Labor and Delivery of a Novel

Snow Day

I almost did not post a blog today.  I’m tired of listening to myself, and I would be tired of listening to me if I were you.  Everyone in my house thinks I’m a little wound up.  Don’t read this unless you have nothing better to do.  (I think I’m experiencing false labor for authors).  

My book will be available in stores on March 29 and I am hyper-focusing on that date as I have not obsessed on a date since the labor and delivery of my sons.  March 29 will come and go without much notice for the rest of the world, as it spins through spring break and on to Easter.  Only for me, does everything come to a screeching halt on March 29.  Life as I know it will cease. 

On March 29.

When I was hyper-focusing on the due date of my children, I imagined life as a mother.  I expected fulfillment of dreams and transcendence into a new level of existence.  I sewed crib bumpers, laundered onesies in Dreft, and debated cloth versus disposable.  As it turns out, actual motherhood is less about crib bumpers and more about being The Person who makes sure a fragile infant lives and thrives.  Once they were born it was like wearing a shock collar as a constant reminder of their utter dependence, although I never needed a jolt of electricity to remind me.  Once they were born, it was as if some of my vital organs left to live outside of my body.  You don’t forget where you left your heart and lungs.      

I suspect that life after publication will be less about published bliss and more about dealing with the new reality that part of my imagination has begun living outside of my head.  The characters and setting created in my mind will take published form and, although Harper Collins will do their part, the book’s survival will be up to me.  A book lives as long as it is being read and my job is to make sure that readers know it exists.  I’ll be busy doing all I can do to ensure the survival of my baby fiction.  And I won’t need a shock collar to remember where I left my imagination.

Any life changing dates in your future?



Filed under Cindy Jones, launching things, My Jane Austen Summer, The business of writing...

7 responses to “Labor and Delivery of a Novel

  1. I so relate. My first novel, Love in Mid Air, was published on March 29, 2010. And you’re right, it’s a watershed BC/AD kind of moment.

  2. Christy F.

    Feb. 14th, Yes, Valentine’s Day.
    I am currently in a writing contest. The ten finalists will be determined by online voting, which begins precisely on Valentine’s Day.
    Feb. 28th-online voting ends.
    March 1st-Ten finalists announced

  3. Courtney Broaddus

    Dear Cindy, I thought it was time you knew that your cousin-in-law in SF is following your blog (my mother in Cary, NC sends me updates) and waiting breathlessly for the big book birthday. Well, maybe not a big book, but a big birthday. No big dates here except maybe Clay’s starting at Haverford in the fall! (My heart and lungs going off to college…)
    Breathlessly, Courtney

  4. Hi Courtney, I’m so glad to hear from you! Thank you for following my blog–I’m thrilled to have you as a reader and hope you can stand the angst leading up to the launch date. We have been talking about returning to SF for years–maybe we’ll do it one of these decades. Our oldest is at TAMU so we are missing a vital organ, too. All best, Cindy

  5. Celia

    Life-changing dates in my future? I only get them in hindsight. You organized gals with four children and book launch dates on your calendar remain a marvel to me who still struggles to get a Christmas letter out in a timely fashion. …As for crying over children leaving home for college, and feeling like your lungs are ripped out, I don’t mean to be Debbie Downer, but seriously, you moms need to deeply consider the alternative. Do you honestly want those overgrown kids living at home?? Yikes. I say, take those dang lungs and any other organs you need, Sweetie Pie!
    –signed, Heartless Mama in West Texas

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