She Wanted It All

I woke up feeling stressed this morning — it’s inevitable, I think, for teachers at the end of the summer. All the books we meant to read, all the books we meant to write, and time is slipping through our fingers, inevitable. Classes start in three weeks. Can I finish writing a book in three weeks? Yes, I should be able to. Can I finish writing the next one? Probably not…

I took myself into the garden to try to chill (gardens are good therapy) and to harvest a few more ripe peaches — the squirrels have mostly been stealing from the part nearest the porch; they don’t have as easy access to the other section, so there are still plenty of peaches ripening there. I think in the end, we should get about fifty good peaches off the tree, this year, which is a pretty satisfying haul. I ate one this morning, almost too ripe but not quite, dripping sweet juice from my fingers, licking them clean.

I also wandered through the whole garden, trying not to look at all the weeds, which is difficult when you have to wade your way through them. I picked a selection of second-flush roses — this little bouquet smells incredible. This isn’t all of them, because 5-7 of my roses weren’t in bloom. I guess I have a lot of roses. And yet, I feel like I don’t have enough. More roses, please.

Benjamin and I recorded a MRAH podcast yesterday, focused on finding agents, and part of the conversation was about how it’s easier if you have one thing that you do, that you can repeat, over and over, so readers know what they’re getting and agents know how to market you. And I don’t do that, I don’t even want to do that, I want to write everything — the big, commercial blockbusters, the weird little literary books; I want to follow my itinerant heart and mind wherever they take me.

Ben said they’d have to write it on my tombstone: “She wanted it all.”

Yes. Yes, I do. Peaches and roses and books and all. I will relinquish some to the squirrels if I must, but I am going to do my damnedest to harvest as richly as I can.