Have you ever waited for a package to be delivered to your doorstep? Every day, you look out the window to see whether it has come.
Recently, I waited for a dream much like I looked forward to receiving the recent books about writing that I had ordered. This was a package containing the last half of my manuscript returned from the editor, with a cover letter inside.
I anticipated the package to contain vital information about my editor’s decision to agent my first book. The package finally arrived yesterday but not as I had expected. Instead of waiting by the door, it was crammed into our tiny mailbox slot. As I tried to pull it out along with the other mail, I could see the large envelop was torn open and the manuscript had partially fallen out.
“This can’t be good news,” I thought wincing. And I was right. The state of the envelop was a bad omen. As I quickly scanned the cover letter, I read those dreaded words. The editor had decided to “wait a little bit” unsure that a large enough market for my book existed. She suggested that I self-publish in order to maintain control of the rights and encouraged me that people would by my book.
I collapsed on the couch and sighed. It had been a long morning of finishing revisions for the first half of the manuscript and I was exhausted. In fact, it had been a long life living the content let alone the last four years recording it. All those events were held in the loose-leaf papers bound by a rubber band.
Funny thing, I didn’t feel disappointed. I was strangely relieved. I knew she was right when we last spoke over the phone, and she warned that publishers might require the removal of certain parts. Yet, this manuscript contained details about my personal creative history and the faith that was its inspiration. If I was to be totally honest, the removal of those parts about my faith would misrepresent the story. I could not resolve the uneasiness I felt whenever I tried to rationalize away these changes.
As I sat there staring into space, I remembered the people who have provided continual support during this rigorous process. Their gifts to me have been abundant. Without their support, I would not have gotten to the point where I actually needed an editor.
The first person who came to mind was my precious husband, Justin. He has stood beside me each step of the way always providing wisdom and courage to continue.
Other precious people also came to mind. People I can call in order to process my progress.
These are people who water my soul.
There are people who have already read the book. They are all cherished family and friends and thoughts of them warmed my heart. My mother blushed contesting her portrayal as far too wonderful. She even asked for a disclaimer to be added.
My best friend, Barbie, has faithfully read almost every piece over the course of the last five years. She continues to tell me that I can do this!
My dear friend Carrie told me the book made her cry and deeply touched her heart.
She said the content affirmed her that she was not strange but just a uniquely gifted artist, a creative eclectic.
My daughter, Andy, edited the first draft and had a similar response because she is also a “creative eclectic” often doubting her artistic temperament. My aunt Marlene is reading the book right now and so far enjoying the contents.
I could hardly mope when such a wonderful company of people have shared my most precious moments in life, whether in person or through reading the unpublished pages. In fact, the honor of their viewing released a peace within as I contemplated my book’s fate. Whether or not anyone else reads the contents mattered not in that moment of gratitude. They are my special delivery.
This is my personal history, a collection of experiences, hopes, and dreams. Just this morning I reread a piece I wrote about my son and cried all over again. I thought about how wonderful writing is. You can see personal growth in yourself and in others as you revisit tender memories from days gone by.
While in this contemplative moment, a heard a clunk at the front door. I opened the door and almost stumbled over a large package just delivered. Upon ripping open the cardboard, I discovered my new 2010 Writer’s Market Deluxe Edition. The words on the cover seemed ironic:
“WHERE & HOW TO SELL WHAT YOU WRITE
This book contains listings for book publishers, consumer magazines, trade journals, literary agents, and more”
Yes, my dream was delivered to my doorstep. I’m just going to have to do quite a lot of work to make it come true!