News? No News. News!

IMG_20140208_083954The writer life is an exercise in bi-polar living for me. The mental work is grueling. The long droughts of rejection drain my soul. I frequently look to my writer-friends for a reason to go on. Frequently. I quit writing FOREVER at least quarterly. It’s a very awful pursuit for me about half the time. Truly terrible. But. Twenty-five percent of the time, I’m inspired. When I’m inspired, I have hope and the company of a shiny new concept that keeps me up at night like the butterflies of first love. I talk about the concept and pet it and snuggle it and spend time cultivating it everyday and long into the nights. The inspired times are worth the miserable drought times. I love that portion of my writer life. Still, there’s another twenty-five percent out there.

I didn’t forget. And my math skills aren’t that bad, yet.  I was saving the best for last. Grandma taught me. The good news take your mind off the bad. This post is about the good news.

Me and Jacqueline Mitchard

Me and Jacqueline Mitchard

The very best part of the writer life is when it all becomes real. When an agent or editor likes your work. A critique partner begs for more. A readers contacts you to say you made them smile, laugh, climb a mountain, etc. Unfortunately, these times are the exception for most writers like me, but they’re worth it. The bulk of our lives is spent in the trenches, then just when we’re ready to quit writing FOREVER. Again. Something lovely happens to refuel our hearts and remind us there is purpose to the madness.

Last weekend I had an experience like that. I attended the Love is Murder Conference in Chicago. It was the best weekend event I’ve attended in ages, but not because of the event itself. Let me tell you about the weekend.

It started with me pouting around the house over leaving the kids for three days, imposing on in-laws, worried my editor would be mean to me when we finally met in real life, worry the trip was all around too costly, my career/hobby? took took much away from my family…you name it. If the tickets and airfare weren’t already paid for and nonrefundable, I would’ve backed out at the last minute. I was having a drought experience. I’d pulled manuscripts from my agent that week, discouraged at the lack of progress in submissions and resolved to self-publish. I believe in these manuscripts and refuse to stuff them under the floorboards because they haven’t found the right home. When you

Me with Laura Barth

Me with Laura Barth

spend your life writing not one, but two manuscripts that go nowhere, it’s a crossroads to What-the-heck-a- I-doing-with- my-life? Additionally, a third manuscript was failing to get the reception I wanted with the presses I wanted. Oh, and I was finishing 30days of writing guest blog spots in preparation for my March release, so I hadn’t written anything in ages. If you’ve ever done a blog tour, you know. You write variations of a similar vaguely promotional thing more ways than sanity can stand. I was drained. I wanted to go to bed for life.

Anyway. I didn’t. I got on a plane with my husband and we flew to Chicago. In February. During the arctic vortex. A caribbean escape it was not. Hubsy and I had a nice kid-free dinner at an overprices steak house and shared a bottle of wine at ten o’clock that night when we arrived. We ordered burgers and fries. It was that kind of day. I needed a burger. I slept like the dead, and in the morning, things looked up. Way up.

I met my editor-in-chief over at Merit Press, the gorgeous, talented and so very kind Jacqueline Mitchard. Jackie’s an acclaimed author and a mentor for me. She was a featured speaker at the event. She was so nice. I couldn’t believe my luck. I loved her instantly. We ran around like girlfriends (only way cooler than that lame description) during the event, sitting together and thankfully knowing at least one face everywhere we went. It was a wonderful comfort to me, plus, Jackie is hilarious. her wit is spectacular. I laughed so much. So very much.

Me with My Life Source

Me with My Life Source

That afternoon, I went to my room to recharge. After a series of panels, my author-face was falling and my introvert was begging me to hide. I always listen to my introvert or bad things WILL happen. Back in my room, I had a FB message from my agent. I told her I was in my room for a few minutes and started typing a general recap of my morning when the phone rang. She called me. You know what that means, right? I got the call! The press where I’d hoped to place my last manuscript loved it! A win! I needed a win. It was a glorious, wonderful, very good day. Then, dinner arrived.  At dinner, I had the pleasure of sitting with a woman I’d met via twitter just days before the conference. Her name is Laura Barth and she works at the Harlequin headquarters. She was tweeting something like, “Meet Heather Graham and Julie Lindsey in Chicago!” I had tweeted back to say, You just put ME in a tweet with Heather Graham? What?? LOL. I’m me and she’s Heather Graham! It was nuts. Laura was as much fun in person as she is on twitter and somehow even prettier. I was delighted to meet both Laura and Heather in Chicago. I’m now bunny trailing this story – sorry. *clears throat* So, I sat with Laura at dinner and she gave me more good news. Harlequin has chosen to pick up my Carina Press e-book mystery series for the Harlequin Book  Clubs.

Me with Heather Graham

Me with Heather Graham

*flounders* *dies*

So, I said all that up there, to say this: If you are a writer in a drought period, ready to quit, ready to cry, emptying another pint of Strawberry Cheesequake ice cream….hang in there. This too will pass. Droughts always end. They take some people down with them, but you’re tougher than that. You’ll survive. So, get your chin up, Buttercup. Your good news is already in flight. It will be here before you know it, and if you’re like me, probably when you least expect it.

Leave a Reply

  

  

  


*

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>