“squirrel-ducks” by Barry Lorne, newly hung in living-room
I’ve got news. I’ve got really big news. I’ve been sitting on this news for a few days because it’s the kind of news you have to share with family and close friends in person, and because, too, I needed time to process it, and because, honestly, it didn’t seem real.
Here is a milestone. X marks the spot. I stood in my living-room on Monday afternoon with the phone pressed to my ear, and it seems it was sunny, as I struggled to absorb what my agent was telling me: that we’d had a pre-emptive bid for my new novel, Girl Runner, from HarperCollins in the United States. The terrific editor to whom I’d spoken earlier that afternoon wanted to buy the book. Now.
Yeah. My agent had told me I’d want to be sitting down. I told her, no way, I’m too jittery, but she was right. I had to sit down. Then I had to tell Kevin before anyone else. I texted him to come home right now. The kids, who’d been listening in with interest in the background, had to wait, but Kevin hurried. Maybe he actually ran. (As there’d been a fair bit of whirlwind build-up over the previous week, he guessed what my news might be.) Albus was so excited he hugged me spontaneously. AppleApple wanted to take photos to mark the occasion.
I felt weirdly calm.
And then there was supper to make, and swim team practice, and gymnastics, and by the time all of that was done, and the kids were tucked into bed, it was after 9, and Kevin, buzzing with excitement, was off to a soccer game. I was glad to see that he and the kids were excited, because I felt … well, I suppose it was shock.
It was the shock of a long-held dream becoming reality. In an instant. I couldn’t take it in.
I slept surprisingly soundly that night, and woke early to meditate. (Side note: so far, I’m really bad at meditating. My brain seems to think this is useful planning and organizing time, and it’s damn near impossible to get it to alight for more than an instant on my chosen mantra. But I won’t be discouraged!)
After a night of processing the news, and after my agent convinced me afresh that this was really happening, I was able to come around to two overwhelming emotions.
I’m helping to support my family. I can see the burden lifted off of Kevin. It’s almost like something visible has been lifted from his shoulders. Most critically, and here is where relief and gratitude mingle most strongly: I’m getting to do what I love. That’s what all of this means. I’m going to sit here and write books. That’s all I want to do. I’m not even very good at much else.
I loved writing Girl Runner. My mind is already teeming with another book idea, although there are more edits and revisions to tackle first. I probably can’t quite comprehend what it will be like to be part of the publicity push to bring Girl Runner to an audience, especially in a new market. I’ve never even been to New York! I sound like a little country mouse. Maybe I am. But I’m ready. I’m more than ready. I’ve been working my whole life for this, and whatever comes, however it tips me sideways, lifts me up, knocks me down, challenges and changes me, my arms are wide open. My eyes are wide open. My mind is wide open.
You’ve been part of this, too, you know. All who’ve read and commented and emailed encouragement, support, worry, kindness. You’re here, too. Thank you.
Congratulations! I am totally tearing up with happiness for you! How exciting! I wish I could give you a hug in person! You so deserve this, Carrie!
Your virtual hug is much appreciated, Tricia. Wish you were here too. xox
This is super awesome news! Congratulations! On the meditation front, I doubt you’re “bad” at it, you’re just new at it. Don’t try to force all the thoughts from your brain. If a thought enters your brain, acknowledge it, then politely ask it to move on. Try to avoid dwelling on any one thing. xo
Thanks for the meditation tips, Miranda. I will definitely keep trying, and will try what you suggest doing — which actually sounds similar to how I turn unwanted thoughts away, when my mind is choosing to obsess in unhelpful ways on unhelpful things, usually in the middle of the night. It really works.
Congratulations, Carrie! I’m very excited for you.
I am usually a lurker. But decided to come out of lurkdom to congratulate you 🙂 Congratulations!
Looking forward to reading the book.
Thank you for saying hello, Kavitha. I appreciate it, and enjoy knowing who’s out there!
Wow Carrie what terrific news. Congratulations. I cant wait to read it.
Thanks, Michelle! It will be published here in Canada next fall, and in the US in 2015.
Congrats! great news!
Hooray! So well deserved!
Thank you, Marita!
Big congrats, Carrie. Though you may now have to consider changing the name of your blog…
This has been suggested often enough that I actually did consider the possibility, Patricia. But I’m sticking with it. It’s a good name. Besides, couldn’t come up with a snappy replacement to rhyme with Obscure. Although I’m partial to Velour.
I suggest “Less Obscure Pan-American Lit…”
Well done! Wait, does this mean you won’t be coming to our completely obscure poetry group?
Karl, I’m coming to poetry club, but as a complete slacker. I’ve hardly been reading anything since the concussion and hadn’t gotten to the book earlier as I should have. I will have little insight to add, I’m afraid.
