The Gooble-Gooble Monster

27 Sep

Moonrise.

Today’s post has two parts to it. Part one: the happy part. Part two: the defiant part. I would have posted the happy part alone, but it was kinda short. And as for the defiant part, well, it seemed like it needed a little leavening.

So…PART ONE: the beginning of the dream.

When I was small, I wrote a book. It was called, “The Gooble-Gooble Monster” and it was about a scary-looking monster who was actually kind. (Original, I know.) He came across a little girl and she was frightened by his scary face, but then she got to know him and realized he was actually friendly. The end.

I told my sister the story and she helped me make it into a book. She wrote it out for me and I drew the pictures. It was the size of an 8.5 x 11 inch piece of paper, cut into four. We taped it together. All seven pages. Then we showed it to Mom and she, of course, admired it with all appropriate motherly love.

For a long time it hung around on my dresser. I would look at it occasionally, admiringly, appraisingly. Then, one day, it was gone. I looked in my garbage. Had it fallen in? I looked under my dresser. Under my bed. Nada. I looked for it for months.

For about 25 years I wondered what had happened to it.

Signs of the season.


Then, one day, Mom sent me some stuff. Stuff she’d kept for years in a file marked, appropriately, “Gretchen”. And there it was. The Gooble-Gooble Monster in all its glory. I cried, I was so amazed.

Was it the work of art I had remembered? Yes, it was. It was imperfect perfection, just what a child’s homemade book should be, and it proved something to me: this dream I have, of writing, isn’t new to me. It’s older than my ability to write.

Sunrise.

PART TWO: fulfilling the dream.

It’s been awhile since I’ve written about…writing! It’s amazing to me what a L-O-N-G process this all is. Writing/editing/publishing is an exercise in patience, and this is only just the beginning. Things are moving along…and at a good pace…just don’t be saving your pennies quite yet or expect to pre-order my book on Amazon in the near future! One step at a time…and some of the steps are rather lengthy. BUT…progress is being made and I’m hoping to approach my first-choice agent quite soon. Hopefully I’ll have some fun stuff to report in the next month or two!

Fall has its advantages.


People ask me, from time to time, if I’ve found a publisher yet. Someone the other day, when I said something about my book, did the ultimate dreaded thing: he said, “Oh, you wrote a book? What’s it called?” And I said, “I’m not certain of the final title yet.” And he said, “Oh. So it’s not published,” and then turned away with a look on his face that said, “Yeah, whatever. You can’t call yourself a writer. You’re not one. You’re just a wanna-be. You’re just like so many other people out there in the world who ‘wrote a book’…and it’s never going to see the light of day because no one thinks it’s good enough to publish. Go back to your dusting, little housewife.”

Yes, perhaps I’m reading into his response. But truly, that’s what his look and his real words said…just in the expanded form! I was saddened by his response, and I wanted to say, “Hey! I haven’t even gotten to the point of ASKING a publisher yet! Give me a break here! I only just finished editing!” But he turned away, talking to someone else, and I didn’t get to explain. I didn’t get to defend. Somehow, later on, to return to the conversation seemed desperate and unnecessary. And really, I don’t care what that person thinks of me, anyway! I know what I’ve done, and I’m good with that.

One of Katie's favorite creaturess.


What have I done? I’ve written a manuscript for a book that I hope will be published. I’ve taken 3.5 years of my life and WRITTEN A BOOK! I’ve taken my heart, my imagination, my brains, my memory, my dreams, and written a book. I AM a writer! I’m not a wanna-be. I WRITE. That makes me a writer. I’m even thinking about getting business cards! Whoo hoo!

GRETCHEN O’DONNELL. WRITER.

It’s just that the process is taking forever.

So, for those of you who have been wondering…for those of you who woke up today, knowing that it’s a Tuesday, and excitedly anticipating reading about my most recent epiphanies…now you know what’s going on. I’m waiting. I’m learning patience, because this is only the beginning. There’s a heck of a lot of waiting yet to come.

So my epiphany for the week is this: while I wait, I move ahead. Perhaps a sequel? Perhaps something totally new? Perhaps I smile to myself at the nay-sayers. The eye-rollers. The deniers.

I am a writer because I write.

So there.

I even have a taped-together decade-old book, written by me, to prove it.

Perhaps, like the Gooble-Gooble monster, this process will turn out to be a friendly one.

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25 Responses to “The Gooble-Gooble Monster”

  1. Rose September 27, 2011 at 9:08 am #

    Here’s toast to my dear friend Gretchen, THE WRITER! Love to you!

  2. Andrea September 27, 2011 at 9:57 am #

    Beautiful photos…

    • Gretchen O'Donnell September 27, 2011 at 11:47 am #

      Thanks, Andrea! I’m having a lot of fun with the camera lately!

  3. shawnacy September 27, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

    thank you for this. my child-prodigy work was about donald duck eating a pencil. 🙂
    this is so true, though. the time, the EVERLASTING TIME it takes for anything at all to come to fruition is maddening.
    and too – for me, at least,- the element of ‘falling short’ that can so paralyze. and the whole ‘owning it’ deal with the label ‘writer’. so many struggles.

    yay to you for finishing your edits. best of luck on publication!

