*A note: The topic this week is bumps along the publication path, but I share this rant fully aware that I’m lucky to be on one at all.
The auction for I LIKED MY LIFE ended on Thursday, March 5, 2015 at 3 p.m. I remember the date and time exactly because as I hit send on a quick note of gratitude to my future editor, the pilot of the puddle jumper I was about to board snatched my phone. “Work can wait,” he said.
I need to preface my response by saying I’m not an airplane talker. I’m a conditional extrovert, meaning I’m only outgoing if I know you, and I’m in the mood. I don’t share the private details of my life with random moms at the park. If I’m getting a massage and the masseuse starts in with questions, I have no problem saying, “Let’s talk when the hour is up,” and then getting the hell out of there as quickly as possible, lest she take me up on the offer.
But in that moment, with the terms of my newly minted book deal clouding my judgement, I couldn’t help myself. “My dream just came true,” I blurted to the complete stranger about to fly me and six people I’ve never met to Virgin Gorda. I preceded to spend the next hour in the co-piolot seat blabbing about all the wishing and working and rejection that led to that moment. The pilot nodded and smiled the way I do at strangers who chose to over-share.
When the plane began its descent it rolled with the wind, and for a moment I thought, “Well, shit, my dream came true and now I’m going to die in a plane crash before I even told my husband how the auction ended.” And then, because my writer mind often takes things a step too far, I thought, “But I bet it’ll sell a lot of copies with that sob story tied to it.”
The plane landed. Much to the relief of the pilot, my cousin was waiting to take the listening baton from the crazy-excited passenger (me).
That night, celebrating, I was asked for the first (but far from last) time when I LIKED MY LIFE would be on shelves. My family was shocked to learn it would take about a year.
It’s now been a year, but my book won’t be out for another ten months. It’s karmic payback for my lifelong chronic impatience. Whoever is in charge up there is having a ball sipping their evening bourbon while I stare at a calendar, willing it cruise along at a faster pace.
I know, I know, dream-come-true stories aren’t supposed to be easy or without hiccups. When my pub day finally comes along, I’ll know well enough what it’s worth and savor it.
*To the universe: This was a great lesson and I’m taking it seriously. No need to postpone the release of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO LUCY BISCARO? until 2020. Got it?
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