Friday, November 14, 2008

The Numbness is Wearing Off

Back in September, when I sent a partial submission to Avalon Books [they ask writers to submit the first three chapters with the query letter], I was numb. I'd prepared my packet in an excited haze, after having found Bliss Lake met their detailed manuscript (ms) guidelines that morning. My drive to the post office was fuzzy, as was the handing over of the manila envelope marked for NYC, and as I drove home I had to reassure myself I'd done everything properly.

I didn't give it much further thought, though; there was plenty to keep me busy at home. So something like 3 business days (and a weekend) later, a letter in the mail took me by complete surprise. Avalon liked what they saw, and wanted to read the whole thing! So in a similar haze, I packaged my full ms, and made another unremarkable drive to the USPS. I think I remember my heart hammering as I placed the thicker, more significant envelope atop the counter and told the clerk, "Send it priority, please." Did I want delivery confirmation? Absoflippin'lutely.

I still felt so fuzzy and detached. It was surreal, taking that step. Because I knew that, even if the outcome wasn't my ultimate dream of landing a publisher, it was, at the very least, a step in the right direction. To even be considered by a major house? My 5 year-old was helping me think of people to call and tell, that's how big it was. Is. To me.

My ms arrived at Avalon's offices on October 1st. I haven't heard anything, though I expect it will take several months more. And it's been okay, because that haze had settled, kind of keeping my brain from expecting too much. What with kids to raise, a house to remodel, new writing projects to work on, I didn't have to think about Bliss Lake and its ultimate place.

And then yesterday something changed. I had the thought, Could it really be that a publisher is looking at my book? How did that happen? It may have been sparked by my friend Jen, who said, "...you've got a novel completed and being considered by a publisher..." Holy heck, I do? I do!

And now, for the first time, I'm letting myself think of all the implications. About how badly I want to be published, so others can read my words, hear my stories. How much I want to hold a paperback in my hands, one with my name emblazoned across the front. About the fact that a huge decision regarding my life, my passion, lies in "The Editors" hands at Avalon.

I think I need to lie down.

24 comments:

Terri Tiffany said...

I think about then with your manuscript quite often and then I hope when I open your blog I will see good news for you! If they aren't the ones to accept it at least know that it was good enough for them to consider it and take a look!! Then send it out again:) But I pray you won't have to do that because we want THEM to take it!!! Keep positive!

Anonymous said...

Do you hear my shouting WHOA!?!
-HR

Joanne said...

It gives you butterflies just thinking about what you've accomplished, doesn't it? We'll reopen the wishing well and toss a few more lucky pennies in!

Brian and Kelly said...

Well tell Ms. 5-year-old to add me to the list of people to call! So excited for you!

Janna Qualman said...

Terri - Thank you for your unwavering support!

HR - That was YOU this morning? I could have had ten minutes more of sleep. LOL! ;)

Joanne - You and your wishing well rock! Thanks. :)

Kelly - Consider it done. :D

Turkey Lurkey said...

*Hands Janna a paper bag* Here sweetie, breathe into this. (Hugs)

thedomesticfringe said...

How very, very exciting! I can't wait to read your paperback. You should go celebrate your accomplishment...my kids would be asking for ice-cream right about now, but I'm sure you can think of a better way to celebrate. Waiting must be the hardest part, huh?

Barbara said...

When it comes out in paperback, I'll be the first to buy it!! Go girl!!!!!!!!

colbymarshall said...

Breathe. The waiting is hard, but it's amazing to think it just might be being read RIGHT NOW. AAAGGHHHH! Forget breathing- I'm excited!

Janna Qualman said...

Turk - *snatches bag* You're too kind.

fringegirl - Thanks! And now that you mention it, ice cream does sound good... ;)

Barbara - Yippee! I love that idea. :D

Colby, my friend, what a boat we're in, huh? I hope you've heard good news! Must get an update from you.

Melanie Avila said...

Oh Janna, I need to lie down with you! You got me all excited. :) I've been wondering about your MS, far away in NY, and thinking good thoughts for you. Thanks for the update.

Janna Qualman said...

Melanie, you tell my husband you're going to lie down with me, and it's HIM who'll be excited. ROFL!

WendyCinNYC said...

I've been wondering about your MS! Good luck!

Melissa Marsh said...

It's a very exciting and scary experience! And I hope it turns out just the way you want it to.
:-)

Ang said...

Janna: Oh, I am so excited for you. Keep us posted!!

Janna Qualman said...

Wendy - And now you know. ;) Thanks!

Melissa - Oh, you said it! Lots of feelings all rolled into one. Eep!

Ang - It so cool that others feel my excitement. Thank you!

Jen said...

It's very, very exciting, and I'm very happy for you, Janna.

I'm also glad you have things to keep you busy and occupied, because I think a lot of publishing is a lot like the miliary: "Hurry up and wait".

You'll be fine, and I know this because you've gotten further than most people EVER do. You've finished a book and submitted it. HUGE first step. Then, the publisher wanted the full...also a huge step.

Whatever happens with the publisher, you are on your way, I think. Just a matter of time and what my MIL calls "sticktoitiveness".

*hugs*

Janna Qualman said...

Jen, that's a great word. Sticktoitiveness. I may post it somewhere on my desk!

Melanie Avila said...

Janna, I ALMOST put in the requisite "shut up Quick" after that comment. ;P

Janet said...

Keep positive, keep us posted, and keep querying.

And if you need to keep your mind on other things, there's always that other manuscript... LOL.

rightonmom said...

It definitely sounds like those initial 'seeds' have certainly taken root. Exciting and nail biting at the same time! Keep us posted.
Good luck!!

Rachel Burton said...

It's a scary, exciting time! I try not to think about agents reading my material, but I do leap at the caller ID when my phone rings. I can't wait until you have great news for us!

Janna Qualman said...

Janet! How right you are. ;)

rightonmom - Maybe that is why my fingernails are so short. :D Thanks!

Rachel - I know what you mean. Phone calls and notification of new e-mails will never be the same again!

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