You know those days where you have so much to accomplish, such a long list, so many items to check off that you stare into space doing nothing? Of course you do. You’re human. Everyone falls asleep at the dinner table at least once. Right?
This is Jack in 1998 but it’s how I feel most of the time.
Lately I have found myself sitting at the kitchen counter in front of my laptop, frozen. At first I blamed Jack’s college applications. And Karly’s driving. The fact that I’m no longer working at my desk in the nook at the top of our stairs.
You know, the room of one’s own we’re supposed to carve out as writers? Sorry, Virginia Woolf.
I stopped using that spot when we adopted our puppy because I need to keep an eye on her and that is best accomplished downstairs on the kitchen-side of the baby gate. (Yes, we installed a baby gate for our puppy. I’m not having more children and the ones I’ve got have one foot out the door so I treat my dogs like kids. They sit in my lap and eat off my plate and kiss me on the lips. The dogs, I mean. Jack and Karly haven’t done that in years.)
Excuse me while I sniffle.
Okay. Where was I? Oh, right. Monumentally busy and also moving glacially.
But it is not the puppy’s fault. And it’s not my kids’ faults. Or the location of my laptop. I am frozen by the fact that after a lifetime of dreaming about being an author with a publishing contract, I am one and I have one.
Huzzah! Cue the sound of angels singing! I’m as grateful as any writer can be! But with this thrill comes a list of new and daunting tasks. (Not that I’m complaining!)
First, a revamp of the blog. The wonderful Aimee Horton at My Author Website turned this place into a real author website. Look around. Let me know what you think. When you get back, I’ll still be here. (See: Frozen.)
Oh, wait. I also created a Facebook page: Julie C. Gardner, Author. If you’d be so kind, you can like it here. (For the record I was fine letting everyone be my friend at Julie Christianson Gardner but people told me that was a bad idea. I bet they don’t think it’s smart to kiss my dogs on the lips, either. Huh.)
I also need to establish an author newsletter (any MailChimp experts who want to do that for me?) and actually get people to sign up. Plus there are my three other completed manuscripts I must address: a YA novel and a running memoir (both of which need work) and a women’s fiction project I love.
But revising is hard, yo. So I tell myself I should write something fresh instead. Like a sequel to my debut novel.
What’s that you say? I haven’t told you about the book yet?
All right, then. It’s called Letters for Scarlet and I cannot wait to share it with you.
Letters for Scarlet by Julie C. Gardner (Women’s Fiction)
Corie Harper is twenty-eight years old when she is first visited by a ghost—in the form of a graduation letter she forgot she wrote. Although she spent a decade burying that desperate girl and her regrets, each page resurrects the past, dragging Corie back to a time when all she craved was Scarlet Hinden’s friendship and Tuck Slater’s heart. But she couldn’t keep them both and keep her word. In her debut novel, Julie C. Gardner traces one friendship from deep roots to branches torn by broken promises and loss.
I can’t believe this book (my book!) will launch in April of 2016!
Did I already say Huzzah?
So I created a Facebook page and I took care of this author website, then I wrote a blog post telling you about it. Now I’ve got to figure out the newsletter and how to get people to sign up for it. Oh, and edit three manuscripts. Plus start a new book.
Also I’m keeping an eye on Scout. Remember Scout?
Of course you do.
It’s a lot. Maybe overwhelming. So I sit here on the kitchen-side of the baby gate doing nothing. (Well, I check the refrigerator often and also count how many minutes until lunchtime.)
I need courage. And a sandwich. Maybe a dog trainer.
Then I’ll begin again, taking small steps toward my goals. Newsletters and fanbase-building. Pages and websites and edits. I am the world’s happiest, luckiest Sisyphus.
You do know who Sisyphus is, right?
Of course you do. You’re human.
And we’re all pushing a boulder up that hill.