City of Flour and Sawdust

I looked up nicknames for Minneapolis and this was the first one, coined in 1883. So shout out!

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The Twin Cities are the midwest hub of publishing right now, which is fascinating. One might think its Chicago, but you’d be wrong. There is quite the scene in Minneapolis/St. Paul and I got to experience a tiny taste of it last week.

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(At the sculpture garden, Margaret checking out an exhibit)

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It also rain/snowed and then snow/snowed, which was magical and (admittedly) a little bizarre in mid-April. Then it became warm and beautiful and I wore a dress and sandals.

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But mostly I was at a conference or spending hours chatting with Margaret and Jeff or meeting a lovely internet friend, Kelly, or moaning about being super sore and pregnant. I was there from Tuesday to Sunday and did a lot of thinking and planning and learning about my next steps in book publishing. It’s complicated because of time, because I need to be good – really good – and because it is such a multifaceted experience.

Will I need an agent?

Will I need to publish smaller pieces in notable places in order to boost my writerly “resume”?

Where should I even submit this book to?

And of course… how and when will I finish it?

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I am very grateful for the opportunity to continue to feed my professional self. Which just so happens to be my creative self, my independent self, my deep inner Lauren self.

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This week is my birthday week and I came home to a hubub of activity and it has been a scramble to get back to work, to get back to Gabe, to spend time with friends and family and everyone is asking me how my trip was. How was my trip? How was the conference?

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It was great! It was restoring! It kicked me in the ass and gave me a clearer vision for what I’ll be working on for the next year (probably 2). It made me long for the routines of family life. It made me feel extra extra secure in Kamel’s parenting skills. It made me realize how much I truly need my kid(s) and my husband in my life on the regularly, that maybe traveling alone is not for me. But to have that freedom and head space, what a gift!

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Parenting small children is a phase, parenting bigger children is also a phase. I entered parenthood knowing that eventually that phase would be done, a new phase of adult relationships with my children would flourish, and that what is not a phase is …. me. I am me, right here, ever changing and growing and becoming better versions of the original. Investing in that is key. Regardless of how I go about it, babies strapped to me or following behind like little ducklings, relying on my partner for the freedom to grow and expand my talents… investments must happen. I am so grateful they do.

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(The mighty Mississippi)

5 thoughts on “City of Flour and Sawdust”

  1. Thinking about these sorts of bookie/publishing things inevitably makes my head hurt. Then I go watch a 30-minute sitcom to forget my woes.

    Lovely pic of Margaret with the wine 🙂

  2. It was so lovely to meet you!

    Also, I was pretty cynical and snarky about the publishing industry when we were chatting, and while all that stuff still stands, it’s not really the totality of my experience or what I believe. I’m just kind of in a career stall. I am sure you’re in no need of further advice or perspectives, but if you ever want to chat about any of this stuff again I promise to be more balanced in my anecdotes!

  3. That photo of you girls in the reflection is amazing. you should frame it.
    I needed to read this today so much… these investments are so important and so needed. Like Jo said, the phrase “What is not a phase is me. I am me, right here, ever changing and growing and becoming better versions of the original. ” sums it up perfectly

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