There is a universal order to things, I may not like it, but is there all the same. Sometimes it goes in my favor, other times, it' s against me like a wave that knocks me over on its way into shore, doing what it is supposed to be doing - washing in, pulling back out to sea, according to the ebb and tide of life.
But this week some things are in my favor and I just have to write about it (that's what I do - if you're reading this, you're probably the same!).
Last summer, acting as a giant buoy for my kids in the pool at Grandma & Grandad's house, I told my husband - "Honey, I want a column. I've got to get a column." He looked up from the Sports page and said, calm and sweetly reinforcing, "You can do it. But please don't have an exisential crisis if it doesn't happen right away."
In September 2005, my first article was published in a local print magazine aimed at families. It was my second query. Four articles later, I had a fire in my belly to branch out to the world of national magazines and online ones too. I subscribed to Writer's Market and submitted work like a mad person. I was turned down a lot, got discouraged, but also had some success. I had just enough success to believe in myself and the writing talent I always hoped I had.
And through Writer's Market, I found MWLM. I spent three hours revising and proofing an essay I had written after my daughter's dance recital, and sent it to Paula, Editor of MWLM. It was accepted and featured - I was ecstatic, I screamed and woke up my baby. My essay, "Ballet Slippers as a Rite of Passage" was to be featured in the Summer 2006 issue (I was counting the days until the issue launched)...then I serendipitously came across a poem about summer time I had written for my husband years ago. It was titled "Home by the Sea", rather fitting, so I sent that to Paula, too. My muse was not only with me, she was using her wand to stir up some luck for me, too - my poem was featured alongside my essay.
"If you don't mind, I'll submit essays every now and then," is what I stated in a follow-up e-mail to Paula. I crossed my fingers as I hit send, hoping she would know and read between the lines...I really, really wanted a column. Like some people want new shoes, I want columns, writing gigs, encouragement and gratification, payment is unimportant at this juncture, WILL WRITE FOR EXPERIENCE.
I got the column, and what's more, the universal order of things (and Paula) asked me to join the staff as Senior Editor. Paula just promoted me to Magaing Editor. To what do I owe all this?
I don't know. I speculate, but totally do not ever toot my own horn, I am holding out for the Universe to give me a dream come true (or two, or three), so I can take care of the people who have taken care of me, and give my kids the life they deserve (at that juncture, I think payment would be entirely necessary, but not for this gig, I love my MWLM home).
I needed something for me, I got it. I really have had more success than I ever hoped for or thought possible - and I am proud to say I keep literary company with wonderful people; everyone at MWLM, especially Paula, if she ever wondered how integral she has been in my universal order of things, she now knows for sure. And especially Julie, columnist extraordinaire, because she believed in my writing first, before anyone else, and put me on track.
I don't see the energy that weaves things together, I can't touch those prelude-type moments or connections that change my destiny. But they are there. I've got the column to prove it (no horn toot intended there!)