How many times have you writers been asked, how did you feel when you got your first contract. Excited? Elated? Of yes, but here's what happened to me. The day I received my contract for my first fiction publication I wanted to hold the pages in my hand and revel, even gloat a little. Maybe even have a small celebration. So what happens? My hubby calls. He’s broke down, and I have to go get him. Why should this be a problem? He’s twenty miles away and picking him up didn't mean driving away with him while a tow truck pulled the car away. It meant towing the car to our friendly mechanic that same twenty miles, through Prescott (AZ), the new mall, Wal-Mart, and Costco areas, Prescott Valley, and final Dewey, with all those pesky lights that always seem to turn yellow as we’re approaching them. For those of you who have never experienced towing let me tell you it is nerve racking and not for the faint hearted. I have never succeeded in convinced my husband I am truly faint hearted when it comes to sitting in 1000 or more pounds of metal with minimal control. ‘Broke down’ means no engine running. That translates into a loss of those nice little things like power steering and power brakes, turning those two immunities into mega-manual. To turn takes both arms with all the body weight I can put behind it to operate efficiently both steering wheel and brake, taking all one hundred and thirty pounds, all five feet seven inches, all stretched to maximum, both feet on the brake petal, both hands on the wheel, teeth gritting, and occasional breathe holding. Men! (said derogatorily) I’m concentrating 100% on not letting the chain slack, the rear vehicle’s driver’s (?) main job along with stopping both vehicles and not plowing into the back end of the front vehicle. My arms ache, my thighs tremble, and my hands are nearly frozen from my grip on the steering wheel. He’s up there on the cell phone. I really felt like strangling him, but then he’s used to operating road graders, bulldozers, and backhoes on a regular basis. What’s a puny car without power compared to them? He’s also over two hundred pounds. He’s unperturbed and I’m sweating. We did make it without a dented bumper or smashed radiator and only one ‘heart in the throat incident’ of needing to stop faster than the car wanted to for my peace of mind. Not the way I wanted to celebrate my first contract. He did, however, take me out to dinner, and the drink my son insisted on 'to celebrate' was greatly appreciated. Normally one is all it takes to turn me into a puddling mass that has trouble not slipping off the chair. That night it didn't. Must have been the double dose of adrenalin hanging on.
That was about fifteen contracts and three publishers ago. I didn't know then about promoting, things like writing blogs, doing interviews, sitting in on chats. Heck, I didn't even know what an ebook was. All of that is a bit overwhelming still at times. Often I yearn to be away from the laptop, curled up on the couch with a pen and notebook with the words flowing for something new with nothing to disturb me, no emails, chats, or blogs to do. I have to admit though when a new contract comes in, I still get a glow.
Larriane AKA Larion Wills, two names one author, thousands of stories
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