. Even Santa doesn't know how to wrap up a present so perfect.
As far back as 1998, I dreamed I'd find a nonfiction book deal under my tree. A parenting book, please. This wish was one I hadn't done as well to hide, everyone who loves me knew about this dream. I'd never ask for it though, because I knew it couldn't be found in stores or borrowed. This gift would have to be earned through hard work and perseverance--no one could give it to me.
For more than seven years now, long before a single word graced the page, I could have asked for a published novel. I'd read of the miraculous stories of actresses discovered at soda fountains, why not a writer who pondered her stories in a seaside town in Massachusetts. Silly dreamer, best to keep that secret wish just that.
You'd think that this year when all my private desires have been realized that I'd say the same thing to my family when asked what I wanted for Christmas. Certainly now I truly don't need anything else. Instead, this year before I had the chance to contain it, one word popped out of my mouth. My secret wish no longer wished to be secret.
I want time to read the work of great writers. I want to aspire to be a better writer, to take the gifts I've been given and nurture them. I want time to write my next story, to spend time with the make-believe people I can already call family. I want time with my family and my friends, the people who know who I really am and how deeply grateful I am to be living a literary life.
I suppose all I've ever really wanted is time, whether I said so or not. Funny how the gift of twenty-four hours a day has always been there. Exactly how to spend that precious present has always been the trick.
So I'm asking for time this year. And I'm wishing all of our blog friends and readers Happy Holidays. May you be blessed with the clarity to see the gifts of time hidden within every day and the wisdom to know how to use it.
Huge thanks to the amazing foreign rights department at St Martin's Press who continue to give me gifts. This week my novel, Life Without Summer sold to Germany.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Posted by Lynne