Many of you already know that I have been working on a story for over a year now. I believe I started it in January or February of 2013. I even won a full edit from Kate Richards’ team Wizards in Publishing.
They did a fantastic job of editing it, and told me what I needed to do to get it ready for submission.
I took one look at it, and let it go until a few months ago. I just wasn’t ready.
I first thought that it was that I wasn’t ready to put in all the hard work. (There were a lot of edits to make, hehe. Ooh, look at all the pretty colors. )
But I received a nice little kick in the booty from my publisher, (whom I explained the story to and even shared a few scenes with a year ago), when he asked me recently, “Whatever happened to that story you were working on?”
So I started feverishly editing, and changing scenes, adding more description, adding more depth, and a few more spankings 🙂
I had it beta’d by a few good friends, and made even further progress. I have been soooooo close to submitting for the past few weeks. But just haven’t given myself the go ahead to finish it. And I had all sorts of legitimate excuses.
But if I really wanted to submit it, I would have hunkered down and done it.
So why have I held on to this piece for so long?
The answer hit me about an hour ago, during my run. (I get lots of good ideas and light bulb moments during runs and showers. And lately, church 🙂 )
Anyway, a few days ago, my favorite beta reader, brought up the question of moving a few scenes around, and maybe even taking out a scene that didn’t seem to move the story along as much.
I laughed at the time, and told her,
“OK, I’ll consider it. But if it had been a year ago, I would have said no way in heck.” (Actually, insert a bold font 100 point F-bomb to be more accurate).
And that is the truth.
A year ago, this story was about a woman with a painful, scarred emotional past, who had trouble seeing her own worth; who couldn’t find the strength to stand up for herself; who wouldn’t ask for the things she desired (like spankings and domination).
A woman, who bore a very close resemblance to me.
This story was about me, because I needed the closure from my past; from the pain of emotional abuse from some very important women in my life.
This story was about me trying to run from my past; trying to gain some strength; seeking the love and affirmation of others.
I even incorporated some darker scenes, memories from “the MC’s” past; watching her little brother hurt by their mother; but not having the strength to do anything about it; and the guilt and shame of years of these memories.
A year ago, I would have told you, that I was writing this story to gain closure on my past; that it was an attempt to find strength and forgiveness in my heart; that it was about me, and my life done in fiction.
And that’s okay.
Because I needed that time to sort it all out; to figure out who I was and where I was going; to learn my own self-worth; and find friends who would accept me, flaws and all.
Over this past year and a half, I have been blessed with an awesome community of like-minded individuals who support me and accept me, crazy emotions and unfiltered comments, and all.
But more than that, I have also been blessed with a small group of women who have aligned with me; and have accepted my friendship.
I’ll be honest, I’m still afraid of female intimacy. I have been hurt so many times by words and actions of other women.
But I have finally realized a few things about myself. Good Lord, I can’t believe it took me almost 42 years to understand this.
There are always going to be people in my life who will say or do things that will hurt me.
But only I can control what those words do to me.
I can choose to not let those words or actions form who I am.
I can confront another person. I can even say things like,
“This hurts my feelings. I do not appreciate this treatment.”
I can even back away and align myself with more positive energy.
I have choices!
And most of all, I can choose to forgive the actions from my past. I don’t have to carry this around with me. I can choose to let these things go.
And I think (I KNOW) that is why I wasn’t ever ready to let this story go.
I wasn’t ready to take responsibility for my feelings, my guilt, or my past.
That realization freed me!
Yes, I needed this story for the journey to closure that I so badly needed to find for myself.
Yes, I need to forgive the women from my past (and give them the benefit of the doubt that they might have had their own things going on).
Yes, I need to forgive myself.
This will all take a while. And probably be done more than once.
But I am finally ready to take responsibility for myself.
Which means the basis of the story has changed.
I can feel it in my heart.
The “me” part served its purpose. But I’m good with it now, and ready for the next step.
The book is officially not about me anymore. Though she may bear resemblance to me physically and emotionally, she is a fictitious character.
Her name is Claire Jacobs.
She is a marathoner who flees from all forms of conflict because of her painful past. But through the love of her Coach, and even more importantly, the friendships and love she gains from other women, she will learn to empower and love herself.
This is Claire’s story now.
I am officially relinquishing it to her and the fictitious life I created.
And I am finishing these edits, and submitting this story to the publisher tomorrow.
Wish me luck!
I don’t know how the “acknowledgments” section works in a book. But just in case I can’t do a bit acknowledgment in print, I am doing it here.
To the women who came into my life this past year. You know who you are. I thank you for your support and friendship. Thank you for pushing me to strive for what I wanted. Thank you for teaching me about positive energy and love. Thank you for accepting me for me- quirky personality flaws and all. Thanks for being my shoulder when I have needed to sob. Thanks for laughing with me when I have acted silly. And thanks for guiding me with your wisdom without treating me like an inferior.
I am so blessed to have women in my life, and this intimacy that I never fathomed.
Blessings and hugs! ❤