The past year was one of the most exciting in my life, as I finished writing my first book and preparing it for publication. The day that I received a check for what I'd done was one of the best highs I'd ever felt, while working with a copyeditor was the equivalent of several years worth of formal training. And then--thud.
I was never a woman who suffered, or could even understand, post-partum depression. How anyone could feel dismal about having an uncomfortable lump in their body transformed into a miniscule human being was incomprehensible to me, until now.
Now that Tone Deaf in Bangkok is completed, and belongs to my publisher rather than to me, I feel desperately bereft and in a state of mild panic. (That this state of mind has descended upon me during the season of deepest darkness and formalized festivities is the maraschino cherry that tops the hot fudge sundae.)
When I finally hold the printed book in my hands, my feelings may change, but who knows? At that point it will have become the creation of a designer, a photographer and a copyeditor--no longer those pieces of paper that were mine all mine. It's like giving birth and having your child grow up and away from you in a matter of months.
And then of course there's the challenge that comes with finishing a first book--can I do it again? Now I understand those women who had stair-step children--they did it because they could--and now it's time to see if I can. Nothing will make me happier than the process of falling in love with an idea, thinking it over, and turning out many, many sheets of white paper covered in print. The rest, as Raymond Carver said, is gravy.