Day 14: My Baby Muse

January 28th, 2016

Pregnant belly in black and white

I‘m taking part in a 30-day writing experiment. The theme for me is “personal, not pretty.” See Kale & Cigarettes for details and the Facebook Group to read stories by other 500-words-ers.

Once upon a time, my very good friend Caylie—who also happened to be my genius acupuncturist and the only person in my life who has ever invited me to an accordion festival—asked me if I would want to edit a book she was thinking of writing. At the time, I was excited because I was getting a lot of treatments with her, and the prospect of doing a trade seemed like a good idea. We agreed to collaborate on this book: a handy field guide to pregnancy that would dive into the nitty gritty of all the horrible, absurd things a woman must endure whilst expecting.

It would be the opposite of What to Expect When You’re Expecting, though. It would be smart, witty, gritty, and real, and it would contain a lot of actual evidence-based science and both Eastern and Western points of view. It would also contain a lot of granoler-ish recipes to cure the things that ail you, because Caylie and I are both hippies who love to cook.

The only wee teensy little problem was that neither Caylie nor I had any kids. So, we really didn’t know what we were talking about. True, she was a very popular San Francisco acupuncturist who specialized in women’s health and fertility, and she had already, at that point in her career, helped countless women get pregnant and then treated them throughout their pregnancies. She had also started an Eastern medicine clinic within one of the biggest Western fertility clinics in the city. So, she knew what she was talking about, to an extent. But I didn’t.

Perhaps that’s why the project stalled for a while. Also, we both got really busy with our careers and personal lives. She got busy with her practice, and then selling her practice, starting a before-its-time drinking vinegars company, and then moving to Oakland to live with her hot young boyfriend. I got busy breaking up with my long-term live-in boyfriend and then being very melancholy and overly single for years. The book got back-burnered.

And then Caylie got pregnant. And two months later, I got pregnant. Funny story: Caylie was the first person I told—because she’s the one who brought the pregnancy test over. We already had breakfast plans, and I was like, you know, where is my period? So, she and I, we have a baby bond in many ways. 

The book idea was revived, and with this new hands-on experience under our, er, bellies, we forged forward. Meanwhile, Caylie started writing to publishing companies and agents.

And guess fucking what. One picked up her book!

I edit a lot of books for a lot of independent authors and let me tell you, it’s uncommon for a first-time author to get picked up by a publishing company. So, I am intensely proud of Caylie, and also about this book, which, you guys, is a really good book. Also, I’ve seen a sneak peek at the cover and it’s cute as kittens.

As for Caylie, she’s started a blog to have a creative outlet until the book comes out (later this year!), and like everything she does, it’s crazy cool. Check it out.

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