I think it was George Carlin who was responsible for one of my favorite quotes of all time:
“The only thing better than being first, is being next.”
To me, that about sums up the joys of anticipation. That feeling of being on the cusp of the excitement, knowing it is in reach.
The journey to publication is filled with delicious moments like that. Sending off a query, and waiting. Sending off a partial, and waiting. Sending out line edits, and…okay, okay, I’ve made my point.
But Deb Erika, you’re saying, we were promised wine!
So without further ado, to the whine. I mean, the wine.
I used to think brewing a batch of beer required tremendous patience. Then, we tried our hand at becoming vintners.
As those of you who’ve tried this too know, making wine takes a wee bit of time and, you guessed it, patience. More so than brewing your own beer. Weeks more. Now for my husband, the biologist who has years of research experience behind him, waiting for results is par for the course. You’d think a writer who took twenty years to sell her first book would share that perspective, wouldn’t you?
“We have to wait three months?” I whined at the news. “Is that, like, ball-park? I mean, that’s just suggested…right?”
To which my husband gave me a well-deserved side-eye for an answer.
But guess what? The weeks passed, the time arrived. The wine was ready. Well, at least ready to be bottled. (Or, in our own case, bagged. Today’s vintners who live in a two-bedroom apartment and don’t have storage space for bottles can make their own boxed wine. How cool is that?)
Now three filled bladders wait for their time to shine, jiggling in the pantry like little waterbeds. They’re supposed to sit a while longer, though my husband tells me that’s really more for bottles than bags. (God, I love that man.)
But as I sampled the remaining liquid in the carboy, it occurred to me those bladders aren’t so different from the stack of LITTLE GALE GUMBOs I just received from my publisher a month before the book’s release. Like our wine which has endured its own series of steps to become what it will be when it’s finally poured, LITTLE GALE GUMBO has done the same and now it sits, waiting to be poured, or rather, released. And believe me, I’ve held the copies in my hands, visiting them where they are lovingly shelved on our bookshelf, much in the way I’ve checked in on those bags of wine.
It’s a long journey, indeed. But we’re close.
Or should I say, we’re next.
So tell me, friends: What are you next for?