Wednesday, May 20, 2009

You asked.

I've had three dreams come true in my life:

1. Becoming a teacher.
2. Marrying my husband.
3. Publishing a book (soon!)

That's the order those things happened, not the order of importance, by the way.

Okay, you wanted details...

Here we go. I'll interject a few delirious and ecstatic "Aaaaaaahhhhh!"s randomly, just so you can feel like my husband when he picked up my phone calls every twenty minutes after I got the email.

I'm trying to think how far to go back on this story. Um, I'll tell it all. Just skim if it bores you. It's not like I'll know. Unless you fail the quiz at the end.

I wrote and told all kinds of stories as a kid. That lasted all the way until college, and then it all became expository essays and literary analysis. Blah.

When I started teaching 8th grade English, I also got to build a creative writing elective curriculum from the ground up. As I wrote with the kids, I rediscovered that love for fiction and got some practice flexing my creative muscles. Every summer, I swore I'd start that novel I meant to write, and every summer I just spent recuperating from another year of teaching middle school and trying to gear up for the next one that always came too soon.

Then I got married, and then I got pregnant, and then I had a few months to sit around growing a baby and not going to work. And I had the kernel of an idea that never sprouted.

Baby G was born 18 months ago, and shortly after, I tried to lay down for a nap and I got this idea stuck in my head. I wanted to sleep soooo badly (I had a newborn. Remember that exhaustion?) but this little image wouldn't go away...a redheaded girl named Sandy. Something struck me as so funny about that. After fifteen minutes of that nagging, I gave up on my nap, dragged myself downstairs, and started my novel Click.

What a learning experience. I'll bore you with the details another time, but ten months and countless online classes, conferences, edits, forums, books, articles, drafts and more drafts later, I birthed a book. I sent that baby out to two publishers with fingers crossed, and...

Something crazy happened. I got two offers.

The first company, one I really like and respect, offered me a contract immediately. And I soooo badly wanted to take it. The other company asked me to wait on a decision about that contract so they could finish their review. And it's a really good company. So I took a gamble and agreed to wait. One verrrrrrrry long month later, Company B came back with their offer: they liked it, but they wondered if I would consider soem revisions and resubmitting.

So there was my choice: take the contract in hand from a company with a proven track record and a staff I really like, or rewrite and resubmit to my dream company at their invitation.

Oh, boy.

And I just realized how long this post is so I'll finish up tomorrow. . .

25 comments:

Luisa Perkins said...

What?!?

You're leaving me hanging like that? March right back to your computer, young lady, and tell me the rest of the story!

:D

Still doing a happy dance for you, mean cliffhanger lady.

Don said...

I hate cliffhangers. I hope your book has a more satisfying resolution than this post.

Debbie said...

Do you know how great that is to send the book out and get offers from both places? Incredible.
And you are a little mean to leave us hanging.

Kazzy said...

Wow, two offers on your first attempt? I don't think I will tell your story to people I know who are writing their own first novels...

Way cool!

Sue said...

:>

wonder woman said...

Since I haven't said it yet....CONGRATULATIONS! i can't even imagine the ectasy you felt!!!

And I'm betting you held out for your dream company.

LisAway said...

Is it tomorrow yet? It is in Poland, so you have to write it at least for me. (okay, fine, it's still today in Poland. I shouldn't expect you to fall for something like that.

Laura Moffitt said...

Seriously you can't cut it in half like that!! I am so excited for you!

Kristina P. said...

This cliffhanger is worse than 24!!

LexiconLuvr said...

HOLY FRICKIN' COW! I can't wait! Tell us more! Like right now!

Kimberly said...

Ditto to all the rest!

Lara said...

Have you considered taking up suspense writing? (or is your novel a mystery?) I hope that you finish this tomorrow and not any later! :)

Congrats, though!

Carolyn V. said...

I'm jumping up and down with excitement!!! Must hear more! Congratulations! =)

Erin said...

Finish up tomorrow? What in the world?

wendy said...

OK---I'll stay tuned---------(this is a writer trick isn't it)

Emily said...

Who cares how long the post is! Write until you finish!

Now we're all here hangin' on . . .

nano*ink said...

Congrats, Melanie...I love it when dreams come true. I think you have earned it as well.

Fiauna said...

I'm so impressed, if not a little jealous. I wish I'd studied English in college so my dream job of being a writer could become a possibility. So, for now, I will live vicariously through you.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

I read the post below this one and then this one! CONGRATS!!! How fulfilling to accomplish those three things... but especially to take the time and effort to write a book, finish it, and get it published!

diapers, drool and life said...

Not fair, I was really into your story, and then you quit. Grr. Anxiously awaiting the next segment.

Eowyn said...

AAAAA!

I also hate cliffhangers. If you were a book, I'd throw you at the wall!

myimaginaryblog said...

Wait, so did you just find out about both of them? Oh, I get it, you just made a decision and sold it. CONGRATULATIONS! Can't wait for the end of the cliffhanger.

April said...

What do you mean you will finish tomorrow...it IS tomorrow...get back here right now missy!!!

DeNae said...

GAAAH! Cruel, heartless soul!

And yet, YAAAAYY!! The first chapter of the story is awesome enough! Melanie, I'm so unbelievably happy for you!! And some day I may ask you how you did it, although I've always felt like that was terribly intrusive.

Well done, you! I can't wait to hear how this ends!

The Crash Test Dummy said...

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Did I already say that?

I'm doing the happy dance right now.

And I already know the ending because I'm behind so I read ahead.

I'm lubbing me some Melanie J. right now. What a pregnancy!!!!

Can't wait to see baby Sandy.