Blogs by Pamela C Labud
Will wonders ever cease?
6/13/2004 4:37:17 PM
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The end of one season and the beginning of another...
Well, first I ask that you gentle readers forgive me for waiting so long for another entry. I am both fascinated by and a little bit nervous about posting like this, so, my hesitence is born out of that rather than not wanting to share my experiences with others.
It has been an amazing couple of weeks at my house, filled with ups and downs that can only be categorized as once in a lifetime events--both of the good kind and of the sad.
First, my week started out at the beginning of this month with the sad news that a dear friend's husband had been diagnosed with lung cancer. As a twenty-two year veteran of the nursing field I can't tell you what terrible things this conjured up in my mind and the ache in my heart is near to unbearable. The two of them have been my sincerest friends and most steadfast supporters for over twenty years. Since he is home on Hospice, I had planned to sneak away from my family and spend a day hidden on their property set in the deepest part of horse country. Many times in my twenties I escaped to that particular refuge and it intantly brought to mind all of the great times we spent together. It was before I was married, had children, or had any other direction to my life other than going to work and paying my car payments.
By the grace of God, we got that day and it was a nice time. I love my friends dearly and treasure every moment together.
Two days later, while sitting in a Wendy's with my kids and critique partner, another amazing thing happened. My cell phone rang. I thought it was my husband looking for me, or maybe my mother. I was way wrong. It was the editor of a New York publisher, (big time) who told me she loved my Regency Paranormal manuscript and wanted to buy it. Amazingly, I had only sent it to her two weeks before, and not even the whole book, but just the first three chapters and a synopsis. I was totally stunned and after hugging everyone in the place, including the counter lady, piled my girls in the car and drove home to my husband.
Frantic, I called a dear published friend, who happens to have the same publisher and the same editor, believe it or not, and we began planning how I would handle this success. Did I have an agent? no. Did she want to read the whole manuscript and then possibly buy? No. She said she wanted to buy it based on a partial. What am I supposed to do? Well, quick thinking on her part, and lots of praying on mine ensued. When the editor called back, I was ready, and thus began my negotiations. The editor called back, practically gushing over my book. (This never happens) So, I set about celebrating and going on to the next step, which is finding an agent.
Bear in mind that an agent is a totally different animal than an editor, although both are equally desired, pined for, and prayed for by any novice author. I learned another equally important rule for becoming a writer--no matter how many successes you have along the way, there's always somebody there to beat you down. After several calls, rushing around fed-ex'ing and emailing my four hundred page manuscript, I ended with two out and out rejections and hanging onto one call from another agent and not hearing back from the fourth. I still haven't heard back, either.
Here's me spending a whole week waiting for the 'one' agent to call me back. I really wanted her, mostly because we had spoke on the phone and she seemed to be the closest to what I wanted. Also, I felt a certain comfort level talking to her.
Then, finally her call came. She offered to represent me and here I am, now starting yet another week with said agent and editor.
In the midst of all of my joy and pain over my writing career, however, even more saddness befell our family. My beloved neice, a vivacious nine-year old who has been like one of my own children since her birth, was sick over Memorial Day weekend. She was admitted to the hospital and it turned out had new onset of juvinile diabetes. We were crushed. For three days I went between hoping and crying. God listened to our prayers because she is home now, relatively healthy, and embarking on her own journey of blood sugar monitoring, insulin injections, and a completely new lifestyle. She is brave and strong with parents who love her and this alone gives us hope.
Also in that magical week another friend, a lady with whom I'd worked with as a new nurse, twenty odd years ago, lost her husband to a long bout of cancer. It brought together a bunch of us old 'war horses' nurses, and we spent valuable time reminiscing and promising to get together soon. For awhile I was transported back to that time where I was just beginning my career as a nurse, still excited about my life ahead, and not having any clue to what that life would be about.
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending my writer's meeting, a group of local members of the Romance Writers Of America. Together we celebrated my sale, where I was awarded my entry into the Publish Author's Network, sort of, (at least until I get my provisional membership via a copy of my signed contract). Aside from my family and friends, my chapter is the biggest group of supporters I have. Fellow romance writers, each one doggedly pursuing thier own dream of writing and being published. We have gone through peaks and valleys, but stand strong, with 73 members. Anyone who wants to write needs to know the best way to learn, share, get support, and enjoy the company of other writers should run to find a group near them. I can tell you I've formed life long friendships that I will always treasure.
I have just come off of working my three day/twelve hour shift/ week and as a night nurse. While it is a long demanding job, it has afforded me those days off that I need to continue writing and querying and so forth, raising my children, loving my husband, and altogether living the best life possible. Needless to say, this has been an impossible season for me and I can only look ahead to the future, as I've always done. Expect great things and then make them happen. To be a writer means everything to me, it's what I've wanted to do almost since I read my very first book.
This month also marked the release of my first ebook, and so far the word of mouth is very encouraging. My friends loved it and to me that is worth more than all the gold in the world.
So, thank you dear readers, I wish you peace, prosperity, and long life. I wish you the realization of all your dreams and the wisdom to know your blessings. Take care, all! Pam.
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