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.”
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?