I’m not sure what made me think of it this morning, but the last time I went out was February 23, the final day of the Indie Author UnConference at the San Francisco Chinatown Hilton. I had a wonderful Vietnamese lunch at a place beside the TransAmerica Tower, wrote a little in my notebook, then wandered the Jackson Square historical district to clear my head.
After the UnCon broke up that afternoon, E.M. Markoff and L.S. Johnson joined me at Francis Ford Coppola’s Cafe Zoetrope for a glass of wine. I ordered a heavenly sweet and tart berry crumble. We talked about our plans for the year: FogCon two weeks away, the Oddities & Curiosities market after that, the Bay Area Book Festival, BayCon, the Nebula Weekend, all the local comic cons where we were going to share dealers tables at this year…
I woke up with a bad cold the next morning. Mostly I was congested, but my nose ran like a faucet. I never had much of a fever, but the virus really laid me out. One night I had the shivers. None of that was what they described Covid as like at the time, so I didn’t particularly worry. I did cancel my plans for FogCon, though, since I wasn’t fully recovered and didn’t want to share my germs.
And then, without much warning, the world stopped.
As of today, it’s been 89 days since I went farther than the post office around the corner. I seesaw between waking up in the middle of the night for a couple of hours and sleeping through the night to jolt awake at 5 a.m. I’ve been having nightmares about preparing to travel. It shocks me to see people in my dreams who aren’t wearing masks.
The not-sleeping has given me a lot of time to think. I’ve been pondering that Mary Oliver quote. I’ve known since I was hospitalized with skyrocketing blood pressure while pregnant that my life was a gift, that my hourglass was running, that I’ve passed the tipping point. By some unknowable factor, the time I have left is shorter than what I’ve already spent. And I asked myself: what do I have left that I want to do?
So I’m working on collecting my short stories into a book. I found a title that I loved, a cover artist who’s brilliant, and started reading through my stories to figure out what belongs with what…
My question to YOU is: what do you want to do with your life? Are you happy with what you’ve accomplished? Is there something you’ve always wanted to achieve? If you need permission to begin, this is it.
Go do something brilliant and beautiful. Inspire others to do the same. The clock is ticking.
PS. Thank you, Armand, winner of last week’s Rafflecopter giveaway. He gave me great advice on how to proceed with my story collection. I appreciate the inspiration.