4/26/18

And so this week’s moment of happiness despite the news.

Well, you know, I had another book accepted this week.

Doesn’t that sound oh-so-casual? Like I just offhandedly flipped that comment over my shoulder, “Oh, tralala. Another book. What’s on television tonight?”

Of course it wasn’t like that at all.

Years and years ago now, more than I like to count, my middle son came flying into the house, home from second grade. He walked home with his older brother and his younger sister, but when he got to the driveway, he ran up and got in the doorway – and to me – first. “Mommy!” he yelled, “I wrote a story! About a wizard! You have to see it!” He dug in his backpack and then hesitated. He said, “But I might have spelled wizard wrong.”

And that’s how it felt on Tuesday when I received the news that “another book was accepted this week”.

When I work with clients and students, I can pretty much guarantee that if I say, “This was really good! You did great this week!”, the response will be a corkscrew mouth and then a dubious “Really?” It doesn’t matter if I’m working with a brand new writer or one with years of experience. “Really? This?”

And that’s how it felt on Tuesday when I received the news that “another book was accepted this week”.

When that email arrived, I could see the little preview with the opening words. “Dear Kathie Giorgio,” it said, and I figured it was a rejection and so I ignored it for about a half hour. Then I read it. And I saw, “Thank you for sending us “When You Finally Said No”. Your manuscript has been accepted for publication. We would love to publish your poetry…”

I sat there with both hands slapped over my mouth and I read it and reread it and reread it again. If I’d spoken, I would have said, “Really? This?” When I finally lowered my hands, I opened that manuscript and started looking it over for things I did wrong.

I might’ve misspelled wizard.

Where the heck does that come from? Here I am, with seven books out, numbers 8 and now 9 due out this year, and the book I thought was going to be number 8 is now number 10. In bios, my name often appears with “critically acclaimed” in front of it. And yet my first thought here was, Something is wrong.

And the next thing I did? I went back to the email, doublechecked that they used my name (they did) and that they listed my manuscript by title (they did), and then even so, I wondered if they hit the wrong button and sent me an acceptance when they really meant a rejection. The acceptance was probably for a writer named Cathy Georgia and the manuscript was called “Then You Firmly Said Nah”.

For Christ’s sake.

So I took a deep breath and I responded to myself as I do to my students. “Yes, really! Yes, it’s that good! Yes, you’re that good!”

Eventually, with this reassurance, my students begin to beam. And then we move on. Until the next piece. When I hear, “Really? This?”

So I said to my computer screen, “Yes, really! They want it! They love your poetry! They meant to accept it! Book number 9!”

And then I beamed. And I will, until the next piece. Likely until I move on to the next section of the novel I’m working on, and my writing day ends as it always does: “Oh, dear. I think I might have to trash the whole thing.”

I might have misspelled wizard.

But I’m beaming for now.

And yes, that helps. Despite. Anyway. Really!

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