Years ago there was a commercial on TV for a cold remedy. It featured a bedraggled woman shuffling along a sidewalk looking absolutely miserable and to add to her discomfort, this big black rain cloud was pouring forth right over her little head — or at least that’s how it plays out in my memory so, who knows what it really was. Anyway, the point I want to make here, is that’s exactly how I have felt ever since I pushed the button on Create Space to Publish My Book. Crazy, eh? Doesn’t it stand to reason after all these years of writing and editing and re-writing and sending inquiries out to publishers — and getting rejected or, still worse in a way, not even getting an acknowledgment that they had even received the bloody thing let alone read my synopsis — that I would feel elated, relieved, proud of myself? But that hasn’t happened.
Shouldn’t I have been clicking my Dorothy-heels (red glittery or not) in giddy happiness when I finally made that decision to self-publish and actually did it? No, of course not, not me! Instead, I shuffled around in a blue funk which didn’t even allow me to go, “Wowsie! I Wrote This!”, when the proof copy arrived. I seriously had a problem. So, I did what I usually do when I can’t get myself out of the hole — I went to see The Illustrious Dr. G. My time was limited — not my time to live (although isn’t everyone’s?) but my time to see him. He was ready to take off for his Annual August Holidays. Everyone in Toronto it seems, except moi, takes off for the month of August. I want to tell them that this isn’t Paris, for heaven’s sakes, but they’re not here to listen to me. This year his impending departure just added to my malaise as I made my way with my sad-sorry-self to see him.
Since I couldn’t remember any dreams to tell him — an unfortunate occurrence when you’re seeing a Jungian — I took the proof copy of Mediterranean Journey. Not surprisingly, he was properly impressed, and said it. He even ordered two copies on the spot. But even his good words didn’t stir the black hole of my sadness. Then he said it — “This is normal for anyone who finishes a creative project no matter how big or small. There’s a let down.” Hmm, maybe he was right. I couldn’t remember if I had felt this way when Women in the Office was published. But, nothing was normal then since that’s the time when the Murmuring Ex-Husband decided to sneak out and start seeing his ex. He always did have a way of raining on my parades.
According to Dr. G., the remedy for my malaise was to start a new project right now — Do-Not-Pass-Go-Do-Not-Collect-$200-Dollars — and, especially, do not Procrastinate. He was good — I started to feel better right there sitting in that low, leather chair that’s always hard for me to get out of. I knew what I’d do. I’d put together the Mediterranean Journey Cookbook chocked full of recipes for all those dishes that I wrote about in the book. I was pumped.
On the streetcar on the way home, my Capricorian self butted her little horns into my thoughts and reminded me that I had a lot of unfinished business to take care of with the first Mediterranean Journey before starting on a second one! She was right — again. But, so was Dr. G. because now that I had an idea for the next book, I was energized to get started on promoting the first one. I decided the first thing I had to do was to unpack one of the two boxes that had been sitting right inside my front door since the DHL guy had dropped them there the week before. I had ignored them brilliantly even when I tripped over them to put my shoes on or feed the cats. But not today! Mediterranean Journey would find a place on that bookshelf of mine. I was a woman possessed as I sorted through books that have been sitting there unread, unloved and unwanted for too long. Out they went but, not to worry, I didn’t throw them in the trash. I put them in a box on the street where they disappeared in ten minutes. Then I washed all the shelves in Dr. Bonner’s Natural Sure-Smells-Good Soap and when it was dry and ready for them, I unloaded copies of Mediterranean Journey into that newfound space. They looked good and I was proud of them as their blue covers formed a Mediterranean wave right there on my bookshelf. I told them not to get too cosy since they’d be leaving soon.