Back in March, I celebrated my birthday with week’s worth of events. My favorite was the actual weekend of my birthday.

On Friday, some friends took me out to a local hot spot called The Wine Seller. We listened to live music, drank a little, conversed a lot. One of my closest friends, Mary, is a fellow writer. She’s older than I am, a fellow empty-nester. I sometimes call her “Mom” and she sometimes introduces me as her adopted daughter.

She gave me this beautiful Frog Prince pin.

The Frog Prince Pin

The Frog Prince Pin

We have much more in common than just writing, which makes her an even more invaluable friend. Her son stopped by the Wine Seller to say hey, at which point I reveled in telling him all the food “Mom” has been cooking for me in his absence. “No offense, guy, but you’ve been replaced.” I say that with all love, of course. [Note to quasi-brother: I promise not to eat your dessert. Unless you let me. And I can still kick your bum on Trivia Crack. . . maybe.]

On Saturday, she opened her home to a group of my friends for a “movie party”. I brought The Princess Bride, Scrabble Cheez-Its, and ten people. We of course had a blast reciting along with the movie. You know how it goes. “As you wish. . . ” “My name is Inigo Montoya . . .” “Princess Buttercup. . . ” Yes. We’re a fun bunch.

I also bought a bottle of wine, but it went untouched. No problem, I thought. I’d just learned two days earlier that I was actually going to Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, and decided I would keep the wine until my return.

Lucky Bamboo and a Bottle of Wine

Lucky Bamboo and a Bottle of Wine

See that great mini Mardi Gras mask? Mary gave me that, too. It’s a reminder to stay focused on writing NOLA. The bamboo, I bought. How could I not, it’s lined with frogs! That’s a reminder to bring life to my story. Let it grow, flow, expand.

These are all reminders to enjoy life, to be open to new avenues, to take the great adventures and the roads less traveled.

The bottle has sat on my counter for two months. Now that I’ve returned from Blue Ridge, I’m setting a new goal.

I’ve two agents interested in reading NOLA. One wants it when it’s finished, the other wants the first 25,000 words. Since I’ve written, and rewritten, and tightened, and edited, and rewritten, and oh by the way, rewritten, the first few chapters of NOLA, getting those first 25,000 words shouldn’t be a problem.

That’s what I’m saving this wine for. I should be able to pop it open by June 1.

Unless, of course, another deadline comes along. Like, waiting until the whole book is finished. Or entering another contest. Or landing an agent. Or getting published.

Time goes by fast, I’m told. I’m gonna celebrate the little victories, and save up for the big ones.

And Frankly, My Dear . . . that’s all she wrote!

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