Two weeks ago, my husband and I officially drove out of Los Angeles to begin our stint of traveling. We drove through Phoenix and Flagstaff, stopped in Santa Fe for a few days, visited art museums, Catholic pilgrimage spots, and ashrams. We stood on a corner in Winslow Arizona, made it to Amarillo by morning, and spent a Friday night under stadium lights for some High School Texas football.
Then, we finally pulled up to my parents’ house in Arkansas where the Advanced Reading Copies of my book were waiting.
After hours on the road, in the midst of that travel exhaustion, I saw my galley copy for the first time:
It’s not YET my book — the final, hardcover book will arrive shortly before publication in March — but the galley or Advanced Reading Copy is awfully close to the real deal. It’s the same cover art and same font…
When I picked it up, it all became real. I’m having a book.
I have dreamed of being a novelist since I was seven years old. Not because I care about people knowing my name or anything like that; things like that don’t matter to me. I have dreamed about being a novelist because the only thing I’ve ever been REALLY good at is dreaming up stories and imaginary worlds. Every second when someone REAL isn’t trying to talk to me (and sometimes even when they are), I disappear into another world, weave some story, talk to some imaginary person…
If you knew how much time I spent living in imaginary worlds, you might be embarrassed for me. In the morning when I first wake, over breakfast, in the shower, while driving (or walking) to work… If I get even 30 seconds to myself, I disappear into another world. If I’m lucky enough to get hours alone, whole new characters, worlds and plots emerge.
My husband calls it my bucket. He knows I don’t sit around worrying about real life or watching people who walk by or noticing much of anything in THIS world. I live in my own little bucket.
It’s what I do. It’s who I am.
But before this moment it always felt like other people — if they knew what I was doing — would call it a WASTE OF TIME.
But now with this book — this external expression of that part of my brain — all that dreaming no longer looks like a waste of time. It created something… it was productive.
That part of me that I could never stop or contain — my brain in constant imagination mode — has an official PURPOSE.
I didn’t know if I would ever get here. I didn’t know if that part of my brain would EVER find a purpose. But it has. And that purpose showed up at my doorstep in the form of a galley. It’s external. It’s a thing. That part of me FINALLY feels validated.
I hope you read my book. It’s my brain — and heart — turned inside out. All those hours tumbling into somewhere else… it’s all there.
But, no offense, whether you read it or not, my bucket-y, dreamy brain is satisfied with the thing itself. I can see the object; hold it in my hands. My imagination has purpose… My brain feels useful.
So, now it’s time to continue the adventure. I’m writing book two (and the screenplay for Oil and Marble). I’m making notes for books three, four, five, six…
And my husband and I are continuing our adventure to see the world. Our next physical adventure is Iceland and Sweden for Christmas and New Year’s. Husband and I were feeling adventurous, ready to get a new perspective on the world, so we decided the top of the world — with Northern Lights, Vikings, fire and ice — would do just that.
And all along the trip, I’ll be on some new adventure in my head. So, just fair warning, if you try to talk to me, and I seem like I’m in another world, I am.
And now, I can finally say, please don’t disturb me when I’m in my bucket. I’m working 😉