It’s almost time for the Big Sur Writing Workshop and this year I’m super excited because I’m only using it as a writing retreat. Instead, it’s my son who’s going to the workshop to reveal his work to strangers for the first time, my son who’s going to be in the spotlight. I can hardly wait to see how his work is received, and how he reacts to agents and editors taking his work seriously.
He’s a young 21, and has dropped out of USC Film School’s Interactive Media program, so he’s feeling a bit at sea without an anchor. To be honest, I’m rather proud of him for dropping out. It’s not an easy path to take, but now he has breathing room to decide what he really wants out of life, and how he’s going to get it. How many of us have that luxury? Usually we hit a mid-life crisis and ruin everything while we’re encumbered with a spouse and children who depend on us. Much better to get it out of your way in your twenties!
His plan is to volunteer in Nepal and return to USC as an International Relations major. “Sure, why not? And why not get that driver’s license you never got round to and knock out a novel, as well?” says I.
So he’s writing his pages, exploring his characters’ motivations and getting ready for Big Sur. And I couldn’t be more proud or excited. It’s like being pregnant again. I feel that he’s about to be reborn and I don’t know what kind of creature he will be when he arrives, all slick and shiny and new, but I know the way it will feel. There’ll be relief, and exhaustion, and joy. Probably much the same as when I finally finish my own book, see it published, and sign my first copy.
Because my son isn’t the only one going through a rebirth. At almost 50, I am, too. And I’m eager for that first breath in my new world.