So, the fantabulous Amanda said in her guest post that I am currently wandering around in the GURMAD – ie, The Great Unknown Regions of Mystery and Death. I laughed aloud when I saw that, because that really describes my life right now.

Well, apart from the death stuff. No death-ish-ness, or anything pertaining thereunto, going on here. (So don’t worry about that.)

Even so, my life is enmeshed in the Great Unknown on several levels – some of which has been going on for a while, some which is only now gearing up (including this blog). Being self-employed is, in itself, a Great Unknown, an adventure within adventure, that is ongoing and ever changing. And I love it. Despite the curve-balls it throws me sometimes (okay, maybe more often than merely “sometimes”) I wouldn’t change it. Life in the Great GURMAD is one heckuva ride and I will proudly wear my membership badges (all of which I have entirely earned).

This week finds me in Texas to see old friends for an extended and much needed vacation. So you might say that here in the GURMAD (shall I not do it in all caps? I think it works well as a name of it’s own) I have found an oasis, where I lick some of my battle-wounds and get myself back up to snuff for the next round of adventures – because the Gurmad, like Wonderland and Neverland, is full of adventures, each one coming closely on the heels of the next.

And honestly – I need those adventures, especially the little ones that add so much flavor and variety to each day. If you follow my Twitter status updates, you know that I am always posting about the oddments that color my days, and it is those oddments that feed my writer’s brain and give me the wherewithal to pour out new ideas onto paper.

This holiday in Texas has been just that. I have been able to unplug from the Blackberry (well, mostly), leave the grading and lesson plans behind, and not worry about anything else for several days. I have been treated to copious amounts of hot tea, lots of conversations with precocious children (my friends have four, each one of them a rosetta stained glass window), twilight dinners on the back patio, immersion in local history (Texan history is one of the things I know practically nothing about), daily naps and the most wonderfully restful, soaking conversations you’d ever want to bask in.

The timing could not be better. With my manuscript rolling out for its first round of cold reads with the Beta readers, NaNoWriMo only two weeks away, plus my 983475 other jobs that I must attend to (one must pay rent and buy groceries, after all….selfish but true), I am staring a ton of deadlines in the face – some self-imposed, some just part of the natural workings of the Gurmad. But it can all stack up very quickly.

That’s why I need to remember that Gurmad is a much bigger place than deadlines and bills and lesson plans and such. There are three-year-olds that need foot races, Darjeeling tea to be savored, mango salsa to be slurped in large quantities, evening conversations by candlelight to be enjoyed, and friends to embrace in ever-winding layers to which (one hopes) you never quite find the bottom.

That is the beauty of Gurmad: it is mysterious and dangerous, and maybe death does peek in on you once in a while; but mostly it is a glorious adventure full of unbounded opportunities. So many opportunities that, as Amanda speculated, I may have a hard time finding my way out.

And honestly? — I hope I never do.  🙂

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