I’m a little weird about calendars. I’ll buy a planner in the fall, so I can start writing down commitments in the next year. But I refuse to put up a new wall calendar until January 1. This year I had a lot of events to add. Having my writing career – and other things – come to a full stop after breaking my hand, I’m finally beginning to play catch-up. I’m not fully healed yet, but the calendar is filling up.
Travel begins the end of March. I start where I finished so abruptly last October: New York, to conduct the interviews I had to cancel after my accident. Then it’s down to Washington, DC for AIDSWatch, two days of advocacy training and meetings with elected representatives. Last year was my first since 1989, and this year promises to be another important event. While there I hope to interview women in government as well as ambassadors of the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation.
May is the crazy month. Starting in New York for a couple days of final interviews, I head up to Boston, where I’ll be presenting at The Muse and the Market Place Conference on May 5. The topic is “Public Speaking for Painfully Shy Authors”. It’s a workshop I love to do and I’m looking forward to my first experience at Muse.
From there it’s speaking engagements and book signings back in New York City, up to Rochester and back, then…well, you’ll have to wait a bit for the details on that.
All of the traveling and interviewing is for my next book, Fag Hags, Divas and Moms: The Legacy of Straight Women in the AIDS Community. Partly because of that book, I decided it was time to update the second book in my series, Friend Grief and AIDS: Thirty Years of Burying Our Friends. It’s the one book I knew would require occasional updates, but this one will be a little more extensive. I have a tentative release date of March 7. March is also Women’s History Month, and I’m pleased that I will again have guest bloggers here, straight women from the AIDS community to share their stories.
Yesterday I was feeling a little overwhelmed by it all. Even good stress is stressful and I wondered yet again if I could write this next book and do justice to the women sharing their stories.
Tuesday was also my semi-annual checkup with my wonderful neurologist. We discussed my accident, how it affected my balance and focus, when he changed the subject. “But the important question is, are you writing?”
Obviously he knew my writing had taken a back seat, especially when I could only use my left hand. I expressed my frustration at being so far behind on this book. He shook his head and said softly, “You have to do it. It’s so important, so important.”
In the midst of feeling overwhelmed and not a little frustrated, I needed to hear that. Sometimes that’s all it takes: one person who believes what you’re doing is important and you’re the only person who can do it.
So today I’m back at it, the final fracture in my hand healed, at least another month of intense therapy ahead of me, and a full ten months before my hand is back to ‘normal’. But by then I’ll have a new book in my hands – both hands.
And that will be a very good day.