A Wild Imagination

"I'll probably vomit, you know.”

I say this to my husband, avoiding eye contact.

I had just shared my student’s comments about publishing my writing with my husband, who just nods and smiles knowingly, as he's been trying to get me to send things out for publication for months. His smirk of a smile irritates me, and I roll my eyes.

"You don't know how hard it is!" I say. "There's research! And you have to write query letters and find the right people to send it to! It doesn't just happen overnight!"

And still he smiles.

Stupid smiling husband who thinks he knows everything.

And it's not as if I've never looked into it. I follow author blogs! I read agent and publisher websites! I know things, for goodness sakes!

I've been to the website for the SCBWI so many times I have their logo burned into my retinas. I haven't joined, because, you know, then I'd feel like I should go to the critique groups and then I'd have to actually share my writing with people.

Yes! With people! Is there anything more horrifying than that?

He doesn't even look at me.

"At least it'd give you something new to write about."

"I mean it! And I'd cry! I'd go to share my stuff, start crying, throw up, and die of embarrassment. Right there, on the floor of the super awesome writer's meeting."

He sort of half glances at me.

"It could happen," I say. I force my smile to rein itself in. Even I know I'm being ridiculous, but if he sees me smile, he wins this round.

He sets his book in his lap, stroking his chin thoughtfully. "It could happen, I guess. They might kick you out for that. I probably would. But then you could write a new book about all the mean people, and it would be so good they would buy it and you could laugh at them!"

He wins. I can't help it; I'm laughing even though I don't want to.

But this publishing thing is just a fiasco. Have you ever seen those TV shows where some crazy dude is trying to solve a murder on his own, so he has approximately 800 yards of yarn strung back and forth all over a room connecting one newspaper clipping to another, with maps and headlines and big bold circles around the important bits?

Yeah. That's how I feel when I peek out from behind the curtain and view the big bad world of publishing.


  1. Oh this sounds too much like conversations I have had with my husband. I don't let the "overwhelmed" feeling overtake me often, but it does when I start to think about the publishing world. Will anyone care to read my thoughts? Who would buy my book? Would it end up in the discount bins you see at grocery stores and bookstores? I often say, but I don't know where to even start the process. Yet, I have never let these types of questions stand in my way before. Thanks for posting and encouraging us! And I can't wait to read more of your publishing process because it just might prompt me a bit more too!

  2. Yep--that would be the conversation I would have in my head. I don't know that I would even be brave enough to share with my husband. And there is no deadline for trying. Just keep looking into it. You are sharing your writing now, so that is the first step. And, it's not so scary now. So, take a deep breath. Write those query letters!

  3. By the way--GREAT first line. I had to finish reading because I needed to know what was going to make you vomit!

  4. I giggled at "Stupid smiling husband who thinks he knows everything." I could just picture your/a husband during this conversation and the relate to the feelings of annoyance and play occurring between the two of you.