This past week I got to wondering.  For me, wondering can be a double edged sword, a dangerous occupation that at the very least stimulates change and growth and the upsetting of the proverbial apple cart or fruit basket.  I really don’t know why I persist in this sort of activity, rather than just keeping my nose to the grindstone (okay, the first one was accidental, but I am now actually seeing how many cliches I can cram into one small post – I’m doing it on purpose, so leave me alone).  Boredom maybe, dissatisfaction with the status quo, an inclination towards self destruction – whatever the reason, periodically I go out seeking trouble.

I wouldn’t need to seek it.  Trouble loves me – we have a symbiotic stalker-stalkee relationship and it is perfectly capable of tracking me down without any encouragement.

But, I digress.  This past week I got curious about my old classmates from my undergrad English program at Glendon college, roundabout 15 years ago.  Why now, with all of the drama I have going on in my life?  A very good question, and one most likely without an answer.  I could blame Mercury Retrograde.  In fact, I’d like to blame Mercury Retrograde for everything.  Anyway,  I emailed a professor who has a unique and delightful capacity for remembering many of his students, and I started asking questions.  

And I discovered things.  Michael V. Smith, a then very promising young writer, has in fact published a novel, Cormorant.  He is also winning awards with the films he is making, has earned an MFA and is employed at UBC.  Craig Pyette, another promising young writer, is apparently an associate Editor at Random House, Canada.  And another writer friend, although she isn’t plastered all over Google or, is all signed up for an MFA.

And what was I doing on the day I discovered this?  Visiting the inebriated and suicidal in the local hospital at midnight, enduring rude comments from inmates at the jail, and scrambling to find writing time in between the kids and the job and the very important relationship with the man in my world.

Briefly, I experienced regret of the ‘where, oh where, did I go wrong?’ variety, but then I remembered that I haven’t gone wrong at all.  I’m doing the job I’m doing because I actually love it – I love the chaos and the adventure and the fact that every day brings me into situations I could never make up for myself in a million years. I love the fact that every now and then, I might be responsible for saving a life.  I’m here because I love my kids and chose to give them the majority of my time when they were little, instead of single mindedly pursuing a writing career.  I’m here because I’m on the path less traveled, the one I’m meant to be on.

I believe this journey includes a published novel before I’m through, but I am reminded that there is more to my life than the writing, and I am grateful.

I’m also driven.  Which brings us to the usual Friday discussion of goals.  I posted personal writing goals on the Deadline Dames website this week, both reasonable and unreasonable, and I’m chasing the unreasonable goals.  Which means 10 more queries and 50K rewritten on Swimming North by Feb. 2nd.

I’m still plagued by self doubt and procrastination, of course, but I’ve decided they are probably life long companions and I might as well just welcome them to the journey.  

How’s it going for the rest of you?