I couldn’t resist checking in to see how you shared the news! So delighted to be on this journey with you.
Hello Hilary! What a fun week we’ve had together. Looking forward to what’s ahead.
This news totally makes my day! Success stories like yours are so encouraging for the rest of us. And you deserve this! So excited for you.
Thank you, Alison!
Congratulations! What fantastic news.
Congratulations! I can almost feel your excitement. How so very wonderful for you and your family! 🙂
I am so excited I accidentally erased my first comment I tried to send. I cannot believe it took me all day to read this. And I’m weeping. For joy. For relief for you. For what this means. For sheer gigglehood and with absolutely no surprise that you have brought this kind of attention upon yourself. Your mind did this. Your hands. You are a writer, Ms. Carrie Anne Snyder and I’m OVER THE MOON that a larger part of our world will now get to truly recognize that. I feel so blessed to know you and call you friend. Kudos to you! (ps I cannot wait to read it, Girl Runner!!)
Can’t wait to give you a hug, Nancy!
pps tell AppleApple it’s hard to take a photo in sunlight/shade and make it look good! She did a lovely job.
She kept saying, oh dear, it’s too sunny, it’s too shady, I can’t see. I like what she captured.
Amazing accomplishments! So proud of you.
Thank you so much, Helmi!
Congrats Carrie! You deserve it indeed. It will definitely be on my list of books to buy in 2014!
Wonderful, so glad to hear!
After your beautiful last post about the struggle to make a living as a writer, I was going to send you this message: “I have three words for you: Vincent Van Gogh.” Because he never did make a living, and if it weren’t for the wonderful Theo, his brother, who supported him throughout his artistic life, we wouldn’t have those brilliant works. Artists of all kinds have needed support of all kinds; the marketplace can be a stupid judge of talent and worth. But now I don’t need to send you that message. Instead – heartiest congratulations. You are amazing.
The relief is enormous. And I do hope it’s a book that carries weight, as well as being a good story.
CONGRATULATIONS !!! Absolutely wonderful. 🙂
Thank you, Riel!
Dear Carrie, you took the chance and leapt in with both feet. You had a really big choice to make this year and look where you ended up. On the right path!! Congratulations! Enjoy the journey! I am excited to read the book.
Thank you, Libby.
Don’t know if you remember me — I used to read The Return of the King to you kids in Nicaragua in 1985. You accompanied me up the Motastepe hill for an Easter acto and portrayed the Easter angel. I get your blogs from time to time posted by Sharon Hostetler. I just wanted to say a thousand congratulations. Last year (maybe 15 months or so ago) I published my first novel on Kindle for Amazon — not nearly as exciting as having it purchased by a “real” publisher (nor as lucrative). But after I clicked “publish” I cried for half an hour. I had wanted to be a published author for some 50 years. I really feel for you/with you and wish you every success as you head down this long-awaited path.
Thank you, Kathy! And, yes, I remember you well. I understand your joy at seeing your book come to life.
Wow, wow, wow. Congratulations. I am so thrilled for you and your family…and for me when the book is released!
Thank you! We’ll be planning a fun launch party!
I love every last bit of this post. So much love and excitement I feel for you!
Thank you, Katie! A big hug from across the border!
Carrie, again, I’m finally catching up. My biggest congratulations to you!!!! I am so thrilled for you and your family. I so appreciate your candour, attitude and perseverance.. not to mention the amazing way you twist words together! You earned it!!
Thank you, Sue!! I am savouring the moment.
Sending huge congratulations to you, Carrie! Isn’t it wonderful to feel things going so beautifully right? I loved hearing about how this helps your family, and the impact on your husband. I hope he feels a wonderful blend of relief and gratitude in his own way – just as you are so important to his successes, so he to yours, yes? Congratulations again on the wonderful writing and the sky-high recognition.
Thank you, Carol, and thank you for recognizing my husband’s role in all of this. Without a supportive partner, it would have been next to impossible to apprentice for all these years. We’re enjoying the moment together, truly.
“I’m going to sit here and write books. That’s all I want to do. I’m not even very good at much else.”
Not true there sister! Well done.
Hey, Geoffrey! Thanks for checking in! I still think it’s true, if only because I have such patience and tolerance for writing and editing; and although I may be “good” at other things, the patience just isn’t there in the same way.
Oh Carrie. This is GREAT. I just love it. We had a big happy change (finally a job for my husband) and the way you described your feelings reminds me of some of what I felt, too. Even that I couldn’t talk about it for a while.
I’m so thrilled for you!
Congratulations to your family too, Margo!