So I've been wrapped up in my job, long-term subbing for 8th grade English at a private girls' school, working on my cover letter to apply for the full-time job that's opening up there, and completely forgot that I planned to send out my picture book manuscript King David's Wrong Notes at the end of January. My daughter's in Germany, I had Friday off for "Mid-Winter Break," and I decided to go to temple without having to work as soon as I get there for once: just to be a congregant, and to congregate with the other typical Friday-night templegoers.
The sermon was about the angels that ark designer Adonai wanted on top of the gold-plated box that would hold the tablets of the Law, since they are described in detail in this week's Torah portion; the rabbi went from there into the Jewish attitude towards cherubs. I've already forgotten exactly what she said, because I was a bit stunned. A little-known angel named Haniel is one of the main characters of King David's Wrong Notes, and I had suddenly remembered I had never so much as printed out the ms.
So maybe this is an omen, and KDWN (which I am sending off to the Eerdmans slush pile), will be my first published book. Or maybe I am just enjoying myself so much being an English teacher, my application for the full-time teaching position matters more to me than publishing.
Wanting to be a published novelist has been a part of my identity for so long, I don't know how to think about my life if I don't have that desire. All of which brings me to Oscar Pistorius, the Olympic racer known as "Blade Runner," now an alleged murderer. I wonder when we will find out that having his dreams come true sent the amputee Pistorius over the edge - the loss of his ambition, having fulfilled it, left a cavern in his personality, a hole that quickly filled with fury directed at the woman in his life because he could no longer direct it at his competitors and at himself for not beating them. Because I'm sure we'll find this out at some point, or at least that's what we'll be told.
So maybe the angel Haniel, watching over me, will keep my children's book and my dreams as safe and as lost as the ark of the Law. I don't know if I hope so or not.