The day I achieved my dream.

So yesterday (Thursday) I was supposed to be at home working on my art – as is defined in the part-time agreement between husband and wife – except that 4 days ago (Monday) was Labor Day. And when you are part time, you get paid hourly. As in, if you are not at work, then you do not get paid. And I may have still not worked Thursday, except that a certain shower decided to leak, and that certain shower turned into a $3000 fix and repair job, and that certain shower was supposed to be part of a remodel of a bathroom but not for 6 months, and that $3000 cost ballooned about three times in one day. So cutting back on hours is not smiled upon by our bank account. I am giving you the stink eye, certain shower.

And so, for Christmas my lovely family and friends, there will be NO presents, BUT you will be allowed to come take a lovely bath or shower in our soon to be spa-like master bath. I will provide towels, but if you want that fancy soap or scented candles, bring them yourself. You’re welcome. Merry Christmas.

Moving on.

Thursday afternoon. There I am diligently at my cube working on a surprise for my husband for our anniversary in about a week magazine layout for work when I get an email from my agent. Now if you have been reading my blog or following me on FB, then you know there is a publisher that was very interested in my book and was VERY interested if there was a companion book to go with it. And hot damn! There WAS. Except that it was all still in my head for the most part and NOT down on paper. Oops. So for the next four days solid for about 20 hours a day, I wrote and sketched and wrote and sketched and ever so politely asked the lovely Emma D. Dryden of drydenbks AT 6:30PM ON A FRIDAY NIGHT, if she might, by any chance, you know, consider dropping everything to edit my book? Cause you know, she might not be doing anything else that weekend.  Ahem.  She said yes. And I did the dance of joy. Because any of you that know Emma, know she is AMAZING at what she does.

Two weeks later. I have been waiting. And waiting. And waiting. And maybe I even just two days ago sent that dumb email you know you should NOT send to your agent saying, “Um, so…hear anything?” and that nice agent who is not busy at all takes the time to write back, “Darling, you know you would be the first to hear.” Eeep. *blush*

But Thursday morning I had a good feeling. Now, I have had these feelings before. And I have gotten ever so many lovely rejections ALL AT ONCE despite those good feelings. Clearly good feelings cannot be trusted all the time. And folks, many rejections in one day is a special kind of feeling. All that rejection. All at once. What do I do? I look at websites for inspiration! Do I want to be an accountant? I like money. Do I want to be a sonogram tech? I like babies. A dental hygienist? I…no. Not a dental hygienist. Get the picture? I try my hardest to quit being an artist. Try my damndest to quit. This…is…just…too…heartbreaking….But dammit if I don’t end up doodling some lil’ doodle that makes my heart sing and BAM. There I am with yet another painting or story stuck in my head that must be painted or written down whether anyone ever sees it or not. Sigh….

Back to the email. I ramble on, don’t I? The email subject line says: OFFER!!!!!

Oh. My. God.

WHAAAAAA?????

No.

WHAT?

OH. My. GOD.

I read fast. In my head it is something like…. offer…..good numbers…..both books…..love it…..checking with other publishing houses that have your books…..GREAT NEWS!

Hyperventilating. Nauseous. Can’t breathe. Can’t talk. Stand up. Co-workers stare. Cannot talk. One asks, “Did it happen?” I squeak out…”….yes….” Hugs, screams, a whole lot of whooping and hollering and suddenly I AM SO HAPPY that I worked on Thursday!! All these lovely people I work with surrounding me, knowing how hard I have worked, knowing what my dreams are and they got to be there for one of the biggest moments of my life. It was SO GOOD.

And then I told my husband. And then I called Emma. (who has quite a lovely voice and isn’t it funny how people never sound how you think they will and her voice just made me so, so happy and fit her so, so perfectly) And I told Emma I called her before my parents because her editing, I felt, was so very instrumental to this success. You see, my agent had been shopping my book for two years – TWO YEARS – and while I have a chest file folder full of lovely, ‘your book is very good but just not quite right for us’ rejections, it was always REJECTED. Then my amazing agent, Deborah Warren suggested me contacting Emma. And people? We finished edits in June. And um, I have an offer on both books she edited 3 months later!! Does this woman know what she is doing? I think YES. And Emma told me just wonderful things, the type of things you will remember your whole entire life that lift you off the ground and you are sure you could fly if someone asked you to and then said, “Now, hang up and call your mother!” And I did. 😀

I called my parents. I told my sisters. Then of course, I posted on Facebook. And the love that poured in from friends and family and strangers was just so, so, so….well, it filled me up with love and gratitude and SO MUCH HAPPY.

Years and years of dreaming, hard work, trying, failing, falling down, picking  myself up, trying again, tears, happiness….to attain a dream like this? To want something so very badly and finally get it? It is surreal. And I cannot wait to see where my journey takes me next, because so far it has been an incredible ride that I would not change for anything.

(Do you KNOW how much I want to go into schools and visit kids once my book is actually printed???!?!?!!? SO MUCH!)

Then my lovely husband took me out to celebrate and bought me a “Bees Knees” martini to toast to! Perfection!

6 thoughts on “The day I achieved my dream.

  1. That martiini looks yumtious! And your excitement is so palpable in this post it made me smile and even get a bit teary. Enjoy this wonderful moment, and then get back to work to create more wonderful moments. HUGS!

  2. hi Michelle, we met at Deborah’s little party in LA back in July! I finally got around to visit your website and what a wonderful thing it was to read about your book deal!!! AWESOME!!! Congratulations girl! Your post made me smile and hopeful that I will be there too! I have also been thinking of stories and though I consider myself more an artist than a writer I think it’s time for me to write! Would you mind talking to me on the phone so I can pick your brain a little about how was this process for you? I will send you an email with my number if you don’t mind! Can’t wait and Congrats again!!!

  3. Luciana, Lia, Anne and Vikk, thank you for such kind and wonderful words!!

    Luciana, so good to hear from you! I would LOVE to talk to you more! I know exactly what you mean about feeling much more like an illustrator than a writer! 🙂 I am on a mini vacation until Monday, but send me an email with your number and let’s talk this coming week!

    Have a wonderful day, everyone! 😀

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