It’s one thing to sit down and write a novel. It’s another entirely separate ordeal to take that final document with you on a journey through the publication crucible. Yet this journey to my own personal Mount Doom is the rite of passage that I must endure to earn the honorable title, Author.
When I first drove out to California – a two and a half day trip – I had to pass through several steps of this, so-called hazing process, or rite of passage. My car broke down 1500 miles from California. Not just broke down, it was dead. Non-moveable. It was a would-be massive paper weight. I had a choice to make. Do cut that dream loose, buy a ticket bound for Minnesota and just go home? Do I get a bus ticket back to Nashville with my friend who was travelling with me? Or, or… Do I buy a used car on a cash advance from my credit card and KEEP MOVING FORWARD?
I chose the latter. Despite the heart attack I nearly had at the bank, and when I had to leave my poor, dead car behind in a small town off I-40W in Oklahoma. I… I loved that car.
Right. Anyway. The second rite of passage on that trip with the Mojave desert, at high noon, WITHOUT AIR CONDITIONING. I am NOT a desert creature (Dune reference anyone?). For those who haven’t done this drive before, you cross the California border and drive for THREE HOURS through the blazing, soul-melting sun before you are granted the right to see the CALIFORNIA WELCOMES YOU sign. And by this time you have reverted into deep survival skills, breathing slowly in and out through your nose to conserve moisture…
I have talked to many, many people who have similar “rites of passage” stories on their journey to California. Well I have been there. And back again. Twice. So I think I’ve earned my time to finally be granted my meager sum of success. And that is to get my book published and see my dreams realized. (I had to think there for a moment, realize or realise…? That’s what writing a novel in British English does to you…).
However. This publication process has a rite of passage, hazing process of its own. To format the book digitally… Well, if I tried to explain all that I would probably just have a mental breakdown. Instead, let me put it this way; Ahhhh!
So I’ve focused on getting the print version available first rather than getting lost in my own private Mordor. If I can manage to work through all the minor hitches here and there I should be able to make that available as soon as tomorrow. Here’s hoping!
To conclude this I’ll say that, despite my web-weary travels, I do enjoy the satisfaction and sense of accomplishment that reaching this point provides. And, for me, this is only the beginning.