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What Woody Allen and Food For My Daughters Have in Common

Posted Mar 20 2011 7:02am
So my daughter is in her high school play and we're driving there yesterday (me in the passenger seat, no longer gripping, praying, and quoting Woody Allen saying, "Wheat . . . lots of wheat . . . fields of wheat," from Love and Death), when I say to her, "You know how I can work anywhere as long as I have a computer?  Well, I'm sort of thinking maybe next summer, why don't we rent a little place in a village in Ireland or Norway or maybe even Tasmania for a month or so?"

She has her own plans in summer now (this summer is spoken for), and next summer feels like a lifetime away, already her feet in one place and her heart in another, so this idea may get squashed very quickly, I realize.

But then I see her brow raise a bit, and she replies, "Can we do that?"  
As I lay out how I imagine this happening, I see her nodding.  
"This is not theater.  This is life, and we can set the stage however we want!" I throw in, for dramatic flair, I suppose, right before adding, "Stop!  That's a red light!"
She stops (thank you, God).
"But you said I could go in the middle of the intersection if I'm turning," she answers, perplexed.
"On a green light," I correct.
"There's so much to learn," she mutters under her breath.
When I was on maternity leave after this very baby was born, I watched every single Woody Allen movie, and quotes come back at me as I sit there waiting for the light to change, for our lives to change.  "I mean, who would want to live in a place where the only cultural advantage is that you can turn right on a red light?" and "Don't worry. We can walk to the curb from here," both from Annie Hall, quickly followed by "You can't control life. It doesn't wind up perfectly," from Stardust Memories.

We are on borrowed time.  I'm pretty much done teaching her from the driver's seat in life.  And now, I only have left my view from the passenger seat, the telephone poles too close to the road coming at me like missiles, from which to share any last tidbits of motherly wisdom. Or do I?
My friend died almost five years ago from lung cancer, as long-time readers of FoodShed Planet know, having gone from diagnosis to death in the time it takes to have a baby. The last time we talked in depth, just days before she died, I told her it was time to write letters to her daughters and husband, something she had not yet done but somehow managed to do that final weekend.
As my daughter turned the wheel confidently, accelerating to the speed limit in seconds, chatting nonchalantly, merging effortlessly, I realize that I, a professional writer, like the shoemaker who hasn’t made shoes for his children, have not written a letter for my daughters. 
The book I've been writing is my letter.
This book, titled Food for My Daughters, is about what I decided to do when the towers fell, ten years ago this September 11, and how, frankly, everything I can possibly leave my daughters (and you) is related to that conscientious decision.
I don't have an agent.  I don't have a publisher.  I've started too late, perhaps, to use a traditional publisher and still have this book released before 9/11/11.  Automated responses to my emails say, "Thank you for your inquiry.  You should receive a response within three to six months." I've been involved in New Media for so long now that that response feels like it's from the dark ages, or maybe just Radio Days.  Speaking of which, you can hear me read the prologue to the book on my new Internet radio show .
Perhaps you would consider helping me:

* Perhaps you can make an introduction for me--simply forward the book's website link to your friend or relative in the business and maybe say it's worth a look.  

* Don't know anyone but want to help?  Perhaps you'd consider clicking "like" in the left-hand column or clicking an answer on the brief poll on the bottom of the book's site so that potential publishers can see there is a market for a book like this.  

* And, of course, click the button that says you'd like to know when it is published so that you can purchase a copy ( a percentage of all proceeds goes to provide food to those in need).

If there are two things I've learned these last ten years, they are this:  

1. Don't worry about how you're gonna' do something.  Just set the intention, and the world will conspire in your favor.  

2. And don't wait, because we are all on borrowed time.
Or as Woody says in Crimes and Misdemeanors, "Sometimes to have a little good luck is the most brilliant plan." 
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