Or maybe not. It’s an amazing thing, that first contract offer. The sensations that ran through me could have come straight from one of my stories. You know, the rapid-fire pulse, the hyperventilation that won’t quit, the bombs bursting in air (well, not quite!) It still doesn’t feel quite real, even though the US Postal System website assures me that my signed contract has arrived at its proper destination.
But I suppose that’s what all first-timers feel. And in many ways, it’s not too different from the first successful piano recital I was in. I’m sure those of you who grew up taking music lessons, or dance lessons, remembers that “Dear God, please let me make it through to the bitter end” feeling that threatened to devour you whole. And, of course, that equally soul-wrenching sense of relief that the thing was over, and you had accomplished what you set out to do.
In a way, this contract offer has me reliving that heady rush of sensation. My darling first-born novel child has come of age and found a publisher who loves her as much as I do. She came easily into my world, but struggled hard to become the refined creature she is now, and she and I worked doggedly to craft her. In many ways, she is no longer what she was.
And therein lies the panic. I mean, I’ve already changed the ending. Twice. And ruthlessly carved away voices that demanded to be heard, but didn’t truly belong, their stories being essential to later books. Will the editor want me to make more alterations?
And I’d be lying to all of you if I said it didn’t bother me just the tiniest bit. I mean, I think the tale is perfect, just as it is. But I thought so after the first iteration. And the second. And third…you get the picture, I think.
But I mean, really, now I’ve got to learn something entirely new…how to promote myself. Considering I had a hard enough time telling my new boss at work just why I’m worth her while to hire, the whole idea that I can tell the world just how wonderful my story is seems ludicrous.
But it is. Wonderful, that is. I promise. No, really and truly, it is! (Fingers, toes, eyes, whatever…are all crossed)
And if you haven’t caught on by now, considering this post has rambled more than a climbing vine, I’m, well, still flabbergasted by it all, so if this post makes no sense, forgive me. I promise I’ll be back to normal soon.