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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Confessing my sins

Full disclosure: I am not Catholic, though I have always been fascinated by the idea of confession. Maybe that's because I remember poring over my secret copy of Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. Or maybe it's just because I like the idea of a physical person being there to hear, to discuss, to absolve.

So I had this third dream, hopefully the last in the triumvirate of I'm-so-stressed-out-about-finishing-this-book-and-going-to-NY-that-I-can-and-do-scream dreams. (I don't really, but it sounded so assonantal).

In it, the pastor of my church (Presbyterian, for the interested) is taking confessions (which Presbyterians don't really do). I confessed to him in a jumble that I was coming apart at the seams over the book and conference. And I took this as a sign that maybe I should actually talk to him about this - namely, that I'm almost finished...there is a lot of interest in the book...that I am so not prepared to step out from behind the curtain. That I felt like Peter when he was walking on water and all of a sudden realized, oh, crap, I don't have the skills for this walking on water thing.

Splash.

I guess part of writing a book is getting over the fact that I don't think I can write a book. Although I know I can, because I have. I wrote two books the year I was in eighth grade. I've written short articles, short stories, short books, and more papers than I can count. I've even almost finished a long, difficult, reach-into-the-depths-of-your-soul book. Further down the space-time continnuum, I will be able to say I have written many books. (Maybe Patrick Stewart will be there. Ooooh!)

So what James said (after kindly and officially absolving me of my worry) was that he thought there was a corollary in acting: that stage fright comes from losing focus on the work and shifting it to oneself. That basically, Peter got stage fright, and he quit looking at the one place he was supposed to focus.

Duh. I knew this, and God would probably say this, too, but it really helped to have a physical person to speak the words.

In much more superficial news, the coolest part about going to NYC is getting to shop for NYC! More full disclosure: I finally lost the last of my baby weight (and then some), and after four years of being either pregnant or recovering from being pregnant (read: frumpy), I feel like a new woman. I've been totally channeling my inner teen and shopping for skinny jeans, cute tops, and - less romantic but equally important - travel hair curling devices. I keep practicing my new "NYC look" on friends, and I think I'm pretty close to getting it right. Tee hee.

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