Hello Thursday! Meet my blog group, comprised of a fantastic group of ladies who will dazzle you with insight on various topics. After reading my post, check out their blogs as well. Just click on:
Froggie (Tracey): One frog’s distinct voice on the world around her.
Merry Land Girl (Melissa): Tales of a suburban mom who likes to talk about pop culture, books, Judaism, family, friendship and anything else that comes to mind.
Darwin Shrugged (Denise): Civilized Observations in an Uncivilized World
For this week, Tracey picked: Set an intention for 2015 and write about it.
A few days ago, I did something I’ve never done before.
I gave my husband a rough draft copy of my book.
Just thinking about it makes me nervous. It’s not that I don’t trust him, or trust his editing capabilities. He’s as much a book nerd as I am. He knows what works, what will sound correct, and I’m sure he can help me out with that pesky issue I seem to have where sentence structures are concerned. If I had to have anyone review my book, to be the very first set of eyes, it’s going to be him. Only, I’ve never allowed anyone else a glimpse into my work. Poems? Sure. Short stories? Why not. My novel? Hell no.
This particular novel (there are two that need reviewing) began shortly after my friend Jill passed away. I wanted to create something for my close friends, the ones who knew Jill just as well as I had. Something we could all hold onto when we wanted a reminder of the magical memories we shared together. It’s not personal. It’s all of us, so I felt immense pressure while writing it. Can I even begin to capture the pure awesomeness that was and is, us?
Last night, my husband began his reading journey into my past. Although I’ve completely allowed myself creative freedom to add in funny quips and comebacks that I never got to say over a decade ago (don’t we all wish we could go back in time and get to say that one thing we should have said, but never though of in the moment), I have tried to remain true to the timeline and events in our lives as best I could, given my extreme issue with time frames. My memory is impeccable, but my memory pertaining to when something actually happened sucks.
I was so nervous, watching him read my life. It’s not about my past. He knows everything, I haven’t sugar-coated or hidden anything from him, I’ve never felt the need to do so. It’s knowing he gets to actually see me. Does that make sense? He’s going to see what I’ve written. Is it any good? Are there mistakes? Have I wasted the past two years working on this novel?
Sure, I’m worried about rejection. Even from my husband. But I want guidance. I want the truth, I want help in knowing if it sounds right, looks right. Do the sentences flow? Will the dialogue make sense to my friends when they finally get to see the finished product?
Shortly before Jill passed away, before she knew she had cancer, we were talking about my ambitions as a writer. I expected she’d laugh at me, tell me to find a new hobby. Jill was the eternal realist and didn’t take much stock in silly frilly things, but she believed in me. She said, “You should write, Sara Lea.”
My reaction (very surprised):”Really? I figured you’d tell me I should try to get a “real” job.”
Jill was normally a very snarky lady. It was something we all loved about her, but this time there was no snark in her response.
“You love it, and you’re good at it.”
I only wish she was still here to read what I have to say. Maybe she’d be proud of me (or tell me the novel really does suck), but I think she’d like it a little bit, at least. She was a book nerd, too. I think she’d get a kick out of the way I’ve written her and would probably crack a smile from time to time.
I know she’ll be with us in spirit, which is a big reason I wrote this novel. It may never be exposed to the rest of the world, but for those who get to read it, they’ll know just how great Jill was, how important friendship will always be, no matter how much time or distance has passed, and they might get a kick out of the insanely crazy things my friends and I did all those years ago.
So, short story long here, my intention for 2015 is this: if I don’t put myself out there, there will never be a finished novel. I have to trust in the process. I know my husband has my best interest at heart, so I’m going to let him in. Maybe he’ll think it sucks, but that’s a risk I’ve got to take, not just with him but with anyone involved with this or any other works of art I’ve created.
Oh, and p.s., sweet man of mine… I’m glad you liked the shoe joke.