So it was a done deal. I was ready to go.
But the contract? It was not ready.
So I waited.
And it? Was agonizing.
Looking back, I am utterly amazed that it was only fifteen days. It seemed more like fifteen years. I thought about it constantly. I said to my husband, about four hundred million times, "I HAVE A CONTRACT!" But I didn't physically have it. I know now that it's fairly common. Contracts are not written in a day or a week. It takes time to get everything right.
I didn't know it then.
And I began to have a lot of doubt.
Like maybe all of this isn't really real. Maybe I'm just another well-meaning person who has been suckered into thinking that someone really values them and their writing and then when I do get the contract it's going to say I have to pay $4 billion dollars to have them publish it. And give them my first-born son and maybe even my puppy.
Jason told me, again, that I needed a rest period and not to worry about it until I had it in my hands. Because that's really easy for him to say because it wasn't him.
So I waited.
My nails disappeared.
I didn't sleep.
And I waited.
On November 6th at 6:46pm an email popped into my inbox.
It was the contract.
Jason was working late and the children and I were alone in the house. My hands were trembling as I opened the attachment. I scanned it quickly, looking for red flags.
There were no red flags.
I knew I had four people I trusted, among them a contracts lawyer and a published author, who were going to look over the contract and make extra double plus sure that there were no red flags. But at first glance? No red flags.
Everything looked good.
Everything made sense.
This was real.
In a shaky voice I called out, "Boy Child? Girl Child? Come here please!"
They came together, as they always do, to my computer desk. I turned to them in my chair, grabbed both of them by their shoulders, and fell into their little chests. Sobbing. I couldn't speak.
"What's wrong! Oh my God mom! What happened? Are you okay?"
And, sobbing, I said,
"I sold my book!"
I sold my book.