Saturday, May 17, 2008


"Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it."
Goethe

I finished my book! I know, I know, if you had a nickel for each time you've heard me say that, but this time it's different! It's really ready to send to agents this time.

There are probably 5 more, at least, "I finished my book!" blog posts in my future, God willing, but today I am happy because I did something I've always wanted to do, always knew I could do, but still struggled to do. Had it been easy, it probably would not feel so. damn. good.

I have been writing A book for 3 1/2 years, but I've only been writing THIS book since the fall. After living 45 years and writing about ALL of them, enough writing to fill a swimming pool, and enough tears, too, this book is only the last year of my life. There are a few flashbacks, but not a whole lot. Turns out? The past has obviously shaped me, but it's NOT me. Didn't know that when I started.

Now.

I.

Do.

The last time I thought I was "done" I sent it off to someone, and this came back to me:

"Your project is very compelling, and we were impressed with your candid descriptions what must be a difficult, yet important, story to tell. We were all affected by your strength to overcome the trauma that you experienced, and we admire your dedication to help others heal as well."

Nicest rejection letter ever.

I'm sure there are many more rejections coming my way, all part of the process, I've heard. If I've learned one thing through writing this book, it's that the process is as important, if not more so, than the product. And so I screw up my resolve to do this thing, to face the coming "No thank yous" with grace and dignity. It's not ME they will be rejecting (or, Lord willing, accepting) it's my writing. Again, not the same thing. Again, didn't know that when I started.

For the last few months I've been wearing pearls round the clock. Pearls in my ears, pearls round my wrist, three strands around my neck. The book has a pearl theme to it, each chapter starting with a quote containing pearls, not all of them wise, some of them just funny, or weird.

Just.

Like.

Me.

14 comments:

Deb said...

I love reading your "I just finished my book" posts! Each one is more hopeful, more lucid, happier than the one before. It's such a joy to share this journey with you, just as it will be to share the excitement when we see this beautiful book on the shelves.

The title and subtitle are perfect, and give me chills.

You go, girl!!!!

courtneywrites said...

Congratulations, Carrie!

lo said...

I love 'your weird'
xo pearls and love
Lo
xo

Jenny said...

Love the title. Can't wait to read it.

riversgrace said...

Are you writing the book or is the book writing you? Equally both?

So great. You are a total inspiration.

All of that training to endure is paying off now. It's your turn. And, you know, I've heard the greatest stories of rejections from famous authors....so there you go.

Seeing the door open for you...

Love.

Michelle O'Neil said...

I love your pearl quotes. They are also Riley's birthstone so they are near and dear to my heart.

Congrats on finishing your manuscript.

May it make its way quickly into the hands of those who are asking for it.

Jerri said...

Love this, just like all the "just finished my book" posts. They remind me of how we're works in progress.

I do want to respectfully disagree about one thing. When an agent rejects a project, it's not always (or even usually) the writing they're rejecting. The agent is saying, "I'm not the right person to bring this book to publication." Or, "I'm not sure there is a market for this project at this moment in time."

Agents take on the books they believe they can sell. Many, many things go into that equation BESIDES the quality of the writing.

As Deb says, you go, girl. Can't wait to see what happens next.

marge said...

Thrilled for you and can't wait to get a signed copy at my book store. Love the title my love.

MY OWN WOMAN... said...

Congratulations on your accomplishment....published or not...it's a great accomplishment.

La La said...

You are a "pearl of great price" and a treasure in the kingdom of God!

I love the title. Love the cover. I'm so PROUD of you!

Eileen said...

Carrie,
I LOVE IT!! I love the cover, I love the pearls, I love the title and I know I will love the writing. I am so excited and happy for you...and proud, so proud. I feel like I met you at the perfect time on your journey. I love you! This book will be published, I know this with all my heart.
XOXOXO

holly said...

Wooohooooooooooo!

Kapuananiokalaniakea said...

Can't wait to read your pearls of wisdom in book form.

kario said...

I'm putting on my pearls right now in solidarity. And I'm dying to know how the book has changed! You are in my head every day as I sit down and struggle with writing my own book and you're giving me a little push all the time.

Love you!