Monday, April 5, 2010

SUBLIMINAL MONDAY: Moving Forward or Avoiding a Series of Unfortunate Events

All we can do in life is move forward, right? I mean, it's hard to move backwards, unless you're doing the backstroke in a pool on vacation in Cancun. [Which sadly, I'm not.]

So, what are you moving towards? Wealth? Fame? Happiness? A thinner waist? A nicer house? A better car? The invention of fat-free chocolate? [If so, I love you, and for God's sake, hurry up!]

I'm moving towards publication. I'm committed to getting the YA novel I'm working on sold this year, hopefully before the end of the summer. [No pressure, AA.] I've had the goal to be published since I first declared myself a "serious" writer in 1995. At that point, my writing wasn't quite up to par. [Okay, it sucked. Big time. Hugely. Was laughable. It was horrific. Really. Super bad. The worst.] So, what did I do? I kept writing. And writing. And writing. [Good God, we get the picture. You don't need to write the same thing over, and over, and over, and over again for us to get it. We're not idiots. Sheesh!]

Don't get me wrong, I'm no writing robot. I did plenty of other things besides writing over the past 15 years. Here's the short-list:
  • I wrote lots of songs; [Selfish, angsty lyrics = BORING!]
  • Survived my honey's medical school and residency; [Had his pic by my bed so I'd remember what he looked like.]
  • Ate lots of good, healthy food; [Mostly chocolate, gained 10 pounds]
  • Raised my sons; [Do you see the gray?]
  • Moved from Colorado to Connecticut to Pennsylvania; [I'm Sagittarius. We love to travel];
  • Went on four cruises; [See previous SM]
  • Went from a Pontiac Grand Am to a Nissan Altima to a Hyundai Santa Fe to a Lexus RX300 and back to a Nissan Altima; [I heart cars. My next one? A baby blue, 2-door Mercedes. Again, no pressure AA.]
  • Settled into my dream house; [cookie-cutter McMansion in the burbs that I pretend is a real mansion]
  • Became a slave to six, feline captors. [It's true. Here's the proof. Here's more proof.]
All the while, I kept checking back in with LITTLE PEARLS, adding bits and pieces to my semi-autobiographical comedic masterpiece,[NOT!] editing it to within an inch of its life. This work, no matter how strange or discombobulated [use "discombobulated" in a sentence - CHECK!] started me on my "professional" writing journey. [If you're ever sneaking through my computer files, promise you won't read it. If you do, you'll be sorry. That's all I'm going to say.] [Threatening people on the internet is a federal crime. Of course, so is sneaking through other peoples' computer files. Think about it.]

Along the way, I had my moments. I sent my first queries in 2002. The next time you're drunk, text me and I'll send you one of these queries. You. Will. Not. Be. Able. To. Stop. Laughing. [Not sure why I wrote that last sentence in separate words. Must be my muse's fault.] In fact, it might kill you. You think, "I died laughing" is just a phrase? That's because you've never read one of my original queries. [It will kill you, and it won't be pretty. It'll be funny, but not pretty.]

A bigger publishing thrill happened [on the way to the Forum] when I met Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket, at a charity event. I have pictures, but I'm afraid if I publish them, he'll sue me. I thought it might be my big break. Instead, I created my own Series of Unfortunate Events.

Like an idiot, I handed him my incoherent manuscript in all it's incoherent glory. [Did I mention it was incoherent?] He sent me a thank you card, no doubt after having the biggest belly-laugh of his life [and he's friends with Jim Carrey, so that's saying something]. Because, trust me when I say, the full ms was like, ohmygod, a bazillion times funnier than the query and, like I said, reading the query, you could easily die laughing. [Um, yeah, I think we've covered that.] Shockingly, nothing ever came of it. If I ever meet him again, I'll wear dark sunglasses and say my name is Cecelia Fernandez. [He must never know it was me. Never, do you hear me, never!]

The good news is, all that work on LITTLE PEARLS eventually resulted in my completing three non-discombobulated [use "non-discombobulated" in a sentence - CHECK!] novels and work on two more. Now, I'm moving forward in my quest for publication. I'm excited, nervous, and even a bit proud. [Pats self on back.]

After all, moving confidently in the direction of your dreams is a big part of what makes life kick some serious bootay.

[Thanks, H.D. Thoreau. I couldn't have said it better myself.]


