December 14, 2005
I came home tonight and found two pieces of mail waiting for me.
The first was the advance check for Parthenogenesis. I knew this was coming, but still, it feels really, really good to get honest-to-god money for something I wrote. I've been paid before for plays, but this one comes with the possibility of so much more. I just can't say how excited I am with this whole endeavor. Receiving compensation for it just makes it that much sweeter.
The second was a package from Lulu.com. Though it's just a vanity pressing of my short stories, it still felt really good to have a tangible product in my hands. This, I thought, is what I want. Checks from theaters. Publications with my name on them. Author copies of magazines in which I've written stories or articles. My name on the credits of a movie or television show.
I'm still a long way from all that, but I feel like I'm getting closer to it tonight. I have a list of venues for some new short plays, and I hope to get the Writer's Market 2006 for Christmas.
It's just a matter of time and hard work.
Mom hosted the annual Christmas get-together for her sisters tonight. I haven't seen them all together for quite some time, and I haven't heard them chattering in a room together for even longer than that. My mother's family is a family of talkers, and none of them like to stop and listen to one another. It sounds terrible, but I've always found it charming and fun to listen to.
When I came through the door, my Aunt Dot said, "Is that the dog?"
"How in hell could it be the dog, Dot," said my Aunt Helen. "The dog is under the table!"
"I didn't know that!" said Dot.
"Who did you think was sitting on your foot, then," said my Aunt Sis.
"It's Brenda's house," said Dot, "It could be anybody!"
They all laughed like Dot had just said the funniest thing ever, and I remembered the nights when Mom would have her sisters over for an evening, back at our old house, and the sound of their laughter would travel up the stairs and echo through the hallway outside my room.
When they saw me, Sis said, "Dot thought you were lying on her feet!" and they all laughed again. They then proceeded to ask questions all at once, about the house, about the play, about work. I started to answer one question when another would fly at me.
I've always been closer to my Dad's side of the family than Mom's, but I do appreciate the fact that they're all getting on in age, and they won't be here forever. Earlier this year, I decided to visit my family more often, but that only lasted for one visit to Sis' house and then I changed my schedule.
I have to remember to make an effort to visit and catch up with the people I love more often.
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