Happy New Year!
I hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday season filled with laughter, chatter, relaxation and healthy doses of fresh air and fun. For me, Christmas this year (or rather, last year) took on a new shine. For the first time in years, my parents, their two daughters, and all five of their grandchildren (along with the company of two significant others) gathered together for a multi-generational family celebration. There were eleven of us under one roof and it was an absolute blast! There was so much joy, so much love, and so many memories shared that the greatest gift under the Christmas tree was everyone's presence.
With the wrapping up of the holiday season (now there's a pun!), I find my mind twirling around, once again, with thoughts of my book. More specifically, when will I hear back from either (or both) of the publishers I sent the manuscript to back in late November? I'm trying to be patient, I am, but it is really hard! I want to know, NOW, whether either is interested. Whether this memoir of mine (of about 104,000 words!) can take its final steps and become an actual book. I am ready, so ready, for the final editing phase and whatever else is required to pull Smile and Wave all together. I want this. Badly. I know I have to be patient but I am anything but at this stage of the game!
A wise writing mentor advised following up some time later in January as reviewing a manuscript typically takes about a month, and then a couple of extra weeks have to be added in because of the Christmas holidays. Publishers, undoubtedly, also take time off at the end of December.
In the meantime, there is planning, strategizing and plotting to be done for what I want to accomplish once the book is actually published. I have plans, BIG plans, for where I want the book to go once it is out in the world for any and all to read. I want to talk about the book, about my experience, to readers near and far. I also want to talk to survivors about the reality of abuse, how to heal and how to move on from it and live the life you want. Empowerment, just like domestic abuse, is a universal topic, and I'm willing to share my story. Then, of course, there is the hope of a movie or some adaptation onto some sort of screen. But to get this party really started, I need the book published.
I also need to deal with the reality of earning a paycheque. While I'm absolutely willing to commit as many hours each day to get the manuscript polished and primed for printing, I still need to pay the rent! Several years ago, after putting myself back together after a complete emotional breakdown (after writing the first draft), I was in this exact same position. To get myself out of that quandary, I asked myself two questions:
1) How do I want to make my money?
2) Where do I want to make my money?
That strategy got me back into the river rafting industry, where I spent five amazing summers working for Wild Water Adventures in the Rocky Mountains (and off-seasons, at home, in Squamish, working from my desk in the living room). Today, I still want to make my money in the tourism industry but from a slightly different perspective. Ideally, I'd love to escort tours through the Rocky Mountains, sharing my passion, excitement and fairly in-depth knowledge of the region with visiting travellers and mountain enthusiasts. After working at one of Kelowna's Big 5 wineries this past summer (The Vibrant Vine), laughing and chatting my way through descriptions of wine for thousands of winery guests, I feel so incredibly comfortable talking, face-to-face, with both individuals and groups. And that was about wine! If I'm talking about the Rockies, as anyone who knows me knows, all you have to do is wind me up and let me go. My enthusiasm is boundless. To me, it's a natural fit. Wish me luck.
As we all work and play our way into the upcoming months of 2024, I wish everyone the achievement of goals and the fulfillment of dreams. That seems a worthwhile endeavour for us all to pursue.
Happy New Year!