Here we are in April – already. And it seems like Christmas was only yesterday.
Time is flying by faster than I can type. Too many things are happening all at once, and I have to remember to stop and smell the...tulips (even though technically they don’t smell, but whatever).
I have had some big news these last few months – news that has me excited, nervous, stressed, exhilarated, and, in the wise words of my dad who summed it up nicely for me the other day – twitterpated. Yes. I am twitterpated.
It’s a very spring-like feeling, that twitterpated feeling; heart-thumping, leg-twitching, whisker-quivering excitement. But for me, these are not feelings of the romantic persuasion, but of the ‘writer’s elation’ persuasion.
[And also not in the ‘twitter’ sense, either (although you CAN find me on twitter at @LisaMcManusLang).]
For many writers, finding their niche – their passion – of what he or she is best at writing can either come easily or can take a bit of trial and error in finding the best fit; the right path. For me, writing slice-of-life stories and sharing a part of me and my life in the hopes of entertaining and inspiring others has always been my ‘thing.’ I have found great joy and reward in doing what I do. It’s what I’m comfortable with and it’s what I’m happiest doing.
But I have always had big dreams of seeing my name on the cover of something I created. Heck, I get a kick of out seeing my name printed on a catalogue or a bank statement! But those published novel dreams were for OTHER people. People who, I always assumed, are rich, pretty, educated, live in castles, have a butler, and can dash off a manuscript in an afternoon.
I have two completed, albeit poorly written, romance novels under my bed, destined to never to see the light of day – and rightly so. I love reading romances and all women’s fiction, and have spent much of my life devouring them.
But.....but....I was restless. In all my fits, starts and stops of writing for adults, I was restless. I wanted something else, and I couldn’t figure out what.
I have kids, been the local den-mother to many neighborhood kids, and have been a daycare provider to kids. Heck, half the time I still act and talk like I’m in my teens. But the sagging, broken body parts no longer suitable cheerleading reveals my true age.
So you would think that writing for kids and teens would be the obvious route. Well, sometimes it takes me a while to grasp things.
So four years ago when I read what I thought was an adult contemporary novel but was really a ‘young adult’ novel, I was hooked, and started devouring all books meant for kids in that range – 12 – 18 years. I love the themes, the teen angst and tumultuous issues those young adult characters have to overcome.
And that I wondered, maybe.......
So I read, and studied, and read some more, and last year when a writing friend gave me a further ‘nudge’ in the right direction, a 20,000+ word novella, ‘Newbie Nick,’ about a guitar-playing, street-busking 14-year-old, found its way out of my imagination. And it felt good – it felt right.
Then, just this past February after months of ‘shopping it around,’ Lycaon Press, a publisher of young adult fiction, wrote me a nice little email. They wanted to contract my book as an e-book.
Wow. WOW! My dreams had come true!
For a while I was in disbelief, shock and denial. I was sure they would second-guess their decision, realizing my writing sucked, and changed their minds.
So while I waited a month for the editing process to start (which is really not that long in the publishing world), I wrung my hands in worry, self-doubt, insecurity, and nursed daily heart-palpitations. I was most certain they had changed their minds. I was in such a twitterpated fog that for two weeks I didn’t even notice the tulips that had been in a planter outside a coffee shop I frequent until someone pointed them out to me.
Like I said, I was most twitterpated.
And after all that worrying and pacing, the publisher never did change their minds.
Silly me – I let a month or so of worry rob me of fully enjoying ‘the moment.’ I should have taken more time to stop and smell the...tulips.
As I write this I am in the middle of edits, creating a new website for promoting my young adult fiction (hopefully there will be more to come), working with a production company for a book trailer, and worrying about a zillion other marketing-related things that, up until a few months ago, I never imagined I would be worrying about. Never mind worrying about if readers will even like my book.
But all these are GOOD worries. Worries I never imagined even GETTING to have.
And while in my blurr of roller-coastering emotions and twitterpated angst, other writing has suffered a bit while I focus on this soon-to-be-released book. But I’ll get back at it, I know I will.
In the meantime, I will continue this journey I had once only dreamed about from afar. I will slow down (a constant quest of mine), savour the moment, smell the tulips, and enjoy that twitterpated feeling.
‘Newbie Nick’ published by Lycaon Press, comes out in ebook Spring of 2014. Stay tuned for release dates and my new website.