Friday, January 20, 2012

From Crabwalk to Cakewalk

By Peg Brantley, Writer at Work, Stumbling Toward Publication

I didn't walk when the calendar said I should walk.

Other children my age, and younger, were doing the stumble-step baby thing garnering oohs and aahs, cheers and applause. Not me. Mothers were comparing their offspring's talented developments with pride, and not a little bit of competition. Not mine.

My mother took me to our doctor, certain he would discover something horribly wrong with me. After all, not only was I not walking, I hadn't crawled like other children. Apparently I had this crablike move that managed to get me from Point A to Point B quite nice, thank you very much.

Assured that she had a healthy child, my mom braved out my lack of progress the best she could. I sort of think she minimized her embarrassment by keeping me home alone most of the time, which may explain why I never became a social butterfly.

One day, I got up on my feet and decided to walk. That very same day, I ran. Even though I'm sure the relief she felt about the fact that she wouldn't have a seven year-old who maneuvered around on all fours while moving backward and looking at the ceiling was profound, I'm sure she had days when she wished I couldn't get in to as much trouble.

Earlier this month, I turned 57. (Had to do the math to come up with that one.) I'm hoping to have my first manuscript published in early April for my mom's birthday. She's not with us physically any longer, but she still inspires. And I'm pretty sure I'll hear a few oohs and aahs, cheers and applause from her direction.

We all get there in just the right time, I'm convinced.


  1. Everyone takes their own path to developmental maturity, and every writer takes their own path to publication. I'm glad you've set a date for releasing your first novel. We're all proud of you.

  2. you have nailed your colors to the mast, haven't you? I'll be early in the line to read your book when it's published. You know I'm a fan already.

  3. L.J., thanks. I'll be poking and prodding you with a gazillion questions pretty soon. Be warned.

    Kathleen, I fervently hope I don't disappoint you. Thank you for your encouragement.

  4. Going from a crawl to a walk is one of life's great metaphors. Success depends on the ability to let go and trust the process, even embracing it whenever possible. I find the more I do that, the more success I have in reaching my goals.

    Congratulations on reaching your goal. It's a big one, I know.

  5. Sounds like your much-anticipated novel is really progressing, Peg! Way to go! Can't wait to read it!

  6. I can't wait to read it Peg! As the old saying is the journey that rewards us, not the destination.

  7. Andrew, that trusting the process thing is very zen. Sometimes I'm good at it, other times I stumble.

    Jodie, thank you for your enthusiasm. Wow.

    And Tom, when I begin the self-edits on the one planned for an April release, you'll probably be hearing from me. *wink*

  8. We climb the mountains and discover they are only small hills or a bump in the road as we journey through life. I’m sure your Mom is already smiling as you accomplish this. Good for you, Peg!

  9. One of my twins was a late walker. We were visiting a friend one day, and she got up, bounced on tiptoe a few times and walked across the room.

    I had my AARP card well before I starting thinking about writing. It's never too late.


  10. Great post, Peg. A word in due season. :)

    I'm so looking forward to your book!

  11. Thanks for your thoughts about my mom, Linda. She still tells me what to do ("Quit wasting time. Sit up straight.") but I think she's proud of both of her daughters.

    Terri, no way do you have an AARP card. You must have been trying to get Senior Discounts before you were eligible.

  12. I would have told your mother to teach you how to crawl. Maybe you did out of the regular sequence. Certainly you took your own individual approach to it.

    I enjoyed your story.


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