Jennifer Lyon

Monday, April 10th, 2017
Living the Dream

Warning: This email was written while under the influence of antibiotics, insomnia, wild joy, soul-shuddering fear and the usual amount of Jen-Crazy. Proceed at your own risk.

I have moments where I’m think, “Wow I’m living the dream.”

And then there are other moments, where I’m pretty sure I’m chasing the dream through the bowels of hell.

So Friday afternoon, I was cleaning our old leather couches–

**And let me just ask this: Do hellhounds come in at night and shed old filth, muck and digested bone marrow on my furniture while I’m sleeping? Because ewww….there was some serious dirt on my couches. So freaking embarrassing. But alas, those couches and clean now–yes sir they are, and if any grubby hellhounds try to smear their disgusting grime on them again, I will squirt them with my trusty cleaner and poof their butts right back to the underworld. Just saying…**

–Right so back to the subject of living the dream. While cleaning the couches, my phone dinged letting me know I had a new email. If my phone dings, that means Siri knows this is likely an email I want to read. Siri is clever like that. So I stripped off my hazmat suit (just kidding, people, I don’t live in a toxic waste dump…come on…)  all right I put down my cleaning rag and pulled up the email.

It’s was from my editor.

I’m like…holy cow (I cleaned that up for you. I don’t want to say holy f-ing sh*t on my blog, that would be rude). Why was I freaking out? It was too soon!! I’d just turned in the book a few days ago. So…this can’t be good. I had this happen once before and it’s not a memory I want to relive. Nope, in that case, my first two chapters were so confusing, she stopped reading the book and sent it back for me to fix so she could understand it.

I felt sick. Not like, oh, crap, I have a sinus infection sick. This was stomach sinking, career-ending, where’s the vodka sick. I broke out in a sweat and closed the email.

That’s right, I was scared of an email. I’d rather tackle dirty couches!

Except I had to know. I lasted about 22 seconds and opened the email again. Then I shut one eye, squinted with the other and mentally prepared for a death-blow to my career. It began with Dear Jennifer.

Hmm, well that’s better than Dear Author Wannabe, right? Although she often calls me Jen, so Jennifer… so formal. Hmm…Is she quitting?

OMG is my editor dumping me!! Where is the freaking vodka??? Wait, I don’t drink vodka. Crap. Is now a good time to start drinking vodka? It really seems like the perfect time for vodka.

Oh for the love of chocolate, read the damn email, Jen.

Great now I’m hearing voices. I’m definitely skipping the vodka because while I can tolerate voices in my head, I draw the line at drunk voices. So I began to read. The first paragraph was about…I dunno. There were a bunch of words that weren’t about my book. Which seems kind of rude when it really should be all ABOUT MY FREAKING BOOK because Hello?? Author dying here??

So I got through that real long first paragraph stuffed with words and punctuation and none of it about my book.

Whew, okay no hate in paragraph number one. So on to paragraph number two. It began like this:

“First off, I gotta tell you. Wow. Seriously, wow. This book is so, so good.”

Wait, what?

OMG she’s not dumping me and she doesn’t hate my book!! She gushed for a while, right down to the ending of the book.

After that, she went into “editor mode” and outlined revisions. The first half of the book needs some work, but the second half she couldn’t stop reading. For me, it’s all great news. I’m thrilled with her reaction and agree with her revisions that–if I can pull off–will make the book stronger.

And so on Friday afternoon, I was living the dream. That feeling is so addictive that I will chase this dream through the really bad days of insomnia and despair, fighting the voices of doubt in my head, working until I ache, to achieve those few magical moments when I realize the book is working, that I have hit the mark and given the characters the story they deserve.

For me, that is living the dream. Dreams aren’t easy, but they are worth the struggle.

Okay if you happened to make it through the whole blog–how was your weekend?

