Wednesday, March 30, 2005

How I Got Here, Part 24

Sorry about the late post. The blog posting site was down. Sheesh, computers.

I enjoyed the comments from yesterday. Especially laughed over Ron’s comment about The Longest Day. Yes, I did eventually get published, as you all know. But as you’ve also seen, it seemed to take an eternity. Becky, your question will be answered.

So. Summer of 1999. I somehow managed to unfreeze my body enough to reach toward that fax machine, gather up the pages and turn them over.

First page was a cover letter from Editor C to my agent. Offering to publish my novel Cast a Road Before Me. Jane had written on it—Congratulations! Call me.

My hands shook.

No. Wait, wait. I’d read it wrong. There had to be some tiny print at the bottom of the page I was missing. I read the letter again. Turned it over to see a blank page. No little print at the bottom.

They wanted to publish my novel.

They wanted to publish my novel!!

You can react in the strangest of ways after you’ve waited for something for so long. Almost like your body can't quite handle the news. I just stared at the paper, my mind on some other plane. Still trying to figure out a way to convince myself this wasn’t real; there was a catch. Because if I allowed myself to believe it was real, if I let loose the emotion dammed up and swirling higher by the minute in my chest, I’d never get the dam in place again. So I’d better be good and sure . . .

I skimmed the other pages. A bunch of legalese and gobbledegook. In other words, a publishing contract. Had my name on it. My novel’s title on it.

Hey, yo, Brandilyn! This is it. You prayed for it, you said you believed God for it—Now. Here. It. Is.

That did it. I sank to my knees, papers in hand—and did something I rarely do. Absolutely sobbed.

For a long, long time.

And through those tears, I did a whole lot of thanking God. Rather in jibberish form, but I think He got the message.

I cried so much my head throbbed, my make-up all washed away, and I had to take my contacts out because they were killing my eyes. Oh, yeah, and I wanted to take a nap because now I was exhausted.

But wait a minute, no time to rest. I had to call Jane. And my husband. My mom and sisters. The world . . .

Okay, Brandilyn, pull yourself together. You got only so much time before you have to pick up the kids at school, and you don’t want to sound like you’re underwater when you call Jane . . .

So I ran around the house like an idiot, singing, fixing my face, etc. Somewhere in there I called Jane just to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. I even managed to sound half sane. They want to publish me? Oh, okay. Sure, fine, I’ll consider it. You know I do this kind of thing all the time . . .

I got off the phone and danced. And it was no ordinary dance, mind you. It was a climb-the-walls, swipe-the-ceiling, whirl-through-the-house downhome bugaloo.

Dear readers, I suppose you’ve noticed something by now. I have not named this house or editor. Decided not to, for reasons you’ll see in time. It’s kind of a long story . . .


But that day, that afternoon, I knew nothing but a joy that could barely be contained. I’d done it! After 9 ½ years of working like a fool to learn fiction and not making a single penny from it, I’d done it! I was on my way. No more problems. Man, I had two more novels to sell before I even had to write another book. My journey had been the pits at times, but now I was on the mountaintop! Yay and yippity yay! Hum baby, and bring on the world!

It would all be downhill from here.

Read Part 25


Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

WOW! And WOW again. You are showing us so much, Brandilyn. I know the myth of the paradise of the published, but it's different hearing a real person tell of a real experience.

Anonymous said...

You're killing did you manage sliding downhill after dancing, singing, bawling and hoping?
By the way - God does understand gibberish. That's when I do my best communicating, when I'm reduced to raw emotion.
How many more days of this torture, Brandilyn?

Unknown said...

Well at least I won't have to worry about my make-up running.

mrsd said...

Lol, Ron. Me neither... ;)