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing some of the twists and turns on your path towards publication! I'm with you--move foward w/your dreams. Thanks!

Karen Walker said...

Oh yeah, Deb, that's all we can do is keep moving forward. I am so happy all your hard work is finally paying off in terms of publication. No doubt it will happen for you, my dear. And I can't wait to buy your first book!
I'm moving towards writing three new projects, baby steps with each one. Spring has brought renewed energy, thank goodness.

Little Ms Blogger said...

I love this post. I want to write professionally, but have to stop listening to the people in my life that are not supportive and listen to the supportive ones.

Your post has motivated me to just continue moving forward. Better to try then to look back and realized I lived a life of regret.

Ruthanne Reid said...

I want to see those queries. *big eyes at you*

Laura Marcella said...

You should write a post about querying and um, post your old queries to, um, teach us what NOT to do. We won't laugh at you or anything, nopers. It's strictly for learning purposes. Really!

Heehee, anyway, thanks for the motivational post! I'm really excited to write badly and make people laugh at me because eventually it'll all pay off, right?!? And besides, making people laugh even at my expense is putting joy into the world and making it a better place. (If I keep telling myself that then it'll surely come true!)

Kimberly Franklin said...

I don't know about you, but it's Monday and I could really use a good laugh. Send me one of those queries. Lol. ;)

I keep moving forward, but sometimes it seems like I'm going so slow that I might actually be moving backwards. Maybe I'm just exaggerating. Maybe? Lol.

And, fat free chocolate! I need some that!

Happy Monday!

Sybir St. John said...

Timely post as always. I'm in the phase of I'm going to get this book edited to a shiny state if it kills me.

And, I can't wait to READ your book!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I love the crazy flow of this post! Thanks so much for sharing. :-)

Julie said...

Glad to be a first-hand witness to your forward motion. Can you even believe how much we've grown (in great wisdom, not size) since the writers' conference last year? I think a "We Rock" is in order. :)

And still loving subliminal Mondays!

Kristin Rae said...

I LOVE Subliminal Monday!!!

You know, I have a feeling fat free chocolate wouldn't taste so good... have you ever tried fat free cheese????? omg, don't.

Jeanne Veillette Bowerman said...

I truly believe the length of your journey is going to prove the biggest gift you've ever received... even better than noncalorie chocolate! I LOVE how you digested the entire process, grew and most importantly, learned to laugh at yourself. Kudos to you and your kitty posse! Can't wait to see your work in print. Brava.

Jemi Fraser said...

You have worked HARD for the success you're experiencing now. Can't wait for your book to be on shelves. It's gonna be BIG!

jmartinlibrary said...

Debra, you are one of those writers on the road ahead who I really respect a lot. I always look forward to Subliminal Mondays and always enjoy the perspective and advice. Thanks!

Tawna Fenske said...

Does anyone else have John Parr's "St. Elmo's Fire (Man In Motion)" stuck in their head now?

Must just be me.


Vegas Linda Lou said...

You've got it all together, my friend! And the best is yet to come, I'm sure of it. XOXO

nsiyer said...

'Live the life you have imagined.' - well said. That's Nirvana everyday even if someone does on a daily basis. Graet Debrah, you always leave me in a reflective mood.

Mollie said...

I still have a copy of "little pearls". How much is my silence worth to you?

Kelly said...

The path to being published is long and hard, but I think positive that it will have a happy ending! :)

WendyCinNYC said...

Yay for moving forward. Keep on moving!

Debra L. Schubert said...

Hello, all! Loving your comments. Glad SM continues to be a good time and wildly inspirational. [Nobody cares.]

And, Mollie, we need to talk.

blueeyedadri said...

Great post, thanks for sharing your story, it helps. 3000k yet today?

koralee said...

Just wanted to pop by to thank you so so much for your comment about my daughter's migraines. She has had them on and off for about 3 got them at a young age. I have had her to Drs..... they were wanting to give her a RX for a med. to take everyday...but I am unsure if that is what she needs seeing she doesn't get them as much any more. With your med. do you need to take it everyday or just when you suffer?
Hugs to you my is so nice to have sweet friends that care enough to help out. Oh how I love this blogging world. xoxo

limo hire said...

I love your post and i am moving towards happiness.

sanjeet said...

I want to write professionally, but have to stop listening to the people in my life that are not supportive and listen to the supportive ones.
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