Today I had to make a very, very difficult decision. Think Divergent: “One choice can transform you.”
What was the decision? Turkey or roast beef. Let me explain.
This December- Oh, gosh. December is too close to say “this.” Start again.
Next month, I’m going to a writer’s conference. It’s in Big Sur. It will be full of rainy, gorgeous scenery, writing all-nighters, and a billion requests for queries. Right? Okay, okay. At the very least, it will be full of a nice drive to and from the conference, writing afternoons, and at least one awkward conversation with a literary agent.
This conference has brought some beautiful things into my life, the best being my writing group, First Authors Club (FAC). FAC is made up of Jill and Katie and me. Jill is a fabulous dresser and fantastic, feminist writer of teen female friendships. I tried to jam as many “f’s” into that description as possible because Jill stands for “fun.” Fun real stories, fun fictional stories, fun Farrah Fawcett hair, fun, fun, fun. Katie is a fantasy queen, but her letter is “g” for great. Great writing, great mom (to her baby, not to me – that would be weird), great friend, great conservative mind, great, great, great.
Playtime with these ladies, aka story notes time, is the highlight of my week.
Back to decisions. The conference has made small decisions (like what to do with my hair) take on a large weight. Today, it got more than a little ridiculous. We were emailed asking what kind of meat we would like on our sandwiches at the retreat. My first inclination was turkey. I mean, turkey is the safe choice. Turkey is “doctor,” if you pick a husband by occupation.
But there’s a side of you that wants to pick “rock star” for your spouse’s job, right? The rock star of deli meats? Roast beef. All of the sudden, you think it’s so much more interesting to pick roast beef, the unusual, off-beat choice. Here’s the danger: your rock star husband could be a big party dude who leaves you all alone with the screaming twins; in deli meat terms: it’s limp and fatty. Now the fate of my future career seemed to rest on this one decision. Everyone will pick turkey. Turkey is the obvious choice. Roast beef, though, roast beef is a conversation starter.
Scenario #1: “Oh, is that roast beef?” an agent will ask. “I love roast beef. I thought I was the only one here. What’s your manuscript about? I want to represent you, you fellow beefer!”
Scenario #2: “That’s roast beef!” someone will shout. “All the best writers who aren’t vegetarians choose roast beef. I shall read your book, now.”
Scenario #3: “Oh, you’re eating roast beef,” another one will say. “That’s so interesting. I find you so interesting because of your deli meat choice. Let’s talk.”
So there was the choice. Turkey or roast beef? The doctor or rock star? Lab coat or leather jacket?
It was at this point that I realized I had been riding the crazy train for a few minutes, maybe for a few years. I got off at the next stop and emailed my choice.
Turkey. Plain, safe turkey. Although, if we’re talking husbands, I’d go for a pediatrician who plays for a terrible garage band on Sunday afternoons. What is that in deli meat?