Writing Wednesday and the Tale of Book Baby

I feel a little as if I’ve had two babies during the last couple of months, and Dominic wasn’t the first. The first was the book baby.

After a three-year gestation period, “book baby” was delivered to my agent in May, just before I left for Australia. Book baby was the product of three years of work, three rewrites (Mike jokes that I actually wrote three different books), and countless hours of thought and editing. I had high hopes that my agent would be able to find the perfect adoptive publishing home for book baby. A home that would love and care for it, polish it up, and send it out into the world with all due editorial (and marketing) care.

Alas.

It now appears that this will not be the path that book baby takes. At least, not now.

The day that I came home from the hospital after giving birth to Dominic I had several dozen emails in my account. Perhaps it should not have been, but the very first one that I opened was from my agent.

It was not the sort of email you want to get when you’re still shaky from blood loss and shell-shocked from the miraculous violence of your sudden induction into parenthood. Though, come to think of it, I can’t imagine when you would want to get an email from your agent telling you that one of the publishers who had expressed serious interest in your book had decided not to make an offer.

I read this email, took a deep breath, and looked at my other baby, who was lying asleep on a blanket on the floor by my side.

“No matter what happens with this I must remember that the most important baby is right here and healthy,” I said to myself. “I must remember that the most important baby is right here and healthy,”

Then I went upstairs and lay down for an hour and worked on believing it and feeling it.

You see, I’d said all along that even if book baby never got published it was good and therapeutic for me to write this tale of long distance love and my explorations of my issues with commitment and the concept of home. Now that mantra was being tested, and I was suddenly finding that it was easier to say that when I thought deep down that it probably would get published.

Now that my most important baby is twelve weeks old (and, thankfully, still healthy) I’m starting on a new journey with book baby and I’m going to take you along. Every Wednesday for the foreseeable future I’ll write about writing. I’ll update you on the story of book baby, talk tales, showcase quotes, and share some links to the website of some of my fabulous author friends.

But for now, I’ll leave you with this quote from Barbara Kingsolver.

Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.

Do you have a favorite quote about writing? Do you write? Would you like to see your website featured on a writing Wednesday post? Let me know.

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11 responses to “Writing Wednesday and the Tale of Book Baby

  1. I love to read your writing Lisa. I’ve just started blogging a bit as you know and I’m really enjoying it, it’s a great creative outlet, a good way to leave a legacy too. I like the quote you shared, just keep the words flowing. Love you. (Glad you realize the most important baby is healthy 🙂

    • I’m enjoying your blog, too. Glad to see you putting some time into shaping these thoughts. Loving reading your entries. Hope all your lovely babies are healthy too. Hugs from Laos.

  2. Hi Lisa,
    Looking forward to reading more of these posts. Your Barbara Kingsolver quote is timely for me, indeed. I have no doors on my physical writing spaces (the library being the most common place to which I escape to find some “privacy”); sometimes I wish I did have a physical door to close. Regardless, I can work on shutting that inner door.

    I have several favorite quotes, but the one I always come back to again and again (because I need to) is from GK Chesterton: “Art is limitation. The essence of the picture is the frame.” I find this very provocative. Not necessarily the final word on art, but a very helpful one for me with my “do it all, fit more in” tendencies. Thanks for all your provocative thoughts. Love reading your blog!

    • Thanks Sundee. I need to think on your Chesterton quote some more. Maybe today while I’m wheeling the pram around the Soupanavohn monument down the street which is becoming my favourite place to go for “I need to get out of the house” walks. Love the cover of your new book by the way, and hoping your finding some time to shut that inner door.

  3. hi Lisa,

    I would very much be interested to hear more about your book baby, as you might know I am in similar circumstances… 🙂 As such, its been a treat to read what your thoughts are! So while it may not be published ( just yet, we don’t know about the future), I am glad for online means to read more about your thoughts.

    Take care and enjoy Laos. It’s probably one of my favorite places in the world… (but I am biased I know)…

    Loving and cold thoughts from Europe!

    • It is an extraordinary place to be living this journey, that’s for sure. Last night we walked down past the Lao Red Cross and along the Khan and watched the lights in the river and talked again about the beauty of Laos. Hope you’re finding some beautiful sights and experiences in Europe too.

  4. Hi, Lisa. I would love to hear more about your book baby. My Hands Came Away Red is still my favorite book about missionaries. I’ve looked forward to you releasing another book. I’m reallly sorry about your news. I hope it finds another path. In the meantime, keep your eyes focused on that other beautiful baby. 🙂

    • Thanks Heather. I have another path in mind and am looking forward to blogging about that journey as it unfolds!! And, yes, the other baby grows more beautiful every day (though at 5am it’s sometimes hard to see that beauty through sleep-fuzzed eyes).

  5. Pingback: From love to joy | Wandering. Wondering. Writing.

  6. Finally put you in my reader. Looking forward to reading more about book baby. I know it’s been tough. I’m glad you’re finding somewhere to write. And that quote from Kingsolver, now that is gold.

    • Isn’t it a great quote. Yeah, I’m feeling better about the book now I’ve made certain decisions which I’ll blog about in coming weeks. Hope you guys are all well!

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