Monday, February 8, 2010

Cougar Pride

This past weekend I went to the beach with a small group of friends from college, women I have known now for 25 years. That's a hard number to swallow, especially considering that in my mind I am still 33. The weekend could not have come at a worse time—Book 2 is due on the 15th and I still have loads of work to do on it. But I’d purchased the plane ticket long ago, and knew that breaking my commitment to this group would mean never hearing the end of it. These women can be brutal!

So I went. And instead of bringing my computer, I just printed out all the pages of the manuscript and put them in a binder. If I couldn’t write, at least I’d have time to read what I had so far. And you know what? I liked it! Writing this while working full time has been really hard, far harder than writing the first book, and as I’d slogged on writing all I thought about was how impossibly arcane it was all getting. But stepping back, I saw that it made sense. It was the oddest sensation to finish reading last night and think, wow, I might have pulled off a first draft after all! I guess I needed some distance from the project; I’d been so close up all I saw were the flaws in the brick instead of the building I was creating.

So it was a great weekend. And I'm not just talking about the Salty Dogs and Cajun tater tots. These are smart and beautiful women, but above all else they are funny. I laughed more and laughed harder than I had in months—at one point we literally laughed Molly into an asthma attack. It just doesn't get better than that.

However, my favorite part of the weekend was when we had to run to Safeway for reinforcement snacks. As we were walking in, about five twentysomething boys were walking out. While I peeled off to grab a cart, they looked my friends up and down and said, “There’s a fine pack of Cougars!”

Had I not been doubled over laughing, I would have told them it’s not a pack, it’s a pride. A pride of Cougars.

13 comments:

Kristin said...

Omg that ROCKS. :D And congrats on writing such a great first draft!

Anonymous said...

Christy a "Couger"! Hilarious. I'm glad you had a weekend of laughter and fun. Perfect prescription for what was ailing you. Keep up the good work.
CAM

Little Ms J said...

Silly boys! How could they not know! Hilarious. I'm glad that you had such a great time and got to see your work with fresh eyes.

Blythe said...

I'm should trade my "Unicorn pooping cupcakes" T shirt for one that says Cougar Pride.

Hardygirl said...

Tater tots, asthma inducing laughter AND being called cougars? It doesn't get much better than that.

So glad to hear your draft is shaping up. YAY!!

sf

Tina Laurel Lee said...

The draft story is fabulous. I love hearing that other people can't tell what they got either. And it is so nice that after working so hard you have that experience. Good job on all the work!

And the cougar comment! Perfect.

Miles Inada said...

To lol is so out of touch, but that's what I'm doing.

Robin said...

Haha! A pride of Cougars! Love that! Good luck with getting the book done--you can do it! :-)

Anonymous said...

Go Cougs!!!! (and I don't mean WSU)
Such a blast...can't wait for next year..

Your friend with asthma issues,
Molly

Irene Latham said...

Congrats on that good feeling about your draft! And yes, girlfriends have a way of reminding us of our priorities, don't they. Go Pride!
p.s. a 4th grader got in trouble at my school visit yesterday for calling me "hot." Ummm... NOT. But it actually made my day. :)

Chandler Craig said...

Congrats on a draft well done! Writing and working full time? I'm amazed!!

Shelli said...

oh god - we're cougars! sigh im getting old.

Lisa Marie Miles said...

That's hysterical! What a great feeling to like what you've written on a first draft:)