I have no idea if I’m actually going to publish this because it might just me be whining, but I might as well get it out of my system before I get to FaerieCon. Okay–I decided to publish. Part of it is me whining. Part of it is me excited. Most of this writing is me just being exhausted.
First of all, it’s such a pleasure to finally be in a space where I don’t have to beg people to let me present at their functions. I now get invited! It’s such a pleasure to not have to hold my breath and cross my fingers that I’ll make my train fare or car rental back. My travel is paid for! I’ll have to pay for food, booze, trinkety delights at things, of course, but I can basically just show up and even if I don’t sell a single book or Tarot deck, it’s not a loss for me! That’s a joy. A hard-earned joy I can be INjoy over after ten years of work work work.
This morning, as I was hauling fifty pounds of books down the stairs of my five-floor walk-up (Non-New Yorkers, a walk-up building means there is no elevator. Correct. Five flights and no elevator. Hey–I have friends who live on a sixth floor walk-up so I’m really lucky!), I thought of how many times I’ve heard of members of the Pagan community complain about Big Name Pagans. BNPs. “Authors are not the Gods.” “Who wants to read something by a BNP?” “So happy we don’t have any BNPs, here.”
I won’t go so far as to assume that I’m a BNP. I’m probably a Small-MediumNP. NP-Lite. NP-Jr. NP-Fun-sized. But I have two books and a Tarot deck which means I’m something of an NP. No one should worship us. But the quips about authors being “only in it for the ego” come from people who were probably happily and soundly asleep while I tried to get out of my building before dawn this morning–for my ego. Definitely for my ego.
Here’s a glimpse of the glamorous life of a Pagan Author:
Two years ago:
Up at 5 a.m. each morning to work on Tarot for One.
18 Months Ago:
Got publishing contract for Tarot for One. Yay!
One year ago:
Submitted final manuscript.
Six months ago:
Found out I get to speak at FaerieCon! Yay!!!
Two Weeks Ago:
Shit. FaerieCon is coming up. I need to order more books. Did I pay for my last order? I don’t know…but D will remind me when I call. I call and order books and yep! I still owe for the last order. Here’s my credit card for those and the new ones, too. The total: $Ouch. I’m sure I’ll make it back. If not, it’s a tax write-off! (Right???)
One Week Ago:
Books arrive! They look so pretty! Holy shit. These are heavy. I should not have had these delivered to work. I should have had these delivered to the hotel. Begin introspective feedback loop on my need to martyr and sabotage myself.
Jury duty. Neat.
Okay. Out of jury duty and FaerieCon is tomorrow. What do I need? I’ve never attended this thing before. I look at website and holy shit—these people are serious. And I don’t own Fairy Wings. I know. I KNOW. I have no good excuse and I don’t know what to say. Do I text my FaerieCon date and see if she has extra? No…she’s traveling by bus. Can’t do that to her. I’ll just be the nerdy, grounded sort this weekend. I’m an author. I can get away with that, right? Will everyone think I’m weird without Fairywings????? Can I get away with wearing a ritual gown at a masquerade??? Oh, Gods…there are TWO Masquerades? I text Husband to see if I can borrow his Bat mask. He says it’s fine but warns that it’s really hard to see through the eyes. I’m feeling FaerieCon stress.
I stop, breathe, and smile. I love these problems. I’m thankful for them.
I carry the two boxes of books downstairs and for the first time in my life, hail a cab by screaming, “TAXI!!!” because I can’t lift my arm to hail. The driver helps me put them in the trunk and he takes me to my apartment. I wish I weren’t spending money on a cab, but how the hell was I supposed to carry these things on the subway?
The driver loads me up with my boxes when he drops me off. He’s worried that I’m going to hurt myself with the boxes. I tell him I’m made of rough peasant stock and can do anything.
Husband is traveling and not home to help me bring things upstairs. I gaze up at my apartment stairs like Frodo at Mt. Doom. I give thanks for being able-bodied enough to carry all this shit up five flights and by floor three I curse ourselves from four years ago when we applied for this place for the hardwood floors and good light. Those things are good. Stairs are not.
I’m home and I pack and the books take up all of my suitcase. There would be no room for wings even if I had them. I pick out gowns and clothes to wear not for how they’ll look to students and a panel audience, but by how light they are and how flat they fit in the suitcase. Flats all weekend. Not packing other shoes.
I lift the suitcase and DEAR GOD THIS IS BAD. I Google how to carry a suitcase that heavy down five flights of stairs without bulging any discs and I find nothing because no marginally sane person would even attempt it, Weber.
How is this going to work?
I devise a plan. I’ll unpack the suitcase, and do a relay with the boxes and suitcase separately. I’ll need extra time to get downstairs. I’ll need to be up by four.
I set the alarm for four and try to sleep. I am so excited, I can’t.
My alarm goes off at four, but I’ve been awake much earlier than that. A car alarm has been going off beneath my window for hours. Cute. I make a healthy breakfast for myself, but eye the leftover Halloween candy on the counter. Chocolate has milk, sugar is a carb, and there are nuts in a Snickers. It’s a pretty balanced breakfast.
Okay. I’m showered and dressed and can do this. My suitcase contents are disassembled, and with my two shoulder bags slung around me, I relay down the stairs. I carry the suitcase down one flight, then go back for one box, and then go back for the other. All five flights. When I’m finally done, I sit on the bottom stair and wait for my Lyft car. It’s 5:45 a.m.
My neighbor comes down, at first looking panicked, and then relieved. “You scared me!” she says. “I thought you were a homeless person who got into our building!” I am now deeply concerned about the appearance of my hair.
My car comes and I’m at Penn Station by 6:15 a.m. I make for Dunkin Donuts. People are very nice to me. Especially the older dudes. I’m feeling good about the world until I realize my right tata is popping out of my shirt. It’s still bra-cupped, so I’m not getting arrested this morning. Fab.
Getting on the train at Penn Station is like a big people-funnel. There’s no order, we just all squish into the escalator and drip down to the platform. My bag barely makes it onto the escalator. I make my way to the Quiet Car as it would be good if I could sleep a little bit before getting to Maryland so I don’t giggle and cry on the panel this afternoon.
I board the train and realize the oversized luggage area is on the other side of the Quiet Car. My bag of books just barely fits through the aisle–and I run into a sea of people coming from the other side. Did I board from the wrong area? I don’t know. But they all want to be on the other side of me and I want to be on the other side of them and no one can get around me and my bag. “Fucking shit…” says a dude who climbs up and walks on the seat rests to get around me. I’m now the person I complain about to my husband when I travel. Nifty.
Okay, that’s about it! I got my back to the oversized area. I found a seat next to a nice, quiet person in the nice, quiet car. I didn’t slip or bulge any discs (hooray!) and the sun is coming up as I make my way to Maryland. I’m sweaty. I’m bleary. I managed to get my foundation on but not my lipstick.
And that’s the life of the Pagan author! Early mornings, late nights, crossed fingers, labors of love. Not a whole lot of room for ego. Some very nice perks–I’m not going to lie. Getting to go to FaerieCon??? I love that that’s the nature of the job. I can’t wait to see what kinds of adventures await this weekend. I hope I can sleep a little before I get there but if I don’t and you see me looking confused and glassy-eyed, now you know why!
If you’re coming to FaerieCon…I can’t wait to see you!