Picture by Jill Gustafson
The last version of my new book finally arrived. I was afraid to open the cardboard- package a UPS van delivered to my home. Yet, in the fridge, a bottle of Rosé Champagne Taittinger relaxed in a cold atmosphere.
July had just started when a heat-wave assaulted Northern California. While spending one night in Sonoma with a girlfriend, my soft-cover book was waiting for me on the footstep of my present home. Not without anticipation, I had to wait to open my package and discover if my last reformatting efforts paid off.
Back to Novato after experiencing Sonoma in extreme heat, I was ready to celebrate and enjoy a glass of Champagne. But at the same time, I was also mentally ready to find imperfections I had possibly missed while reformatting my book. I didn’t want to rejoice too soon.
That late Sunday morning my drive back home from the Sonoma Lodge felt a pleasant ride. Miles of wild marshes and yellow prairies colonized by chocolate-brown cows busy grazing in vast pastures, unraveled before my eyes. Old vintage barns also appeared along the way. Seeing such beauty nurtured my creative mind.
In my bedroom, I found the UPS cardboard package. I grabbed it and proceeded towards the outdoors. My new home patio looked inviting with white grapes dangling from a wooden-arch-umbrella that gave shade to all below.
A glass of water in one hand, I headed for one of the patio’s glass-tables, while holding my package in the other hand. I need a scissors, I thought. Back into the kitchen, I grabbed the blue scissors and started to carefully cut the tape protecting my package. Inside, a transparent plastic covered my precious work. I was ready to unwrap and find out the result of my multiple changes. Patience, I told myself, and put your glasses on your nose.
The changes I had made looked perfect, except, perhaps, one picture I edited last and now looking a wee out of focus. What else? I continued, questioning myself. As I turned pages, I suddenly spotted two pages having a different Line Spacing format that of the other pages. Is that new? I wondered. After reflecting awhile on the necessity of further work, I concluded that more editing needed to be done.
That afternoon, my friend Jack joined me. I told him of my findings and project. Jack proceeded to read my book again. I silently waited. A perfectionist would never let those details ignored, I reminded myself while waiting for my friend’s approval.
“Yes,” my friend eventually said. “You are almost there.”
“Almost,” I responded. “But I’m happy. I don’t mind doing one more replica of my book. It is necessary.”
“Is it costly?”
“Well, let’s say it is not cheap,” I replied.
“Let’s open some bubbles anyway,” Jack announced. “I’ll have a Belgian Ale.”
“I’ll take a glass of Crémant de Limoux, from Toques et Clochers,” I asserted while reading the label on one of the two bottles Jack brought along. “Let’s wait before opening the good one,” I continued.
“Ok,” Jack said. “It is your movie.”
Each of us holding our own glass of cold bubbly beverages, we cheered to good fortune, and to dreams.
Pathways leading to dreams are never without efforts or challenges, I discovered. Patience seems to also be a key component while walking the roads of life. Reminding myself to be very patient helped me remember what I had once learned in school while reading literatures written in English.
In those University days, I payed attention to: words, nouns, adjectives and adverbs, grammar and tenses, short sentences versus long sentences, punctuations, paragraphs, plots, protagonists, antagonists, heroes and heroines, also the various other characters, and the settings, without forgetting the variety of endings. All those words, full of meanings, participated in my literary education.
“Cheers,” Jack said out loud while raising his glass. “Here is to your dream.”
“Cheers, and thank you for your understanding,” I declared. “I have to try. I do not want to ever regret not trying.”
“Good for you.”