“When my book is out …” “My book will be out in April,” “After the book comes out … ” I find myself saying. I’m now almost through the lengthy, tortuous process of taking something that is IN – a compilation of thoughts, ideas, research, words, structure – and pushing it out. The irony of my particular journey through this process is that the independent life of the book has coincided almost exactly with the independence of my children. The book began to germinate when my daughter was in utero, and continued growing through her life and that of my son; he told me once that when I went to work on the book, he felt I was going to tend to his little brother. Now my daughter is nearly 26, living and working on her own; my son, 22 and six foot eight, is living and working in Australia, and demanding little brother is at last moving out too. (A more accurate analogy would be that I have been pregnant with this book for 26 years and now the birth is imminent, but that is too appalling a thought.)
The plan, now, is to get on with other kinds of writing work. But instead of mulling over my next book, I had this website to get going, and now I’m emailing the book publicist in New York, the publishers in Syracuse, the directors of various book fairs, the friends who are helping to organize the book launch here, contacts who may be able to get “blurbs” from famous people. And there’s the pitch I wrote to Steven Spielberg, which a screenwriter friend has promised to get to him. A Balenciaga ballgown from Goodwill hangs in my closet, ready to wear to the Oscars.
Yes, fantasyland. I know that every writer with a book coming out imagines that the world is going to change drastically once the glorious object is in reader’s hands – money, interest, commissions will flow in, new work, unleashed by renewed confidence and acclaim, will pour out. And I also know that reality, almost always, does not resemble this. No matter. There will be a big party this spring to celebrate an ending and a beginning. I can’t wait for both.