Last weekend, at this meditation retreat, the woman leading it said, “I don’t pray for anything anymore.” I was just astounded at the simple beauty of this. She was basically saying, there’s no way of knowing if what you pray for is going to end up being a good thing or a bad thing. She didn’t mean don’t strive for things, but don’t pin all your hopes on getting them, because maybe you will and it won’t be pretty. So live your life, try to get what you want, but focus on playing the cards you’re dealt, rather than getting the cards you think you want. I so instantly loved this I called out, “I’M NOT PRAYING FOR ANYTHING ANYMORE EITHER.”
Then the other night, I’m watching the TV show Criminal Minds and one of the characters quotes Arthur Rubinstein. “There is no formula for success except perhaps an unconditional acceptance of life and what it brings.”
It’s like the universe is trying to tell me I’m made the right call.
I can’t believe I was selected. I might be just an alternate, they didn’t say, but still. I’m on a jury! I have to say, I’m looking forward to it.
Meanwhile, everyone has probably already seen this, but here’s a really cool robot called Big Dog that was designed by Boston Dynamics. It makes me feel like I picked the wrong thing to do for a living.
[Video removed because the link no longer works.]
So as you can see, I’m in a good mood. I feel pretty again and ready for Spring! Jury duty starts today. You’re asked to call this number the night before, and the recording told me they have wi-fi, and you can bring cellphones, but you can’t take pictures (hmmm).
I’m debating just bringing a book and leaving the computer at home. Maybe I’ll bring it this time, just to see. Or not. Oh, I don’t know. I never get picked for a case. From what I can tell, if you show any capacity for thought they don’t want you. Of course I have to out myself as the author of a book about the NYPD, which doesn’t get me out of having to sit there every day, but it also means no defense lawyer is ever going to let me sit on a jury.
But I worked very hard to get enough things done so that if a miracle occurs, and I do get picked, I won’t feel anxious about all the work I should be doing.
Today is the pub date for the book written by my friend Howard Mittelmark and Sandra Newman! It’s called How Not to Write a Novel and you can see an hilarious animation that our friend Marianne Petit made for it on the book blog here. The book is just hysterical. A sample post from their blog:
Advance praise for How Not to Write a Novel
“… good …”
– The New York Times
” … for some reason[able] … [pass]ages … in the book.”
– Washington Post Book World
” … one of the most [amaz] … ing books of the year.”
– Philadelphia Inquirer
“Among the … books I have reviewed in 20 years.”
– Austin-American Statesman
Howard has actually helped me on every one of my books except for the first, that was the book that made him start stalking me (kidding). I happen to know that he has provided invaluable assistance to a lot of authors, but I’m not allowed to name names (they are very BIG names). You can get your copy from Amazon here!