8 comments to “Living the Dream”

  1. B.E. Sanderson
    April 10th, 2017 at 7:54 am · Link

    First off, thank you for all your support of Natural Causes this weekend. You rock. (And if you’re thinking you didn’t do that much, you did worlds and it made me feel really good.)

    Second… LOL. Awesome post. I’m so glad none of your fears came true and that your editor loved the book. You are living the dream, darlin’. Rock on.

    The weekend here was all about post-publication recovery. Which means I read a lot, watched a bunch of TV, and did some fishing. (OMG, an actual weekend like normal people have.) Today I need to get back into the swing of working. Marketing is the word of the day. Then I really need to get back into the edits for Wish Hits the Fan (which are now due by the end of May).

  2. Silver James
    April 10th, 2017 at 9:18 am · Link

    Hey, from someone who lives with actual hellhounds… ;)

    Have I mentioned lately how much you make me laugh? I want to be your humorous self when I grow up. Wait…I’m older than you. Okay. Next life. I want the ability to make funny as easy as you do.

    And, yeah, you are livin’ the dream, Jen. In so many ways, despite your crazypants reaction to things. ;) But that makes you *you*. Unique and wonderful and talented and an amazing storyteller. So cheers, m’dear!

    We babysat Saturday afternoon, fixed the speaker on the surround-sound so we could watch DVDs and actually hear the dialogue, and I dealt with pudding brain. Must get back in work mode today. I have deadlines, proposals, stuffs. Ugh.

    Now get to work. We’re all waiting for this story! :D

  3. Jenn
    April 10th, 2017 at 11:09 am · Link

    B.E., congrats on publishing NATURAL CAUSES and you’re very welcome! I know how hard you worked on that book (and every book) so I bought it right away. I want to read it soon!!

    Glad you took some time off this weekend. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had all weekends off?

    Go and market! You can do it!

  4. Jenn
    April 10th, 2017 at 11:15 am · Link

    Silver, LOL on your hellhounds! I think they might object to that label :-)

    You’re funny all the time! I’m just…me. But thank you for laughing. There are some moments I try to capture and hold onto, you know? You and I talked about this book a couple years back and then it grew into this huge epic story, and I didn’t know if i had the skill to tell it, but I had to try. Enough of that.

    Yay on fixing the surround sound! DVDs are a lot more enjoyable when you can actually hear the dialogue :wink:

    Hope you got enough of a break to recover from pudding brain and tackle deadlines, proposals and stuff. Happy Monday!

  5. Erika
    April 10th, 2017 at 11:17 am · Link

    Congratulations Jen! I’m so excited for you, that is wonderful news. Happy to hear that there was no vodka necessary.

    My weekend was good. Saturday I worked and then on Sunday I drove up north to see my daughter. She graduates college next month (holy crap) and we were going over the contract she received from the school district where she will be working this upcoming school year. It’s all very exciting and new.

  6. Jenn
    April 10th, 2017 at 11:53 am · Link

    Erika, thank you :-)

    Congratulations on your daughter’s graduation! You must be so proud of her. It’s a surreal feeling when we realize our kid has really grown up and are on the way to realizing their full potential? I’m excited for both of you!

  7. Viki S.
    April 10th, 2017 at 3:01 pm · Link

    Such fantastic news. I love your post and how apprehensive you were about reading the email. That feeling where are stomach is in your throat comes to mind.

    So happy for you!

    How are you feeling? Have you kicked that nasty infection to the curb? Hope so.

    Nothing thrilling here. We had 7 inches of super heavy snow on Friday that snapped trees and today it’s 80 :). Go figure. The cat is loving the open windows.

    Have a great day!

  8. Jenn
    April 10th, 2017 at 8:16 pm · Link

    Viki, thank you!

    I’m feeling better, although the headache still comes and goes, but definitely improving.

    You had such a wild swing in weather! Sorry about the snapping trees, I hope it didn’t affect you.

    So cute on you kitty enjoying the opened windows :-) Have a great evening!

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