With gratitude for those who have supported my Go Fund Me campaign, “They Don’t Eat Alone in Spain” — a post-divorce narrative with an option for a happy ending, no partner required. And for those who have invited me into the intimate spaces of their homes, their families and their lives.
In putting together my manuscript, “They Don’t Eat Alone In Spain,” I’ve had to revisit every single Artist Date.
Some are painful. Watching Daniel Day-Lewis — my ex-husband’s doppelganger — in Lincoln. Week 2 Artist Date: My Ex’s Doppelganger.
Others juicy. A production that shot me back into the bed of an ex-lover, a former symphony conductor, who taught me about Debussy by playing the notes on my naked body. Artist Date 31: He Played Debussy on my Naked Body. Believing in the God of Synchronicity
As I read, I noticed the tenor of the pieces changing over time … becoming lighter, more optimistic. And that the story coalesced. The trajectory to Madrid naturally unfolding through my Artist Dates.
I am delighted.
It was always that way in my head. But turns out, it is that way on paper (or screen) too. The story telling itself. “This leads to this leads to that.”
I find it is often that way with people too. Like Janet Horn.
I met her sister Caroline in Los Angeles, working a one-day chair massage job at Bonham and Butterfields auction house. When she discovered I lived in Oakland and not Los Angeles, she took my card and passed it (and me) on to her sister Joanne. Several years later, Joanne bequeathed me to Janet when I moved to Chicago. As if the universe was conspiring for us to meet all along.
Thank you Janet for your generous contribution to my “They Don’t Eat Alone in Spain” campaign. (And for allowing me to feel like the fourth Horn sister.)
Some days Facebook’s “On This Day” breaks my heart. Seeing photographs of my ex and me driving from Chicago to Seattle five years ago. And then driving back in the opposite direction with a dear friend exactly one year later. Gut-wrenching.
But other days, I am tickled and inspired seeing the kizmit, magic and synchronicity in my life.
Like today … when I was greeted with 30 photos of a dinner with my friends Melinda and Craig at Diver XO in Madrid, taken one year ago.
This photograph of me being fed a spoonful of cheese — one of more than a dozen courses at this three-star Michelin restaurant — has been a backdrop to my “They Don’t Eat Alone in Spain” campaign.
Today … less than an hour ago … I submitted my manuscript, “They Don’t Eat Alone in Spain,” to my mentor at the Rocaberti Writers Retreat I will be attending next month in Girona, Spain.
“My manuscript” … the words floor me.
I always imagined I’d write a book. I just didn’t know about what. Until I did. And then I only talked about it. Until I was pushed to do more.
Challenged by an email with just one word, “Interesting?” and a link to the retreat website. Coaxed by its call —
“This retreat is for you if…
*You’re working on a book/screenplay combination or have an idea for one.
*You have a book and want to turn it into a screenplay or vice-versa—or sell it directly to Hollywood.
*You’re unsure how to get your book/screenplay in front of agents and producers.
*You’re serious about completing your project and making your dream come true!”
Sometimes it takes a nudge to get from here to there. And a little assistance.
Friends, family and colleagues have helped me raise $2,725 to defray the costs of the retreat and travel. Among them, Allie Vernasco.
Thank you Allie, for your support — both financial and energetic! You know the power of “more than one,” better than most.
The first time I met Sierra Veenbass I was birthing a new career. Although I didn’t know it at the time.
I was working as a director in a technology public relations firm — and hating it. On a whim, I took a 100-hour massage course on weekends at the McKinnon Institute in Oakland, California.
Sierra was the first student to put her hands on me. I still remember lying face down on the table and feeling her fingertips massaging my scalp. “Nice opening,” I thought. “She has the touch.” (Quite a compliment as I had recently married my massage therapist.)
One-hundred hours later, I left my career in public relations.
But it would be several years before our paths crossed again … and when they did, Sierra was a student in a pre-natal massage class I was teaching.
Not long after, she came to my studio … and I had the honor and blessing to work with her through her first pregnancy.
(I think it broke both our hearts a little when I moved to Chicago and was not there for her second. )
It has been a joy to watch Sierra’s girls grow via Facebook. And a wonderful, full-circle surprise to receive her support for my own birthing — of a book, “They Don’t Eat Alone in Spain” — and a return to my work as a writer.
Muchas, muchas gracias, Mama Sierra!
Want to know more about “They Don’t Eat Alone in Spain” — how 52 Artist Dates saved my soul after divorce and landed me smack in the middle of my own life — or how to contribute to my Go Fund Me campaign? Click here.