I hear a lot of “what if” and “if only” and “If I could just” and “So and So has what I want!” I’m not immune to it, but I am growing ever more Aware of it. Circuitous thinking, round and round it goes, endless. We don’t remember wishing for that something because when we reached that goal, we were already circling to find the next thing, and that for which we wished for prior has already been left behind. I like goals; I’m competitive. But dang it! When do we celebrate? Where’s the WHAHOOO! . . . ?
Here’s what I imagined would happen when I received word that my first novel Tender Graces (and guess what? I never liked that title! ha! Now I said it! I wanted Mountain in the title; yeah, strong and mountain and kin. Like the Russian version they titled “Above the Mountain is Light” by Katherine Madzhendi, and there’s Mad in my Russianized name! haha! Er, where was I? oh yeah: here’s what I thought would happen when I received word my novel) would be published: I’d jump up, scream WHAHOOO!, hug anyone who happened to be around, email gamillions of people, yell N’YA N’YA N’YA N’YA N’YA I TOLD YOU SO! to those who said, “How’s that hobby, you know, that cute writing hobby you got going there? Still plugging along? *knowing looks abound* . . .” and then go celebrate with Ketel One over ice with a tiny sliver of lime.
Here is what really happened: I’m sitting alone in the dark. I’m sipping very strong black French Roast, the sun just slipping over the Smoky Mountains. I read the email of how the wonderful Bellebooks/Bell Bridge Books (Thank You, Bellebooks!) wants to offer me a contract. There is no sound but my old dog’s snoring. I stand, walk dazed around the little log house, and it is hours and hours later before I tell anyone—because I might jinx it. Because it may not be Real. Because something will happen to screw it up. Because they will publish me and five people will buy my book and they’ll regret they published me. And so on and so forth, blah diddity blah blah blah. Nothing new here, yammer yammer.
And in a blink of a flea’s eyelash WHOOOSH!, the first novel becomes the second, then third, and soon a novella, and fourth novel, and fifth. Have I done any real celebrating? I guess not. And I’ve let slip more than 4 years since that last novel, what with just over 4 years ago two incomes becomes All Me Income and writing feels more a luxury she can’t afford and she’s okay with that, sure she is; she doesn’t miss the long hours writing so she can instead work work work to pay her mortgage and bills; she had her moments of writing writing writing writing and writing WRITING WRITING WRITING WRITING, and now she must Not Writing. Oh Terrible Angst and Woe! Well, my sweet lil log house is, also, worth sacrificing something precious, even when it sucks to sacrifice. (But really, yes, it is rather sad, don’t you think? The lost books I still need to find? If I could catch my financial breath?) [Read more…]