San Francisco-The Book Writing Begins
I have been back in San Francisco for a week now, right in the height of its personal Indian summer. While the rest of the United States was skipping around in flip flops and bikinis in August, the citizens of San Francisco were shivering, blanketed in an icy fog. The prolific mist has since gone out to sea allowing the warm sun to bounce giddily off of the Golden Gate bridge, highlighting its sanguine beams against the dark waters of the Pacific.
On Thursday morning I put on my trusty trainers and ran down the same running route I had been doing for six years. I rushed past the gingerbread style Victorian houses of Pacific Heights, down the foliage lined paths of the hilly Presidio and onto Crissy field, a flat wetland that borders the turbulent waters of the Bay. I ran to the base of the bridge, slapping the concrete block with my palms in victory of my achievement. Although the months of driving had turned my body into a more sluggish version, I still could perform my loop. I was home.
Part of me felt a comfortable contentment to be back. Friendly familiar faces greeted me at dinner parties. Embraces held onto me a little longer than usual. Everyone was interested to hear my tales and compare the new Heidi to the old Heidi.
However, this also caused some panic. I couldn’t walk down the street without running into someone that knew every line on my resume and every secret in my heart. How would I ever reinvent myself when I was back in a city of patterns, histories and commitments?
There was also the allure of money. While driving I was gypsy free and lived like a vagabond, wearing the same gasoline soaked outfit every day. That’s impossible to do in California. Even breathing requires cash. But I couldn’t give in and jump on the corporate hamster wheel just yet. I needed to stay true to the path of a starving artist.
This likely meant that in addition to saying no to Ben Franklins, I also probably needed to have a bit more restraint when it came to cocktail parties, weekend getaways and well, dating.
For two months I had focused on women. I had shared their stories, interconnecting my life with their own. Men didn’t interest me; I hadn’t the faintest urge to so much as wink at one. Now, back in San Francisco, among well muscled tri-athletes and alpha male dot.commers, I felt overwhelmed by the testosterone around me. Part of me was suspicious of strong masculine hands. Another part wanted to throw myself recklessly into them. I needed to focus. I needed to hermit-ize myself…perhaps in a remote cottage by the sea…..
My first mission is to draft a 20 page book proposal. It sounds much easier than it is. In addition to providing a summary, sample chapters, and bio, I also need to show a business plan and market myself to would be publishers. And then, when that is complete, I must write up another 300+ pages to support it. And so in efforts to stay motivated I plan to make weekly posts on theuntakenroad.com to document my progress. And who knows, perhaps I’ll even add a few more interviews in there. I already have a volunteer…..
Note: When I wrote this the sun was a brilliant orb in the sky. Since then the fog has languidly rolled in, caressing the city’s trees and buildings with its soft fingers. Its thickness comforted me. Perhaps it was the shelter I was seeking. Or perhaps I liked the fact that its shroud of mist allowed some things to remain invisible.