“Are you an author?” That’s the question the woman behind the counter asked me as she handed me a printed copy of my manuscript.
After a moment’s hesitation, I answered “Yes.”
Holding that box in my hands, feeling the weight of the 378 pages holding almost 90,000 words that I had spent the last three years crafting through revision after revision, I felt like an author. Call me aspiring or emerging, if you prefer—I don’t care about modifiers—I am an author.
It’s been three-and-a-half years since I got the crazy idea to write this book. An idea so crazy that it’s a good thing it came to me at 3 a.m. otherwise I might have pushed it right out of my head:
As I lay awake, my thoughts running on a mental treadmill, I heard Anna’s voice in my head saying her favorite sentence these last few months:
“My name is Anna.”
There were variations, like “Hi, my name is Anna,” or “My name is Anna, what’s your name?” but the idea was always the same. She was starting to express herself.
If only someone besides me, Julia, or her therapists could understand her . . . (and) that’s when it hit me: this story of hers, of ours, was a story that needed to be told, and I was the one who would tell it.
“So am I crazy?”
It was six-thirty. Julia was awake and as we sat together on the couch in our living room I had just told her my idea. I expected her to answer “yes,” and bring me back to reality.
“I don’t think so.”
“I have no idea what I’m doing.”
Julia smiled. “Maybe that’s a good thing.”
I wasn’t sure what she meant by that, and she saw the puzzled look on my face.
“What I meant was that this is Anna’s story. Who better to tell it than you.”
It was a long path from that morning until today; I couldn’t have completed it without Julia’s support. And now, three-and-a half years later, I have a printed manuscript and consults scheduled with four agents and one editor next weekend. All my spare time is going into preparation, which is why this blog has been a bit sparse lately and should be pretty quiet this week as well.
I hope to return with good news, and backlog of topics to post about. Until then, wish me luck!