Thursday, June 26, 2014

faucets and keys

{via pinterest}
this past weekend, I drank out of the faucet in my bathroom.

I was in a new place. the kitchen was unfamiliar, the cabinets not mine to paw through. the faces and voices that surrounded me were familiar, members of an online community that had seen the darkest parts of me for the past year.

but the house wasn't mine and the faces were real-life. they weren't profile pictures anymore. these were flesh and blood women standing around me, calling my name and smiling at me. I was so thirsty -- the plane ride had been long and turbulent, leaving the flight staff unable to bring us any sort of beverage.

but I was too nervous to ask where the glasses were kept.

and so that night, during one of the sessions, I slipped away from the center of the group and made my way to the bathroom. I bent my head to the side and drank deeply of the water pouring from the sink faucet. my lips were still damp when I returned.

:: ::

I told them the next day. we were talking about fear, about insecurities, about who we were. about what we needed. and I told them that, yesterday, I needed water. a basic need required for life. it wasn't chocolate or wine or even a towel to dry my hair. but I was too afraid to ask my sisters for a drink. and so I drank from the faucet.

they laughed at the story. we all did, really. but it wasn't the mocking laughter that accompanies something foolish. it was a pure opposite. it was the laugh of love. the kind that comes when understanding and community and love merge into a familial glow between women who had never before been in the same room.


I took four copies of my manuscript with me to Austin. three in my suitcase, one in my purse. I studied those words on the front :: Portals of Water and Wine, by R.L. Haas. when I got to Texas, it took me hours before I could hand the first copy to the first pair of waiting hands. the night we wrote lies on index cards and threw them onto literal flames, it was all I could do to not run to my room for a manuscript to burn with the "rest of the lies."

that was another lie.

{photo by me, via instagram}
because they all took it, pulled it against their chests with smiles. "I've been waiting for this," they told me. and I believed them.

"we see you. He sees you." 

because we had been talking about dropping keys instead of building cages. they were dropping keys at my feet. I found myself unlocking my lips for the ability to ask.  I slid the little metal fixture into the lock and swung open the door of "your words are good."


the day we left, someone brought me a glass of water. I didn't even have to ask. but I could have, if I needed a drink.

if I was thirsty.

{I spent the weekend in "pop-up, 3-D" community with my Story Sisters in Austin, Texas. it was beyond words. and you know what? it was exactly the same as it has been online. the only difference was the face-to-face. there is room for you in our circle. not on the outside, but right here, next to me. join us? we are waiting for you.}

Monday, June 9, 2014

I'm no John Green.

as you might have gathered, I'm writing a book. I've been quiet about it here for no other reason than because my words have been channeled in a different direction.

sometimes it feels more like I'm throwing words at a page hoping some will stick. even more often than that, I find myself sobbing my way through yet another John Green novel and wondering, why can't I write like this? 

{in case you're curious, comparison is a bitch. steer clear, loves}

I've been trying to figure this book out. I've spent hours pouring over the FAQs for indie publishing on Kindle. see, the big dream is to be picked up by a publisher. to have someone read your words and fall in love with the characters and the worlds you've invented. but that isn't the only road.

and so I'm in the process of becoming an indie author. just writing those words is terrifying. in the best possible way.

when you're a writer, terrifying is what you sign up for. when you're a writer, don't expect little things. because if you do, you will get little things. if you walk in with your eyes open and your fingers twisted in that half-prayer, half-nerves kind of way, you're going to get big things. 

even if they aren't the big things you imagined.

sometimes I sit back and I laugh at the very thought of what I've undertaken. I understand that moment when Gideon stared into the eyes of the Son of the Most High from the bottom of a fear-stained threshing-floor and said, me? but I'm no one. I'm the least of the least. 

except I'm not. I'm sitting at my computer, wielding words that have turned into holiness by mistake. this wild magical book, this tale of portals and spilled blood and triumph and a song that breathes magic back into drained-dry bodies. and I'm realizing more and more that I am writing the essential story.

I'm no John Green.

and that is the very best thing.

{this book is closer than you think. did you know it has a fan page on Facebook? find me there!}