We were driving home. One small town after another.
I looked out the window, shook my head and muttered, "I just never know what to say."
It's true, you know? Something big and awful happens and it's like I'm in junior high all over again and my anxiety plummets to somewhere around the "falling accidentally in public when everyone is watching" level or the "sending a snarky email to the entire staff when you really just meant to send it to one person" level.
He huffed out like he does sometimes and then he chewed on his cheek like he does all the time. "I think that you just can't look away from them," he said. And then he turned his head to me. "You just have to not turn away."
There's a really good chance he doesn't even remember saying that to me, but it's stuck with me since.
You just have to not turn away.
Let that settle in your bones for a second.
Listen. I've been shy my whole life. My Papa still tells the story of how I would hide behind my dad's leg when he came to talk to me. And I swear to Jesus, my parents had to order for me at restaurants until I was in HIGH SCHOOL. (I wish I was kidding.) I'm pretty sure that my parents shoved me into cheerleading in second grade because they were over it (but also kind of for the cute bows). It's never gone away and I'm not lying in the least when I say that it is a fight all the time.
This year, I sort of adopted the motto, "No more yielding," taken shamelessly from A Mid Summer Night's Dream. The line has nothing to do with lack of fear, but I took it as my own because I had a need (and the librarian almost had me talked into getting it tattooed). I have been scared since I started this writing out loud biz, let me tell you. Dipping my toes cautiously in the waters of new was a fight every single day.
I started writing books because a senior in one of my English classes looked at me and said, "Mama T., this could NEVER HAPPEN." He was talking about Pride and Prejudice. All of my assurances that, yes, boys make fools out of themselves every single day and hey, most of the time girls forgive them ... fell on deaf ears.
So I set out to prove him wrong. I wrote and published three modern day Pride and Prejudice adaptations and it was a fight. The first, The London Chronicles, was a learning curve that I'm still kind of reeling over. I'll never forget being on a conference call with my sister-in-law's book club, and a lady called out, "...And who ... edited for you?"
Yea. About that. No one.
I learned and learned and learned and lllllllearned. And I wrote, and wrote, and wrote, and wrote. Mainly, my book sales come from repeat readers and my mom and dad's friends (hey guys!). I continued to yield to the idea that my stories, my lovers, could be bigger than they were.
No mas, papis.
This year, I'm on a mission - a big one: Prioritize my writing life.
This week, I called on my friends and family. It was a huge call for a couple of reasons.
I asked them to invite their friends individually to like my Facebook Author Page.
And holy sweet goodness, they did.
Today alone? 74 new people found their way to my side of the world. SEVENTY FOUR NEW PEOPLE.
Bestie Betsy's phone crashed every single time she added someone new. But she kept doing it.
Lovie Nikki sat at her computer and stared at the number until it reached our (second) goal, and then celebrated with her family.
Mary Mary Mary danced in my room after every period and when we had time to check numbers, and then continued to watch when she went home. #blogtigers
And the boy that kind of huffs out sometimes and chews his cheek all the time ... he sent me regular updates. ...222. ...234. ...240. All day long.
I have been amazed all. dang. day.
I haven't been able to turn way. And I haven't yielded.
And I haven't wanted to.
My tribe has been Team Becky all. day. and it has been so, so perfect to know that they're watching their screens just like I am. It takes a village. A big one.
Soooo ... What I'm getting at here, is that you're probably new to this space. Hey. I write books sometimes. You can find the links at the top of the page under "The Books", otherwise, I won't push them on you. You won't really find anything here about fitness regimes, or decorating. And you rarely will find recipes anymore (this has been dubbed The Year I Didn't Cook Dinner).
What you WILL find? Humorous stories (sometimes), poetry that I find and love, love, love, and a chronicle of my every day life. This space that I've cultivated often showcases Tuck, or ... The General, lessons, or just my life ... lately.
I teach high school English.
I just got divorced.
I like to drive fast.
I love the color aqua.
And I have cereal for dinner. A lot.
Hang out with me awhile? Let's be friends - and not just on Facebook.
Something that I write moves you? Tell me. Love some poetry I find? Tell me.
I won't turn away.
I love you ALL - every single one of you that's new and every single one of you that's old and every single student that is currently reading when they should be working on their Unit Five Packets and their Journals ... all of you. I love you all more than this $2 recorder BS that Tuck got in the mail today.
And if you sent that? I'm coming for you.
. About Moi .
I love, love, love flannel sheets and I am really passionate about lists on post it notes and most of the time I'm sad that no one else is as excited as I am about Diet Mountain Dew. I also adore run-on sentences.
He saw her before he saw
anything else in the room.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald
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