This is launch control for The Carolina Emerald Book Launch. We are currently at T minus 2 days and counting. All stations report normal conditions. We are a Go for launch.
Back in second grade when I was penning my first “books,” my vision of publishing went something like this: I’d awake full of creative energy and climb the stairs to my writing room — a high tower featuring floor-to-ceiling windows and magnificent views of a sunny shoreline or sparkling fields or majestic trees. Note the excessive use of adjectives in that sentence; at seven years old, “creative” meant using as many adjectives as possible. Ahem.
Once settled in my room with the inspirational view, I’d write feverishly until the story came to its happy ending. Then I’d send the manuscript to my editor, who’d not change a single word. And within a couple of months, I’d hold my bestselling novel in my hands.
The reality, of course, is far from childhood expectations. I never built that writing tower, though I do write in a room with floor-to-ceiling windows and a view of the tree tops. And, yes, the view does inspire. But it also distracts. I mean, how can you concentrate when someone is staring at you?
More reality: It takes years to write and re-write a quality novel, one that moves so seamlessly that readers tune out the world around them and become immersed in the story. At some point in this writing process, the author loses her perspective and must rely on trusted first readers and editors to point out areas that require smoothing. That mystical editor, the one who doesn’t change a single word, not only doesn’t exist; she’d be useless if she did.
But some childhood dreams really do come true. The joy of writing that last sentence, the one that ties the book together and makes the reader happy she spent valuable time immersed in the world I created, remains the same. Meeting and talking to readers always delights. And the friends I make along the way can never be replaced.
Friends like Leanne “when’s the next book” Githens, seen below helping me send manuscript forms of The Pirate’s Ruby to my first readers and editors.
And unnamed allies, like Mr. UPS Man:
Maybe, in the end, childhood dreams aren’t so unrealistic after all.
What about you? Did you have childhood dreams or expectations that turned out differently but pretty darn good? If so, please share them; I love to hear from you!
As I mentioned in my last post, I’m writing frantically to complete The Pirate’s Ruby, the second in the jeweler’s granddaughter cozy mystery series. A few weeks ago, select patrons of JT’s Kitchen had a sneak preview of the book. JT’s Kitchen is one of Calvert County’s newest restaurants and if … Continue reading →
Sometimes Nature provides the most amazing surprises. The ospreys who nest in North Beach, Maryland — and inspired the name for my fictional Osprey Beach community — returned early this year. Being a fan, I lost no time in hauling Mom (visiting from Pittsburgh) to the boardwalk to welcome the magnificent … Continue reading →
So here we are two months into 2013 and, for many of us, our New Year’s resolution to lose weight is starting to wear thin – even if our clothes aren’t. If you made it through Valentine’s Day without cheating, congratulations. You either have fabulous will power or are lacking a … Continue reading →
As we bid adieu to the holiday season, it’s often inspiring to reflect on holidays past before marching into the future. Do you remember the first time you saw Santa? Was he ringing a bell in the cold? Riding in a parade? Ho-ho-ho’ing in the mall? I was maybe six years … Continue reading →
Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday. … Continue reading →
One of the things I love about living near the Chesapeake Bay is the creativity of holiday decorations. The first time I saw Santa lounging in the back of a boat, hanging on for dear life to a leaping rockfish, I couldn’t stop smiling. I mean, how can you not love … Continue reading →
What happens when you take a shy mystery writer, whisk her away from her computer and plunk her down in the middle of a dazzling book party held in a jewelry store? That’s what I was about to find out as I climbed out of the safety of my air-conditioned car … Continue reading →
I love strolling the Chesapeake Beach docks on weekends, watching the comings and goings of the fishermen. While the life of a captain is a rough one, the men and women who charter fishing trips usually return giddy with excitement. How can you not share in their delight? On … Continue reading →