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.