    • Gretchen O'Donnell September 27, 2011 at 12:22 pm #

      Thank you so much! I really appreciate your comments. It’s good to know that other people can relate, isn’t it? Please stop by again!

  4. wilskat September 27, 2011 at 2:14 pm #

    Me, too. But I’m a writer without a book, published or not. Thank you for giving perspective!

    • Gretchen O'Donnell September 27, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

      Hey, Kathy – it’s not too late!

    • Tarisa Smith October 4, 2011 at 8:39 pm #

      Me three! I write poetry and essays and silly two-liners all the time. I might pursue publication at some point but that’s hardly the motivation. I write because I need to. I write because there is no other way to express myself. I write because if I don’t, I’ll probably blow a gasket. I write because a blank piece of paper is asking me to fill it. I stopped going to a writer’s group once because I share a poem and the unofficial group leader stuck her nose up at it and said, “well that’s very cute, but do you have any serous work for us to consider.” As if the only writing of value was that which was in process of being published. So thanks. I agree with you wholeheartedly. I am a writer because I write.

      • Gretchen O'Donnell October 4, 2011 at 8:57 pm #

        Amen! Humor can be “serious” writing, too! Never let anyone stick their nose up, that’s for sure! I should post my “green beans” poem one of these days…the poem that was the only one my college poetry prof. ever liked. It’s not perfect, and I’d write it differently today…but I think I’ll leave it as is…though I might write a new version and post them both! But I digress. Yes, I think that a huge part of being a writer is NOT being able to NOT write!!!!

  5. teasandbooks September 28, 2011 at 2:35 am #

    Hi Gretchen,

    I really must find the quote again, but some author compared writing to standing naked in the town square. The writer is at his most vulnerable, and everybody judges. Best of luck & please let us know all about your publishing adventures!

    • Gretchen O'Donnell September 28, 2011 at 6:04 am #

      That is a great comparison! I’d love to see that quote! . Yes, I’m afraid that even I read-and-correct books as I go along sometimes. “Why did he/she use THAT word? Such-and-such would have been so much better!” I then read on, feeling slightly smug, until it hits me: people could be doing this to me, too! How terrible! Then I shut my mouth and try to appreciate STYLE!

      Thanks so much for your comment – and I will definitely keep everyone informed!

  6. Kimberly Robertson October 4, 2011 at 2:19 pm #

    You are indeed a writer. I recently wrote a piece on the difference between the amateur and the pro writer. It’s not publishing, as everyone who never wrote a book thinks. Instead it’s the approach we take towards writing. Gretchen, you are a writer and a darn fine one. And, I think, the Gooble-Gooble Monster agrees.

    https://www.facebook.com/notes/robertson-writes/special-wack-resistance-installment-overcoming-monkey-blues-fever/278202288865580

    • Gretchen O'Donnell October 4, 2011 at 2:29 pm #

      Thanks for posting your link! I have been terrible lately about looking at my friend’s blogs. Yes, I like what you said about the approach we take…like the road less traveled, it makes all the difference!

  7. Minnesota Prairie Roots October 12, 2011 at 3:30 pm #

    Well said: “I am a writer because I write.”

    That’s clear in your writing here. You can write. And well.

    • Gretchen O'Donnell October 12, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

      Thank you so much for your kind words! And I appreciate you taking the time and heading over here to my blog. We MInnesotan’s need to stick together, eh?

  8. Just Add Attitude October 12, 2011 at 4:22 pm #

    I like this story of the gobble gobble monster. I hope that one day soon that you can put the book you created in childhood on a bookshelf alongside a published book that you wrote in adulthood. Good luck with your first choice of agent.

    • Gretchen O'Donnell October 12, 2011 at 7:54 pm #

      Thanks so much! Wouldn’t that be fun?! Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it!

  9. Valerie Adolph November 9, 2011 at 10:49 am #

    So true. Or people say “I’ve thought of writing a book too.” and they think it’s the same as actually doing the hard work of it.

    Keep at it Gretchen – you’ll get published.

    • Gretchen O'Donnell November 9, 2011 at 11:52 am #

      Thanks for your encouragement, Valerie! Yes, I’ve heard people say that, too. I just smile and say something vague in response!

  10. Books, Libs, Scripts March 4, 2012 at 12:33 am #

    Hi Gretchen,

    How goes the publishing process for your book? Hope you had lots of fun, luck, and success since this post!

    • Gretchen O'Donnell March 4, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

      Hi there – thanks for stopping by! I actually am planning on posting an update about it on Tuesday – so your question is very timely. Check back on Tuesday to find out the answer! 🙂 (How’s that for shameless self-promotion?!)

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Saturday Linkheap « Belly up, it's A Poetry Feed. - October 1, 2011

    […] Fine Day for an Epiphany: In which Gretchen finds her Gooble-Gooble Monster and stands up to the Yeah, Whatever […]

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