It is indeed a new day — thank goodness. Yesterday, I was wallowing in self pity bordering on disgust. It was ridiculous. And, needless to say, not very productive. How can you write anything worth reading, if your every second thought is, “Ann, I don’t believe you did that! How stupid could you be?????” This was the second time in a week that I had sunk into my whiney, I-can’t-do-anything-right self. This concerned me since I hadn’t seen that Annie around for a long while and here she was making two return appearances (uninvited) in such a short period of time. It did not bode well for confident decision-making for this book publishing stuff.
I decided to try to break her spell on me by confessing the stupid thing I had done. Just put it out there — out loud — maybe it won’t sound so terrible. Surely it would clear the air and maybe even propel me to move on and get something done. It didn’t. I picked a relative stranger at the Tik Talk who doesn’t know me well. I told her what I had done and how badly I was feeling. It was a very sincere and heartfelt confession, I thought. She looked at me sweetly (condescendingly?) and smiled. Then she said, “You can do stupid things but it doesn’t mean you’re stupid.” I controlled the urge to jump across the table, put my face in hers and shout, “You don’t understand! This is serious! This is my life!” It was an exaggeration of the magnitude of the stupidity, of course, but my yesterday-self certainly felt that way. I pulled out all the self control I had to say nothing in reply. Anyway, by that time, I was feeling so defeated I couldn’t have mustered the proper hand gestures to go with my disdain for her platitude. You just can’t show righteous disgust without using your hands.
I’m not going to reveal what the stupidness is — this is entirely too public a venue. Let it suffice to say that it had to do with the manuscript for Mediterranean Journey: A Young Woman’s Travels Through 1970s Europe. (That is the new title for Annie’s Odyssey which, unfortunately, was already taken by an author of a fantasy-sounding novel that I really didn’t want to be confused with). So, after sitting here for most of the day wringing my hands and sending laments up to the muses who had abandoned me completely, I took the most direct, just pull-the bandaid-off-and-move-on action: I sent an email to the Intrepid Editor for advice. Who else? I admit I was a bit shamefaced and embarrassed to do so, but hey, the alternative was worse. She responded almost immediately. It took only a single word of advice on her part to slap me back into shape. Proofread, that was it, just proofread. All was not lost. She’s good.
My spirits were lifted. While they were there, I decided to take another bold step to move the manuscript closer to a book. I hired Randall at 12thirteen Design Inc. to do the cover, illustrations and layout. To seal the deal, I confidently sent him the first chapter (proofread).There was no turning back now.
Just to keep this new book vision clear and focused — and to save my aching neck after years of trying to read a computer screen through my bifocals — I went and picked up new reading glasses today. I think it’s appropriate that I now have original 1970s glasses to see me through my 1970s stories.