That didn’t go according to plan; but, it is 2022. What does? Serendipity helped.
About a week ago I finished my book about tea, Kettle Pot Cup (assuming the proof copy proves good enough, due in two weeks). It is a gift book and a fundraiser. Thirty real life tales and observations about tea. There’s enough out there describing Japanese and British tea ceremonies, but I thought someone should write about the realities of tea in America. We have our rituals, too; but they are in coffeeshops, commuting, in the office, or maybe just having something to drink. The book is only semi-serious, so as a gift book I decided to make it small, hardback, and glossy so it is easier to wrap and ship. While writing it I also learned that it should be a fundraiser because the people who pick the tea deserve better than what they’ve received.
That was planned, but with a slight acceleration in the schedule.
I was tired, partly because I am also getting ready to return to public speaking. In May I’ll start with a talk (or more) at my local library by giving my regular (interrupted) library presentation on Whidbey Island real estate and affordability trends. (May 17, Langley Library)
That wasn’t planned, but it was anticipated.
The talk points out that I’ve been busy with real estate throughout, including lots of classes (a requirement I planned to get out of the way before the tourists return). (Required disclosure: I’m a broker at Dalton Realty, Inc. http://whidbeyrealtor.com/).
I even received my newest design for a car magnet, one of those ovals that proudly proclaim where the driver considers home. I see lots of them around, but none of them applauded my favorite place to live, hence, PE as in Planet Earth. (With a side note that I’m willing to consider relocating.)
Throw in springtime yard work, and I was tired enough to sneakily take a morning off. That was the plan. That didn’t work.
After about an hour of practicing lounging (hey, I’m out of practice, and don’t want to lose the skill), I felt the need to get up. It wasn’t a call of Nature, but an intuitive bet that I could upload the photos from the essay into my online gallery. It is tedious because each photo has its own title and keywords/hashtags, but I felt somewhat compelled to take on the challenge.
Just before lunch while uploading the last photo I got the word that the book was ready to be uploaded. That plan was slid earlier because I did something that looked good until an earlier proof proved that it did the exactly wrong thing. That’s happening now? OK.
After lunch I drove to the expert’s shop (Joe Menth of Feather And Fox). That way I could ask him questions if I had any trouble uploading the interior or the exterior of the book. (Those two pieces are all there is, but there’s a lot of work to create them.)
Uploaded! And now waiting two weeks for the hardcover proof of three proof that it all worked well enough, at least. That’s the plan.
Langley is designated as a Creative District (the 4th in Washington State), so it wasn’t a surprise to meet Drew Kampion (writer, author, journalist, editor, surfer, and community activist). Always a good conversation, which this time resulted in me being encouraged to submit my recent blog post about the Ukraine Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine, circa 1997 to The New Yorker. Heady, but intuition, a minor compulsion, some auspicious timing, and a chance encounter led to an unexpected opportunity.
Head home and hit submit.
Then try to unwind and untangle such a disparate set of topics to see if I missed anything. Yes. I had one idea planned for this blog, forgot to write it down, and decided I evidently forgot that so I could write this.
It was a good thing that I got an updated set of business cards because it looks like I might need them.
Oh yeah, and I received a useful improvement to my Tidal Power invention, another totally unplanned event.
It really is empowering to plan with the expectation that the plan can be executed. As has been said so many ways, ‘Gods laugh at people who plan.”
Most of those items had plans. They were staggered to keep from bunching up and overworking me. Plans = laughs. Maybe it was because it is spring that so many things decided to layer themselves into this time. Or, random happens.
Authors and creatives know that, while it makes sense to celebrate the completion of piece of art or an invention or even just a job, the work truly begins as the tasks shift to marketing and sales. I know of some great books that are published, but that the author doesn’t feel comfortable mentioning. Our loss.
My life is about to get busy with marketing, selling, promoting, presenting, and following through with contacts. I realized that which is why I planned to accommodate completing my sci-fi novel (due this autumn), and developing my board game about Whidbey (in review with a potential collaborative organization), because real estate is getting busy, again. Don’t be surprised by real estate can eat entire schedules regardless of plans.
No plan survives reality. Duh.
The world does not have a discernible plan. People, organizations, and businesses plan but also must recognize the hints and encouragements when they reveal themselves. Serendipity isn’t a plan nor does it come with guarantees; but as I described a few posts ago, serendipity, persistence, patience, and a sense of play can pay. At least, that’s my plan.