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October 11, 2005: This Is It

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This is it. The last entry in my Writer’s Journal. When I started charting my progress a little over a year ago, I didn’t dream things would be so much the same—and also so different.

My book came out October 4th. I had grand plans to go out with my best friend, who was visiting from Portland, Oregon, and taking pictures of me and the book in all the Manhattan bookstores we could find. My son, unfortunately, took it upon himself to get sick that day, so I stayed home. At least my job—stay-at-home mom/romance writer—allowed me to be there while he lay on the couch and coughed.

I still like the book, still like the story, even occasionally chuckle at one of my heroine’s dry asides. I received four stars from Romantic Times [nota bene: Because of its past reviewer policy, AAR cannot review my book.]; the RT reviewer liked my “powerful, sexy hero” and mentioned my “spunky heroine [who] is proud of being quite the bluestocking.” The reviewer finishes by commenting, “This book is topped off with a dry wit that consistently finds its target.”

To which I say, "yeah, baby."

The day the book came out, I was #1—briefly—on Amazon’s top-selling Regency romances (which is probably as deep a list as Dickens’ Three-Dimensional Characters, Hemingway’s Thoughtful Portrayals of Women and Faulkner’s Short Sentences.). I saved a copy of the web page just for self-serving pats on the back.

This past weekend, I attended the New Jersey Romance Writers’ Conference. It was a weekend of firsts: meeting my now very good friend Myretta Robens in person for the first time, signing copies of my book for the first time, meeting people who’d read the words on my blog and in this journal for the first time. All in all, an excellent time was had by me. I’ve included a picture of my signing, too. Not so enlightening, but at least I don’t think I look too stunned.

Because I am nothing if not goal-oriented, I made sure to meet a couple of deadlines along the way, too: I mailed a copy of the full manuscript of my mommy-lit to my agent. I wrote the synopsis, which I could only do after writing the full book. Damn me for writing by the seat of my pants! My agent will probably have loads of feedback for me to incorporate before she sends it on to my editor for a look. I have never minded murdering my darlings, as Stephen King calls it, and I expect my book will be even better after I cut and slash. I will, of course, let Laurie know if it sells, and you can always visit my blog for the painful minutiae.

And after all this, after the writing, and the selling, and the editing, and the angsting, I am committed to being a writer. If I succeed at it, I can work at a job that allows me to be there for my son during off-school hours—coughing or not—not to mention whittling away my enormous TBR pile in the sake of keeping up with current romance-writing trends. If I succeed at it, I will be doing something that keeps my brain sharp, engages my wit and humor as well as my English literature degree, something no Liberal Arts major can usually hope to accomplish. If I don’t continue to succeed at it—and don’t get me wrong, getting even one book published is very definitely succeeding at it—I will still have learned a lot, kept my brain sharp, met some amazingly cool people, and gotten to share my thoughts with you.

Thanks for reading.

-- Megan

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