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.
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.
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.