Moving Into March
I'm not superstitious, but for most of my adult life, I've felt like the numbers 1 and 2 were following me around. My various addresses have reflected this: 102, 112, 121, 20, 211... I'm not exaggerating. My boyfriend and I met on 12/2. We started dating on 1/22.
It wasn't until recently that my 1s and 2s shifted into 2s and 3s. Logically I know it's all just coincidence and the brain's desperate search for patterns amid life's chaos, but sometimes it's fun to pretend to be superstitious, so I let my mind play its games now and then.
Three years ago, my grandmother died on 3/22.
Two years ago, my unofficial sister's brother died on 3/22.
Last year, my dad turned 65 on 3/22. He had been feeling unwell, but my baby brother was relieved: "Bad things always happen on March 22nd. Nothing bad happened today, so you're going to be fine!" My dad started laughing. "Are you saying my birthday is a bad thing?!" he teased. Then the laughter turned to coughing.
The lung cancer diagnoses didn't come until March 25th. Close enough.
It's 3/22 again. "Two dead people's birthdays and one death, all today?!" my unofficial sister texted me. "The other way around," I answered.
The 1s and 2s lasted for around a decade. It's only been a couple years of 2s and 3s. 4 has always been my favorite number. Here's hoping.
How to Write Your First Book
It's funny -- I've been a freelance writer in some form for a decade or so, and all that time, the thought of writing my first book seemed unattainably intimidating. Writing articles, blog posts, and so on was fine, but a book is Serious Business. A book means you have Something Worth Saying. A book is an attempt at Real Literature.
And so I lived in the shadow of that unscalable wall, contenting myself with the satisfaction of paying the bills through words and telling myself that I would write a book Someday.
Various opportunities came along. One of them was writing 10,000 words about a particular topic for a halfway decent price. I did it without much thought toward how the words would be used; the client had been clear that my name wouldn't be on them, so it didn't matter much to me where they ended up. (I hear writers are supposed to see their works as their children. Clearly I would make a terrible parent.)
Months later, I was compiling a portfolio and figured those 10,000 words might be worth mentioning. I Googled to find out whether they had ended up anywhere public that I could mention.
Imagine my surprise to find them on Amazon. That's right. I wrote my first book without even knowing it.
I suppose that's one way to get over the psychological hurdle.
(Note for the sake of being fair to my client and extremely clear: this use of my writing was absolutely within his rights given our agreement. He paid me a fair price for the words and all rights to them. This post is in no way an attempt to complain about the arrangement, only a note of amusement at how easy it is to get over our own barriers when we aren't staring right at them.)
Fifth-generation Berkeley native, freelance writer, and enthusiastic traveler.