Well. That wasn’t the doctor’s official diagnosis.
His diagnosis was that my heart beats funny. Palpitations. And that I didn’t have a heart attack. Isn’t that reassuring?
“Anything stressful going on?” one of the nurses asked.
“Not really.” Well, except that my socks TOTALLY didn’t match.
What could be stressing me out? I mean, I got to wear a fashionable, papery gown and have the dickens squeezed out of my arm every 5 seconds by the blood pressure cuff.
Oh. Yeah. I have a novel releasing next month.
But this is all part of the DREAM! I should be leaping in the air, doing toe touches. I should be in bliss and rapture.
I mean. The hard work is over.
Well. Not exactly.
Because I have to…
-Find the best websites that run ads…and see if I can afford the $5 septillion to pay for the placement.
-Face one last round of edits/look overs.
-Write a few dozen blog posts
-Hope that I get the books in time for my first book signing
-Hope that people (other than my mom) buy about a million copies
-Fret over the first nasty review…because I feel like this one is going to evoke some pretty strong emotions
Oh gosh. There goes my heart again. It feels like a 3 year old was given a drum set.
Hm. Maybe it is a little bit linked to stress.
To quote my friend Jocelyn Green (who is an awesome writer, by the way)…
“Book stress is no joke…”
And, to be completely honest, My Mother’s Chamomile has taken so much out of me. Emotionally. Physically. Spiritually.
In the novel, one of my characters (named Olga) feels a kinship to the Israelites. When they’re wandering around the desert. With no food. No water. Nothing but hot sun and dry sand. She’s in that kind of place, too. She needs an oasis.
Writing this novel took me to a similar place. I felt absolutely knocked out by this story. It required a lot of my tears. A lot of my prayers.
I put so much of me into this novel.
I’m afraid that people will see so much of me in it. And I’ll feel exposed.
That the emotional reaction readers have will make them angry.
That it will disappoint. Mainly because of how much I invested in the writing. The work. Pouring nothing short of my love into it.
Because, really, what I want the readers to feel is loved. That they are worthy of compassion. Mercy. Relief.
No matter who they are. Or what they’ve been through or done.
We all need mercy.
I want them to feel that pour over them.
Maybe I should let myself experience that, too.