Right now, "Seventy-six trombones" is raging over and over in my brain. I just looked outside at the fog wetting the cove at Killian Knob and that's how I alternatively feel - bouncing off the walls with seventy-six trombones blaring, and in a fog of otherworldly-ness (and I use "ness" so ironically, of course *grin* After the classes of Mad Madden, my wonderful David Madden, I still hear him tell us: "Do not attach 'ness' to the end of the word - it only means you can't think of something better." He meant it is cheatingness).
I tossed and turned last night, and how my strange brain works is, if it gets too full of "Stuff" - it picks some obscure song or music out of some memory bank or the airwaves and blares it over and over and over (seventy six trombones...) and over (on parade today) and over (seventy six trombones) and over (and that's all the words I know so those words will circle round and round...).
And what had me tossing and turning? Okay, don't laugh. I shouldn't even be worried about this right now. Maybe shouldn't be worried at all. As one person put it, "Come on -it's not like it's the Academy Awards or something..." But, still - it's important. What had me tossing and turning is the Acknowledgements page to the novel. I'm terrified I'll not include someone and hurt their feelings, but I also know I can never include every single person who's ever encouraged me or made a difference or helped in some way.
For example, my blog friends - how could I name them all? Or the postman when I first began writing it and I blurted out "I'm writing a novel!" and he said, "Don't forget to mention me in the acknowledgements," and I said, "Oh, wouldn't that be something..." and I kept the receipt with his name for a while- in fact, I bet it's still around somewhere. And the postpersons at the Maggie Valley post office who watched my tired stressed face as I sent manuscripts or query letters and they always encouraged me. My friends. My family. The waitress. The butcher. The baker. The candlestick maker.
I'll want to thank those who went the extra mile. I'll want to apologize to my family for using some of our stuff as fodder for my fiction. I'll want to thank and hug my husband for being so patient with my awayfromhimbecausei'mwritingness. I'll want to write to my biomom, "This isn't about you - it's fiction - really. You know you are not Momma! (because she isn't)."
But, in all that swirly madness of people who have touched me in one way or another, there is one person. You know who you are! You know I'm going to say your name and put a link here to your blog, and say what a fine writer you are and one day maybe I'll be in your acknowledgements (ha! no pressure huh...seventy six trombones!).
Angie Ledbetter (Gumbo Writer) picked my butt up off the floor and looked me square in the eyes and said, "Write this dang novel, girl. You're crazy if you do not. This is IT. Virginia Kate is Your Baby. Your Girl. Your Novel. Do it!" Before she said that, I thought I couldn't write more than a few thousand words. I thought I didn't want to write novels. Huhn. Who Knew.
And I did. Because she believed in me yes, but also because she SAW something... she knew something I did not.
Now, all this may sound silly and as the woman told me "It's not the Academy Awards for god's sake...!" - no, but still...still...when people touch you, when people take the time to encourage you in a business that can be so, well...rejecting, when someone takes time from their busy schedule to read fledgling manuscripts, when someone goes that extra mile or two, then they deserve my thanks.
Gosh, all my friends, some readers, some encouragers; I mean, Patresa (who always makes me feel as if I am better than I am), and Cynthia (your wise eyes), and Susan, and Charles and Mark and Francis, and Barb, and Kim (who read AND did my website and is doing it again!), and Diane, and Daniel, and WDCers, and Margaret, and Ruvena (I miss you and hope you are well and you may not even know it's going to be published), and, and Adnan (you gifted man!), Lorelle, Nanette, and Bellebooks (of course), Marilyn, and Mary Ann, and Deb, and Alaine (get out that Birds, girl!), and John & Tere, and my "blurb writers"...so many. And even now I think - Oh! I've left someone out and they'll get their feelings hurt (seventy-six trombones...), but this post is getting way too long.
Of course, my publishers may look at the acknowledgements and say "Good Gawd, Woman--this is longer than the first chapter..." and I'll have to say to some, "You know who you are...." There's no way to say thank you to everyone who has ever said, "We believe in you..." how golden are those words?
And maybe they don't really care. Maybe I'm making too huge a deal out of this. I always look at writer's acknowledgement pages....I noticed that as the number of books are published, the acknowledgements grow smaller until there is usually just one small thing, such as, "To John Doe, Always..."
I think the acknowledgments are going to be harder to write than the novel itself! *laughing*
Okay. I've regurgitated my fear. Silly or not. Presumptuous or not. Eye-rolling worthy or not - that is what is on my mind right now - besides the dang trombones.