The book is out of my hands, being read (I hope) by family and friends…so I wait…
The waiting is the hardest part…
Waiting is nerve wracking and breeds paranoia. It means that something you care about is out of your hands and in someone else’s and that turns on the fear faucet.
The rheumatologist said my blood work is “perfect.” Nothing really showed up on the x-rays, either. I don’t have arthritis. There seems to be no explanation for why the ring finger on my left hand won’t bend. I’ve decided it must be Mike, hanging on, and peeved that I took my wedding ring off. Until he lets go, I’ve been prescribed an anti-inflammatory regime of tart cherry juice and turmeric. But the waiting to hear that it wasn’t something systemic and vaguely terrifying is over. So there’s that.
But I’m still waiting to hear what my brothers and my friends think of the book.
I’ve decided I’m going to use the time I’m waiting to to work on how I’ll react to whatever they say.
Plan A: listen attentively, ask questions, solicit suggestions and humbly make thoughtful decisions about which suggestions to accept and which to reject. Move forward with final revisions and a plan to submit to literary agents.
Plan B: listen attentively, ask questions, solicit suggestions and then curl up in a little fetal ball, whimpering and wondering how I will even come out from under the covers, ever again. Moan, sob, and wonder what to do next. Start applying for jobs for which I am wildly overqualified, because they involve standing for eight hours a day and lifting heavy things, where exhaustion replaces worry and, bonus! I lose weight. (I almost typed “wait.” Ha!)
Plan C: listen attentively, ask questions, solicit suggestions, and ignore them. It’s my damn book and I’ll write if I want to, write if I want to, write it I want to, you would write too if it happened to you. Ba-da-ba-DAT-DA.
But we’re trying to be classy here, a fine line with a story that could be perceived as the opposite: too confessional, too intimate, too much information, just too much.
Obviously, Plan A would be the classy plan in the face of this.
But as you know, I am the Ridiculouswoman, and I specialize in being “too much.”
Case in point: I never miss an opportunity to overdress, and I wore one of my 1950’s style dresses-with-a-crinoline, the one in a nice fall burgundy-rust color, to brunch with my friends yesterday, in an attempt to distract myself from my nerves about handing over the memory sticks with the book on them.
OK, so part of Plan A, the classy plan, would be to try to take good care of myself and look as fabulous as possible while waiting for the opinions to pour (ok, trickle) in.
I reread the book myself last night, and corrected a few typos, and only had one more moment of “oh, I should have put that in” but no more moments of “Jeez, I better take that out.” It’s as done as it can be without some outside perspectives to help me.
Displacement activity, then! Busy-bee stuff! My daughter and I took our first “fall excursion” Saturday morning, beating the crowds and catching the blue-sky fall weather before the clouds came back. We got the most expensive, touristy part of fall excursion month done right up front – breakfast, hayride (well, tractor-pulled-wagon-into-the-orchard-ride, anyway) and apple picking, followed by a visit to the pumpkin farm my daughter still wants to visit every fall because she visited it when she was in high school.
The apples we picked are really, really good, which (slightly) mitigates their being absurdly expensive.
And even though nothing says “Wisconsin” quite like “beer cake,” I resisted the temptation to buy any. Couldn’t resist the temptation to take a picture, though:
The weather forecast for the next ten days stinks. Rain predicted every single day. Drat. Not much opportunity for fall excursion two.
OK, so now what? I know! Paint! I’ll paint the ceilings in her room, the upstairs hallway and my room – I’ll paint my bedrooms walls a gentle dove gray – more restful and calming than the sunny yellow they have been for the past nearly twenty years.
Then we’ll pick a color for the walls of her room, and new carpet for all of it, of course.
(This displacement activity thing gets expensive, fast).
Maybe I should dial back the caffeine a bit, head to the gym, start re-reading Patrick O’Brian again, go to chorus rehearsal, plan a the next fall excursion for when the good weather returns, and hope for the best.
Hoping for the best is about the best I can do right now.
I’ll keep you posted (about opinions on the book, if any, as they arrive).
Until then I remain,
Your loyal, devoted, nervous, twitchy, busy-bee-while-waiting-for-feedback,