I awoke way too early today. Up at 2:30 I am pacing, trying to scare the sun up so I can get to work building my chicken vault. This project has taken a lot of money and a lot of time as I try to build a safe structure for my little flock of new baby chicks that no animal can get into to destroy them.
I live on the Mexican-American line with the two tall border fences at the back edge of my property. It’s a police state down here. Two years ago Border Patrol aimed their stadium lights at our line of trailers and houses here, right on our trees, on our houses, into our windows. That’s not bad enough. They also have portable massive generator lights that roar with a metallic drone that sounds like a helicopter hovering over my house. Two days ago they moved those lights even closer to my house and with my exquisite hearing – I cannot sleep.
Border Patrol has plenty of money. They could put those lights on the grid. They could sound proof those generators. They do not care. They will not return calls with my concerns. I need to go over the head of the local bunch of bounty hunters to their Tucson sector chief. So far, I don’t feel civilized enough to talk to them nicely.
Especially without sleep.
I have other concerns, of course. I am panicking inside as I approach ever more closely the publication of my first book. A friend of me who lives a long ways from me called last night after the class she took about epublishing on Amazon.com. I didn’t understand a word she said about formatting – about any of it – except for one thing.
Once I upload and publish a manuscript there the public begins to give the book STARS. Good stars? Bad stars?
Am I ready to have my work judged by a reading public who I doubt will have any idea about what I am hoping to accomplish with my work?
Oh, I don’t do well with criticism? I got so much of that the first 18 years of my life I have no tolerance left for being judged.
I think of a book a friend of mine read me passages from so many years ago:
My friend read to me about ‘the crazy makers’. Edwards wrote that no matter what our dream is, at the exact moment that we are ready to accomplish it a crazy maker will come. Someone or something will be there to stop us right at the moment we are taxiing down the runway about to take off and soar. If the crazy maker doesn’t appear from outside of us, then we can be sure it will appear within us.
I am scared of crazy making. How could I not be? My books will contain the words of my main crazy maker herself! Trying to find my own voice to insert my own truth in the midst of my severely abusive mother’s own words is a challenge to me like none I have ever faced before.
And then my friend called last night with news about epublishing. Can’t use BOLD type? It won’t be formatted correctly when you upload your manuscript? You have to use – WHAT? ‘H3 header’ she said. Do I have any clue in the known or unknown universe about what a HEADER possibly IS?
No. I do not.
What I don’t know scares me. I cannot write this book without being able to highlight in BOLD type the sections of Mother’s letters that I need readers to pay close attention to as they read her words. Those BOLDED words are the ones that I write comments about at the end of Mother’s (and in this book, my father’s, as well) letters.
Not knowing what I need to know makes me feel powerless. I am as powerless in my current state of limited knowledge about how to accomplish what I want to as I am powerless over whatever the massive bounty-hunting Border Patrol conglomerate chooses to do in our neighborhood.
How do I move forward? How do I silence my own internal crazy maker who tells me I cannot publish a book — for what reasons?
Mostly – I feel very alone. This is my project. I am the one that holds this 100-year saga inside of me. I am the one that knows what this story is really about.
Dare I speak?
Fortunately it won’t be too long from now before the sun scares its own self up over that eastern horizon to give me LIGHT so I can go work on my chicken vault. No matter how hard the struggle is for me to build that structure of safety for my little animal friends to live in — that I know I CAN do. And because I want to do it and because I CAN do it — I WILL soon have that structure completed.
But what about this book? What about this whole series of books?
Sometimes anxiety just plain SUCKS. Anxiety coupled with roaring droning generator sounds that threaten my tranquility because my anxiety will NEVER let me screen those sounds out. Anxiety that does nothing but scare my own personal sun DOWN — when I so want to send myself upward!
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