Once upon a time there was girl. She was just an average girl, with an average job, working above average hours. She’d wake up at 6 in the morning, get to work by 7 and stay there until it was dark outside. She’d drive home, kiss her husband and play with her dogs. She’d open her Kindle and read books. Books that touched her, inspired her, scared her, made her laugh and made her cry. She’d scour the internet looking for more books, more books, more books, never getting her fill of the written word.
One day, that girl had a brainstorm, a small spark. She was nervous at first, opening the blank page on her computer and typing the words. But she believed in the story, so she kept writing. She still worked her job, kissed her husband and played with her dogs. But now, she’d go to bed at 3 in the morning and guzzle coffee on the way to work. She’d skip the grocery store and order in. She’d write, and write, and write–she was inspired and scared. Sometimes she felt like fraud and sometimes the belief in her project overwhelmed her.
Four months later, after endlessly long nights and emotional wrought, that girl finished her book. She drove with her husband to Kinko’s and asked a man in a purple shirt to please print and bind her book. 30 minutes later, still warm from the press, she held in her hands, her story. She wasn’t scared anymore, only excited. 100,00 words and they were all hers.
But the girl knew that wasn’t enough. She wanted to publish her book. She wanted to see it, with a glossy cover and ribbon binding beside her favorite authors at Barnes and Nobel. So, she made up her mind, she was going to try. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, she promised herself.
Her sister laughed when she weighed the merits of particulars of post-it notes and pens at Target. But these were her tools, she said, they had to be “just so”. Another few weeks passed slowly. The girl sat at her kitchen table, hunched over her story, reworking and editing and finessing the finer details, building her characters to have gravitational pull, giving them their rightful voice. She toted her husband to Borders, snatching up every publishing-for-virgins book she could find. She dreamt about her story, and found herself not only staying up late, but getting up early. It takes work to make it work.
If you didn’t already guess…the girl is yours truly. And, it’s all true.
Four months ago a story came to me, like so often happens to authors, from the middle of absolutely nowhere. But it was real. It was something I would read–not that that means anything per say, but I am a pretty ravenous reader. I was (and am) balancing this endeavor with a “full time plus” job. A Nanny-by-accident, my job isn’t exactly a walk in the park, I’m “on” for 10 and sometimes more hours a day. But, I’ve made it work. Juts and lags, ebbs and flows, but I did it–I wrote a book.
As many authors can attest, writing for ones self is an amazing gift…but it almost always is accompanied by the desire to do something with it. After all, you’ve created lives, conflict, drama, happiness, grief…that can’t all be boxed up on your computer…right?
This blog, the La Bella Novella blog, is my journey. I’m just starting out…green and fumbling, as I like to say…into the literary world. I’m starting from absolute scratch, no friends in high places, no frame of reference, just me and my little (okay, not so little) book.
I gave this blog a name because I like to name things–but, more so, because I thought the name was fitting–La Bella Novella means, roughly, A Beautiful Story. And that is my hope…but I don’t exactly know what that means, sitting here tonight blogging.
Does that mean this is going to be an easy road? Am I going to query the right agent (who also happens to be a pit bull, black belt, legal savant and future, life long friend)…am I going to be swooped upon by big publishers with money to burn (who also happen to believe as hard in my little/big book as I do)…am I going to be hunted down by Hollywood with clamoring offers for picture rights (and A-list stars foaming at the mouth to play my characters)…or…am I going to learn all sorts of things I never intended to about disappointment, embarrassment and hurt (crickets…)….am I going to have to go it alone into the wild of publishing (thank you Amazon, B&N and the like for making that an option, by the way)…
We’ll have to wait and see. But, I’ll say this because I mean it–because it’s already beautiful–I’m going into this with hope. High, high, holy hope. I hope something beautiful can come from this learning experience–down a path many, many have taken before.