Andres Cantor probably isn’t known by name to whole segments of the mystery community, but every time I finish a rough draft, I think of him.
Years ago, his exhuberant yell finally made the jump from the Spanish-speaking soccer world to its English-speaking counterpart. Goals in the game became even more exciting with his gleeful, full-throated upping the ante. People who’d never watched the game began to tune in, to listen to the radio and watch television, just to hear him scream that gorgeous version of "Gol."
Well, I wish Cantor had been in my office last Wednesday morning when I finished the first draft of BEE GONE, my initial attempt at a new series.
I WANTED a celebration, a howling whoop-de-doo . . . but got a fizzle.
I patted myself on the back.
I called my husband (whose company is about to announce large layoffs) and his response would’ve put a gnu to sleep.
I reached out to friends, but mainly ended up with general congrats that didn’t satisfy — misfires and blahs. Wahhhhh!
I even resorted to posting a single line on a smaller listserv, something most people totally ignored. Mary Saums, lovely Mary, didn’t. She sent me a card; she got it. But man, oh man, I wanted more.
Wednesday night, after the kids and hubby went to sleep, I poured myself a nice shot of O’ban and toasted myself. Frankly, even that was a little anticlimatic.
It’s what, Monday? And I’m still looking for that darn celebration, for the world to stop for a second to applaud ME! Yeah, I know . . . it’s pathethic. Silly and sentimental and childish. But there it is.
And, what the heck?
What’s wrong with marking successes big and small? It sure makes life a lot more fun.
In the next few weeks, my Advanced Readers Copies (ARCS) for SOCORRO will arrive at UNM Press. I’ll be dancing again, toasting again, bursting with happiness.
When the book appears in stores and gets reviews, I’ll be bubbling. Even though this is #3 for me, it’ll feel just as wonderful, just as giddy, as what J.T. is going through right now.
Perhaps I’m manufacturing all this joy. So what? It’s nicer than being nonchalant about it.
I wonder if other writers — my more experienced friends with 15-30 books under their belts — feel the same glee and sense of accomplishment each time?
I sure hope so.
What about you?
Writers: Do you celebrate the birth of your rough drafts? Do you mark other moments in the lives of your works? How?
Readers: What personal accomplishments do you celebrate? How do you mark those wonderful occasions?
Please tell me I’m not alone in finding hundreds of reasons to feel happy in my writing life . . .