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I had expected to read through a chapter or two of my novel today…just not from the eleventh story of the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. But this morning my husband suggested that we make a spontaneous trip to the city to attend the Chinese New Year parade. Given that we lose an hour with the time change tomorrow and I have to be at a baptism in the morning, I was not immediately game. But, I love Chinese New Year, and San Francisco, and have never watched the parade. Surrounded by a bunch of shoulds…a box of work, dishes in the sink, bills to pay, I wondered how writerly I would even be at home…and I reminded myself that an artist’s purpose is to live and absorb life, not reject new experiences. We supposed to say “yes” more than “no.” So I did.

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Now I’m lying in bed, listening to honking cars and sirens, the constant roar of traffic and my husband’s breathing. As the fog slowly blankets the city, and the buildings disappear from view one by one, I’m contemplating my day and my decision. From our room I watched boats sail in the Bay and felt the sun warm my feet. In the crowded streets I saw dragons dance and breathed in jasmine tea. I said “yes” and I felt alive…I felt like a writer living the dream, not just dreaming the dream. What more can I ask for?

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