Saturday, November 14, 2015

This Day

The funny thing about my meeting yesterday was that it was held in a small room in the back corner of the library. As in, I had to walk through the library, past rows and rows of colourful books - published books - to get there. Walking through a library was one thing last year. This year, it is something else. Also, it was one thing on the way in and another altogether on the way out, something I'll try to explain later.

The librarian who led me to the room walked quickly, so I had to cram all of my thoughts into a much smaller time frame than if I'd known where to go and went there myself. I, personally, would have walked much slower; I had a lot of things to think. I was nervous, for one thing, and excited, for another. But mostly I was looking at the books around me and realizing, maybe for the first time, that a book is not just a book. It's months, or more often years, of hard work and years, or more often a lifetime, of dreaming and planning and thinking and researching and, ultimately, it's someone's dream come true.

Shelves and rows and racks of those things.

Add to this that a book is a much more personal thing than I'd ever realized before I tried to write one. Whenever someone I know asks me what my book is about, I get all awkward and weird. Like I'm thirteen and they're asking me who I like. I can't talk about it. I can't imagine anyone else ever reading it, but also: that's the point of trying to get it published. I have a whole new respect for the people whose books inhabit that library. There are big, meaty chunks of their hearts in those books.

Shelves and rows and racks of heart chunks. Gross.

And kind of breathtaking.

Anyway, I was thinking all of these things as I was speed-walking to keep up with the fast librarian. Thanks to her, I arrived at the office fifteen minutes early. If we'd dawdled, it might have only been twelve or thirteen, which feels a little less extreme. I didn't want to be extreme. I don't like to appear too eager. It turns people off.

But there I was, fifteen minutes early. Too keen.

So I stood and waited. And I remembered that I hadn't eaten lunch yet, even though it was 2 pm. I just hadn't thought of it. And I remembered that I'd drank an entire Bodum of coffee that morning. That was dumb of me. Add that to an already overwrought, nerve-wracked mind, and you get very shaky fingers. The Writer in Residence would notice this, I thought, and that made my fingers shake more. (She has a name, the Writer in Residence, but I prefer to call her Writer in Residence. It's just such a great title. I aspire to it.)

But you probably don't really care to hear about me standing in the back of a library shaking my fingers all over the place; you just want to know how the meeting went. That's what I meant to tell you from the beginning anyway.

It went...great. Really great. The greatest, actually. It went better than I daydreamed it could go, and I am a person given to extreme daydreams. I'm going back. We're going to keep in touch. She believes in me and in my little book and that is a fantastic, amazing feeling. She 'got' it, even though I think it's kind of a weird book and I mostly worry that people won't. She wants to help me find a home for it and she wants to read more.

My heart burst a thousand times over the course of the meeting. I didn't know what to say back to her most of the time so I just kept saying, "Thank you," and, "You're so nice," over and over.

We talked for over an hour and when I left, the corners of my mouth hurt from being stretched out so far to both sides. And this time when I walked past the books, like I said earlier, they looked different to me. Less like other people's dreams and hard work and heart chunks and more like mine. Does that make sense? Not that these books were mine, but that mine could be in there too. Less like these authors were mythical creatures and more like they were just regular people who worked very hard and had some neat ideas. Less unattainable. Mainly, I think, they just didn't taunt me anymore.

I have spent my whole life dreaming about writing a book but feeling cautious about it. I've been optimistic and pessimistic and nothingimistic and I've worked at it tentatively, not wanting to get too wrapped up in something that would probably go nowhere. And then along comes someone who says, "This could go somewhere."

And even if it doesn't go anywhere, I'll still remember this day. This day was important to me.

16 comments:

  1. Reading the beginning of this post made me SO ANXIOUS but I am SO GLAD that it went so well. And of course unsurprised :)

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    1. Hahahaha, it made YOU anxious? I died a thousand deaths. ;)
      Thanks for the kind words and, always, the encouragement.

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  2. I knew you had it in you, girl. So damn proud of you!

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    1. You are so sweet. Thanks for cheering for me. I'm cheering for you too. :)

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  3. SUZY!!!!!! I want to say that's incredible but I've read enough of your writing to know that it's not - it's totally unsurprising. So just: congratulations! And lots and lots of fingers tightly crossed for you.

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  4. Glad it went well- I've read your blogs for awhile now,you re a great writer.Hope to read your book someday:)

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  5. A thousand congratulations, my friend! I will be one of those people checking your book out of the library when that day comes...unless I get my own personalized, autographed copy first! ;) I loved how you described all the books. So true. Makes the library even more of a favourite place for me now!

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    1. hahaha, you're sweet. :) i'll write all over whatever you want me to. i'll autograph william.

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  6. Suzy, I am so happy for this and cannot wait for your book to be out into the world :)

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    1. Thank you so much, Rosa! Made me smile this morning. :)

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  7. YAY this is so exciting!! You are a great writer and I am not surprised to hear that the Writer in Residence saw that, as well.

    And I also really loved how you described the books in the library! Sometimes I have authors ask me if we have their books in our collection, and I absolutely love it when I can tell them that we do.

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    1. You're the best. I bet authors who come into your library just love the crap out of you.

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  8. Umm...of COURSE this could (and should) go somewhere!!! You're an amazing writer!!!

    The line about how you think it's kind of a weird book...lets just say the best books are the weird ones. The ones that aren't like anything you've ever read before. The ones that illicit vivid mental pictures and stimulate your imagination (Jasper Fforde is my all-time favorite author because he is SO good at all of the above)! And your writing is similar, in that you make us feel something...you make us imagine that we are part of what you were writing about! You're amazing, and I will be one of the FIRST people to buy your book when it's published! Heck, I'll buy every single book that you publish! Because you're awesomely talented, friend!

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    1. You're so sweet and encouraging. :) Thanks so much, Crystal.

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