“How did your golf game go today, honey?” she asked.
“It was terrible,” he answered. “Steve died at the ninth hole.”
“Oh, no. You that must have been so hard for you.”
“It was,” he confirmed. “The next nine holes were hit the ball, drag Steve. Hit the ball, drag Steve.”
I hope you got a little laugh out of that. We can all use a laugh from time and time. You see, I've been the recipient of bad news.
Twenty-six days ago, I got the news that The Treasure Hunter's Lady was coming out as an e-book. Thursday I got an e-mail saying that the publishing house had closed its doors before it ever got a book out there.
Contract signed. Cover designed. Edits in progress. Release date announced.
I can't decide what's worse, the dissolution of a dream or that I told everyone I know. Or if all rolled into one, the whole thing is one of the worst experiences of my life. Not the worst, by any means, but ranking pretty high up there on the chart.
Here I have half-edited manuscript with no home. And I have an announcement coming out in my alumni newsletter. Well, color my face red.
I quit NaNoWriMo because I was editing. It was off somehow anyway, but I've completely lost my stride now. I know authors who have dozens of rejections. I have a few myself, of course, but this is a thousand times worse. It might seem weird, but I compare the creation of The Treasure Hunter's Lady to watching a caterpillar turn into a butterfly. It marinated in its cocoon, metamorphosing from a novella into a full-blown novel. It emerged with a set of colorful wings and got set to taste flight. Now a bird has snatched my novel/butterfly from the pretty rosebush where it fluttered its new wings for the first time and crushed it into gooey bug guts and unrecognizable bits of trash.
And I start to question what I'm doing. Something like this should light a fire under my ass, make me more determined than ever to get a novel out into the world. But maybe God doesn't want that for me. Maybe I'm fighting for a chapter that isn't in my story.
It feels like someone I was close to has died. The sleeplessness, the jarring reminders that I won't see this thing when I expected to see it. The restlessness which makes me think I should be doing something, but then when I start to, I wonder why I'm bothering. The urge to be alone because I hate faking happiness, but when I'm alone all I want is a distraction. The saying 'once bitten, twice shy' comes to mind. This is the last thing I ever want to go through again. Remember how I hate November? I lost my dad, I lost my grandma and now I've lost my book. I hate November.
Life's knocked me on my ass a couple of times before. I might have to lay there for a while, wallowing in my sadness while I search any kind of light, but sooner or later I'll pick myself up and go on. You can knock me down, but I'm too stubborn to stay there forever. As Jean Kerr says, “Hope is the feeling you have that the feeling you have isn't permanent.”