Well, well, well. I’m feeling quite smug, but not for the reason y’all might expect. That’s right. I’m still not pregnant, but I am making great progress writing about what it feels like not to be pregnant after years and years of trying.
In fact, just to show you how far I’ve come in the whole “I’m not able to conceive or deliver” recovery process I’m as excited about what I read last night as I once was when I got word that fertilization had occurred (no way!? … way!) following our first IVF. No kidding! What’s got me so jazzed? That would be the following subject line waiting in my email box: I Love Your Book.
What’s all the more remarkable is that the woman who provided that lovely subject line is someone who could have just as easily ignored or pretended that she’d never received a copy of my manuscript. And that’s where I’m reminded that every time I think the universe has completely turned its back on me or worse simply forgotten me (hellllloooo, over here!) I am reminded to be patient and wait my turn.
Longstanding readers may recall my Thelma and Louise-like weekend last July. What I didn’t write about then is that while my pal Louise was chatting up a crowd of toothless tigers (40-something guys who were on a reunion weekend), I had an opportunity, over a glass of wine, to engage in conversation a woman watching the sun set over Lake Tahoe. Turns out this fine woman is a writer who has a few novels under her belt. As we talked through our respective experiences writing I told her I was unhappy with the first three chapters of my book.
She very matter of factly explained that often the toughest challenge for a writer is deciding where the story actually begins. BINGO! It was like I’d been hit by a bolt of lightening. We cheerfully exchanged emails and promised to read each other’s work. Over the rest of the weekend I started rewriting the beginning of my story in my head. Very soon afterwards I ripped apart the first draft and went to work restructuring the entire piece. In mid-September I printed the revised manuscript and sent it to off via snail mail. After a few weeks without comment I convinced myself that I’d really disappointed. That was until her email arrived last night. (I was reminded of an RE nurse who once reminded me when I proposed timing for a FET that worked best for my schedule, “it’s not all about you girlfriend!”)
My writer friend freely admitted when we met that she’d never really considered what it must be like to face down infertility. I decided right then and there she’d be a great critic. And here’s what she had to say halfway through the manuscript: “I didn’t know how I would feel about your book since I have never wanted to have children. But I have been thoroughly enjoying it…Your book is wonderful! I think it’s some of the best creative nonfiction I’ve read. (And I’m not just saying that).
“…In addition, the book helps me understand better what some friends of mine who can’t conceive felt and what they must be feeling — when you get on talk shows and do print interviews after the book is published you can mention this — that even women who don’t have children or who are not infertile will like the book because 1) there is a mystery set up: will the couple conceive or not? and 2) It will help them understand what their friends are going through.”
Wow. I’m going to indulge myself for just a bit and enjoy the idea of what it might feel like to have a published manuscript — a book on the market that will help enlighten a vast audience about what it means to face down and fight the insidiousness of infertility. Among other things my story serves up raw emotion. It challenges the couple involved on multiple levels and forces them to redefine their relationship to others.
You can be certain that within the many acknowledgements at the front of the book, I will single out the author of last night’s email for she has given me a different sort of hope (oh how I’ve missed having hope in my life), and a window into a certain something that just may lie ahead…a girl can dream, can’t she???
October 10, 2007 4:27 am
Fantastic news! Congrats, and I hope this gives you renewed writing vigor.
October 10, 2007 4:37 am
That’s awesome, congratulations! I’d love to see it one day when you’re ready, I can’t really believe you’re actually doing it – that’s very very cool for us wannabe-writers to think it’s possible:-)
October 10, 2007 7:01 am
Oh, this is such nice news. I’m grinning all over my face for you.
October 10, 2007 11:32 am
I hope you do very very well with the book. There have been so many times I have thought about writing about our challenges, my thoughts, my feelings and how it all affected the relationships in my life. I always thought it needed to be put in a place where fertiles and infertiles could both benefit…you beat me to the punch:) I hope in some way, this process is cathartic for you. Please keep us informed with your process.
October 10, 2007 12:34 pm
What an amazing compliment on so many levels. Congratulations lovely, I’ll be signing up for a signed copy too.
October 10, 2007 1:14 pm
PJ- this is awesomely fantastical news!!! ahh … the fresh feeling of Hope … it’s infectious
October 10, 2007 1:16 pm
Great news! Congrats, you should be proud of yourself. Can’t wait for it to come out
October 10, 2007 1:44 pm
Wow, that is great to hear! I am very excited for when you get published and can run out to get this book. Wishing you all the best!
October 10, 2007 1:58 pm
October 10, 2007 2:40 pm
I am so happy to hear this news! You are creating in a way that I am very envious of (bad sentence, I know).
My sister, Tami, is a book publicist. (I’ve blogged about her and her husband, Gino.) Her website has some tips for wherever you are in the writing/publishing process — and some of the publicity DOES start at the stage you’re in. Check out http://howtomarketmybook.com/
I’m not surprised this woman liked your book 🙂
October 10, 2007 3:20 pm
That’s really great news!
I can’t wait to see your book on the shelves, and to recommend it to people who need a little insight.
October 10, 2007 3:26 pm
FAB-U-LISCOUS!!! That is great news… especially from this particular person. Congratulations!
October 10, 2007 3:53 pm
Oooo makes me want to read the book NOW!
October 10, 2007 4:28 pm
“…a girl can dream….” but it sounds to me like you might be doing more than just dreaming with your book. This sounds like a step towards it becoming a reality. Good for you!
October 10, 2007 4:56 pm
That is wonderful!!! I cannot wait to read your book (because I have every faith that you will be published)!
October 10, 2007 5:10 pm
How exciting! I bet you are still glowing from the news. I can’t wait to read the book.
October 10, 2007 10:23 pm
Wonderful!!! That had to feel so good.
Can’t wait to read it, too.
October 10, 2007 11:08 pm
A birth of sorts…
Hold your head high lady. That is no small feat.
October 11, 2007 6:11 am
I hope I get a personally signed copy! See, you have buyers already! Congrats – as they say in Buddhism, you have turned poison into medicine.
October 11, 2007 6:01 pm
That is fantastic news 🙂 And it is a door opening.
October 11, 2007 6:46 pm
Congratulations. That is so exciting. I’m not suprised though after reading your blog. I think you are a very talented writer and have such insightful information. I can’t wait to get a copy of your book one day.. 🙂