Wednesday, February 27

You Have to Let Go

 I may have mentioned a couple of weeks ago that we took a family cruise. And I may have hinted that we swam with dolphins. Today, I'm sharing a couple of pictures with y'all, because I want to make you jealous  I've been thinking about the leap of faith we all took getting in to that water with those dolphins, trained or not.

Because it was basically open ocean, there was a storm coming in to the area that day (not set to 'land' until after dark, don't worry, we're not completely nuts) and we were in deep water.

First, I have to say that Cozumel, where we met the dolphins, has some of the most beautiful beaches in Mexico, so as soon as we were out of the taxi, it was full-on, jaw-dropping wonder. Then, I have to tell you that dolphins are B-E-A-utiful when they're swimming. They play with each other and talk and leap out of the sea. It's like they know you're there, just waiting to come and play.

And after the 20 minute dissertation about how to interact with the dolphins, because even though they're trained they are still large, wild animals, we were ready to go.

Well, most of us - bebe wasn't so sure about it. As we stepped on to the pier, which was a solid 8 feet above the rolling waves, she started to turn a little green. Her little hand gripped mine as we walked to the stairs and that first step...major for her. When the water, which was slightly chilly that morning, hit her little shins, she scooted as close to me as she could and squeezed my hand a little harder. Then she looked up to make sure Daddy and Uncle J were coming, too. Because, yanno, Mommy is good for comfort but if danger is about she wants D-A-D-D-Y. Or Uncle J as a close substitute. :) And then Freida (that's our dolphin) sped by us the first time, her eyes widened to about silver-dollar size. And then Freida jumped into the air and bebe's jaw dropped. She didn't even mind the light spray of water that hit us face-on. And then a smaller dorsal fin puttered by and bebe realized Freida had a baby of her own. And that just made the whole thing too cool to be really, really afraid of.

Writing is like that (nice segue, huh?). That first blank page is big and scary, but put a few words on the page and it's not such a big deal. Sending a chapter to the CPs still makes my stomach clench, but even when my critiqued pages have more red (or yellow or blue, depending on who's reading) than blank ink, I know letting go of a somewhat flawed draft will make for a stronger finished product.

And the biggest scare of all - sending a finished, edited and polished-as-can-be manuscript to an editor...dear, God, that takes some serious Mylanta. But then we take a breath and, if we're lucky, our book soars onto bookshelves (with a little more editing, come on, editors know things!) looking so much prettier than it did when we first opened that blank document.

bebe, by the way, took to the dolphins like an old pro. She was paddling around and trying to wriggle away from us and the trainer to get closer to them within about 10 seconds.

And there are moments in writing, like bebe above, when all the struggle and fear and doubts are worth it. Because you know you've made your book as strong as it can be...and it's time for it to go for a swim.


  1. Love that pic! They both look so happy...and yes, I'm jealous. I want to swim with the dolphins :)

  2. Great post, Kristi. And nice segue :) What a nice memory for Bebe. She has more courage than I do.

  3. Oh wow, how utterly gorgeous. Aren't dolphins just the best thing ever! Fabulous tale from your travels, thanks for sharing. And Bebe, well she took to it like a fish in water. (I know, I'm sorry, my message was going so well :( ...)

    PS beautiful photo :)

  4. it was so much fun, Christine!

    she was so brave, Margery...and she's ready to go back already!

    bahaha, Cait! She did, after those first questionable moments!

  5. That's the cutest pic I've ever seen! And how courageous of you and her. And yeah...the beaches in Mexico are awesome. Just down the road from me in at the marina in Puerto Aventuras, they raise and train the dolphins. You can sit and have dinner and watch the dolphins play. And you don't even have to pay extra for that.

  6. First of all your pic of bebe melted my heart. Second, Frieda had a BABY! How stinking cute is that????

    Your post did its trick. I'm now officially jealous.

  7. I can't wait to go back, Em, soooo beautiful!

    D'Ann, you'd get over your fear...those dolphins can't be ignored!

    Sharon, that *was* my intention, afterall. LOL - and Freida's baby was soooooooo adorable!

  8. Hi Kristina,
    Thanks for the blog and what it's like working for Crimson Press. Your baby is precious.

  9. I love that picture. She is so cute! Good post, too!

  10. thanks for visiting, Morgan!

    Liz, I love it, too...

  11. I love that pic! And love Mexico. This was a wonderful post!

  12. Analogy alert, analogy alert! Great post. Great pics. And you guys are so much braver than me--I'm with D, standing on the dock, waving and watching through binoculars.

  13. How much fun for her!! Love dolphins. I tweeted.