We call my car “the Self-Esteem Wagon.” In reality, it’s a 2002 Suzuki Grand Esteem, which is not a particularly popular car. We bought it used, sporting only 13,000 miles and an electric blue color that is way too bright for me. I have seen just one other Grand Esteem in the past five years and the owner of that car got so excited he honked his horn repeatedly as if we were old friends. My friend Howard Mansfield christened the car several years ago and the name stuck. When I make an appointment to get one of our family cars serviced, Sandy at Valley Automotive says, “Are you bringing in the Toyota or the Self-Esteem Wagon?” The running joke (or maybe it’s a theory) is that if you’re in a bad mood, just drive around in the Self-Esteem Wagon for a while and then you’ll feel really good about yourself. Works for me.
Sadly, the Self-Esteem Wagon took a hit on New Year’s Eve. Not a big one, but while we were attending a lovely party to ring in 2013 (toasts at 10:30 p.m. since most of us wanted to be in bed by midnight; we are a wild bunch here in NH), someone side-swiped my car leaving a trail of dents, but no note to take responsibility. I’m pretty sure Daddy would rise from the grave and chase me down if I didn’t leave a note, and Mama would sense it miles away in Florida. Nevertheless, the offender escaped unnoticed and apparently without remorse, leaving the Self-Esteem Wagon a bit worse for wear. It took some work, but after our initial anger, we switched to forgiveness and perspective. It is a car, after all, not a loved one.
I like to think that irresponsible persons (aka “insert expletive here”) are the exception in this world, that for the most part, we are a generous people, trying to support our fellow souls on their journeys. When I arrived home from the party, I was proven right. My IndieGogo/Fractured Atlas campaign — launched to raise funds for a writing sabbatical for “How to Draw a Nekkid Man,” the memoir — ended at midnight, Dec. 31. With donations ranging from $10 to $2,500, nearly 60 people donated close to $12,000 (my goal was $16,000, so I am thrilled), providing me with enough funds to support at least a four month writing sabbatical and much needed technological upgrades. Daddy always said I could cry at a card trick — needless to say, I’ve been a bit emotional as people showed their belief in my work. So humbled, so blessed, and so pumped. Stay tuned for a great book.
Several people who missed the deadline have contacted me, wondering if they can still donate, and of course, the answer is yes! As always, the donations are tax deductible. Just click here or on the Fractured Artist (my fiscal sponsor) below.
In the meantime, the Self-Esteem Wagon endures! The car still works, the doors still open, and with 112,000 miles on the odometer, she’s still got plenty of life left in her yet. I’d like to think I do too. See you on the open road and best wishes for 2013.
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