Navigating a nonsober world of restaurants and bars, dinner parties, and benefits is like anything that requires practice. Like tennis or a foreign language, it gets easier the more you do it. But like all beginnings, it can be awkward. You stumble, you worry, and then there are unexpected moments of grace that give you the courage to keep going.
Recovery is an ongoing project that is really discrete from everything else in my life. It allows me to be an agent, allows me to write, allows me to be married, allows me to be part of a family. The writing is not a support beam of recovery but a happy consequence of it.
There are times when I'll send a manuscript to an editor, and I'll think it is the most likely project I've ever sent them. And they might call me the next morning and say they couldn't tolerate it. That happens so frequently that I've given up any expectation of knowing what anybody's going to like.
I think growing up in such a small town - before cell phones, before the Internet, before Facebook, before we had access to people's interiors - there was a great deal of space between people's lives. I spent a lot of time imagining into the lives of the people I grew up with.