I got back Sunday ngiht about 7:30pm. After 15 hours in the car. We had an amazing time. We didn’t overdo it, we didn’t stay out all hours every night. In fact most nights we were done by about 6pm, had a drink out by the pool then were in bed watching tv and asleep by 11pm. Then slept in every single morning. And it was amazing. It was relaxing. It was fun. I road on the back of a scooter and thought that was the coolest thing since sliced bread. We got rained on. We walked in the crazy humid 95 degree weather down Duval Street. We saw six toed cats and lots and lots of roosters. We met haunted dolls and took a spooky ghost tour. We heard weird and crazy stories. We fell more in love just meandering around a city. Key West is a pretty awesome place to go visit. But it does take a bit to get there. ‘Specially if you are driving. Luckily Best Boyfriend Ever and I are a good team. I like to drive and he likes to not drive. He drove when I got tired. We make a really good team. People asked me when I got back if the drive drove us crazy. Not even kind of. I love to drive, actually. I love to drive without any music or noise most of the time. I love the silence. I love to think. I thought of new book ideas, new paintings to do, new ways to advertise my pet portraits. So I got a good 30 hour of thinking in this week. We’ll see what comes of it.
Currently it is 3:30am and I can’t sleep. I have a lot of freelance work to do, but I don’t want to do it right now. I just can’t sleep. This week while on vacation I got the final pdfs of my book layout. And the cover. And it was WEIRD. So bizarre to see my art like that. All polished and finished and in a real life book with barcodes and everything. And suddenly i panicked. What if no one likes it? What if no one buys it? What if, what if, WHAT IF? I had ideas for three more books on the drive. I am meeting with my book partner this week to discuss them. He wants to present them soon. He thinks the publisher will be very likely to want another book soon. How crazy is that? How amazing is that? I don’t even know what to think of that. What do you do when people finally start paying attention to your ideas, actually ASK you for your ideas, actually WANT to HELP you with your ideas? It is a bit surreal. For five years I feel like I have been knocking on lots of doors and being ignored or politely rejected. ALOT of people have said how much they love my art, but not right now, not a good time, good luck – you have talent. And now here I am. Being listened to. Part of me is loving it, amazed by it, humbled by it. Part of me is waiting for someone to change their mind, tell me sorry, we made a mistake. But i see the book, see it is almost ready to go to the publisher, almost about to go to press, be out on shelves in the fall and I have to admit that maybe this isn’t a mistake or a dream or just a high hope, it is really happening. I know, I know it is not like I have found the cure to AIDS or anything, don’t get me wrong, but in my little world it is huge. It proves what my rose colored mind has been whispering all along. That if you work hard enough, believe in yourself, do what you love, the world will finally recognize you. Like the universe finally looked over at me and said, “My god! Look at her! Is She STILL painting those dogs?! Still?? Fine, I guess we might as well give in, the 9-5 thing is just not going to happen no matter how many times we try to get her to do it. Go ahead, let her make a living off of painting dogs. If that makes her happy…” And the universe walks off shaking its head and smiling at the silly little girl who stubbornly stands by her easel holding her paint brush refusing to budge. I have been like that since I was in preschool and refused to do anything at playtime except finger paints. I guess it finally paid off. Who said you can’t be an idealist?