When I’m working on a project–in this case, let’s say writing a book (which is the project I just finished)–my world becomes that project. The characters in my books talk to me, hoping I’ll give them more screen time. When I’m soaping up in the shower, ideas pop into my head. If I’ve stalled out on a chapter, and they aren’t telling me what they’re doing next, I try to interview them. “So, what’s up? Did you guys find the clue you were looking for?”
Then you finish the book and start the editing. It’s not all that much fun, but you know it has to be done. You bring in both experts and friends to let you know what’s missing, or maybe just what doesn’t make sense. It’s a long slog, but then that part of the process is over too.
Comes the day you send it off to the publisher. It’s like sending your first child off to school in first grade. Will she get along with the teacher? Will the other kids like her? Will she like the other kids? Will you ever feel comfortable letting her go out there without you?
Come to think of it, maybe it’s more like watching your child walk into the world to get married. Have you prepared her properly? Will she be able to handle all life’s lessons and problems as they show up?
But I digress. Going to the publisher isn’t at all like entering first grade or getting married. It’s more like turning your life over to some unknown force. Your baby, your book, now must stand on its own. But first, it needs to complete the birthing event. People can’t read it and love it until they get a copy in their hands. How long will all that take? What mystical thing happens to turn that story you’ve been living with for three years into a book people can hold in their hands and read?
I firmly believe there’s magic involved. We can’t see it happening, we just know that in this process, the printer is in charge. Things happen or don’t because the printer magic is working or not working.
Perhaps it’s occurred to you by now, I’m not what you might call a “patient” person. I get teased about it all the time. I try–I’ve even undergone brain training for it. The adult part of me steps in, reminding the child part of me to relax and let things happen. But usually, the child is having none of that. The heart wants what it wants, and it wants it now!
Right now, I’ve been informed the printer magic is NOT currently working. If I could, I’d hop on a plane, rush to the printing plant, and take over. It’s not that I have any clue how to run such an operation, because I can assure you I don’t. That’s not really the point.
The point is my life feels like it’s on hold until all the pieces come together, and I have that book in my hands. Murder at the Petroglyphs needs to be born. If any of you out there understand what I’m talking about, please send me an email to commiserate. I’m currently driving my poor husband batty!