Friday, February 8, 2013
Writing a book has been compared to birthing a child. There are those long months where it is developing and growing and finally it is ready to come into the world for all to see and enjoy. Having adopted our first child, I can also see parallels with a book and adopting. I submitted Too Many Ghosts: A Dominique and Duchess Mystery nearly a year ago. Parallel: We submitted adoption papers to an agency that said they might have opportunities for us. Then began that long, agonizing wait. Just like submitting a book. Does Covenant want to publish it? Is it any good? Will they reject it? A long, agonizing wait to hear from the publisher. We had several months wait after we submitted our adoption papers. We were in the Air Force in Plattsburgh, New York and after eight childless years of marriage and five unproductive fertility clinics, we decided we shouldn't wait any longer. We worried that we might be rejected because of the military life-style: moving frequently. I worried that my manuscript might be rejected for many reasons. I had never written a ghost story before. Would that even be something Covenant would be interested in? I hadn't had a book published since 2009 - a long time in the publishing industry. Did I still have a following? Were there too many other authors more in demand than I would be? Had I lost my touch since I hadn't written for awhile? The questions never stopped plaguing me in all the months it took for Covenant to notify me of their decision. In New York, we kept questioning whether or not we would be deemed the proper fit for any children they might have or that we might not have enough money (you did have to have a certain income and everyone knows the military is not the highest paying career in the world!) Then the unthinkable happened! We received orders to move and we hadn't yet been approved for adopting a child. Frantically we called our case worker and explained our circumstances. Was there any possibility that she could hurry things along? She said she was getting ready to call us. She actually had just received our approval. We would be able to adopt a child if one could be found - and then she dangled a tiny enticing promise that sent our hearts thumping. There just might be something she could do. In the same way, I received notification after several agonizing months that Covenant might be interested in publishing Too Many Ghosts if I'd remove 100 pages from the manuscript. Another enticing promised dangling before me. I immediately began slashing words, paragraphs, scenes, chapters. I did it and resubmitted it. Then began the long wait - several more months passed. No word. On pins and needles. Then simply loss of interest. A good time to stop writing. Spend my time doing things I really loved doing that weren't so angst-ridden! Back in New York, we increased our prayers and asked everyone else to do the same. We only had a month - four short weeks before we would leave the state. Would it be possible in that time to find a child for us? A couple of days later, our case worker called us and told us she had a 14 month old little girl who had never been released for adoption as she had been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and had been placed with a family who had taken her to all her doctor's appointments. She was now deemed "adoptable" as she had been taken off the phenobarbital she'd been receiving. We could see her if we were interested. Interested!! YES!!! We were to bring a small toy for her to play with that she could keep. We bought a little red velvet dog and went to meet a little blue-eyed doll with a scant amount of white blonde hair. She didn't walk. They said she had been carried all the time by the kids in the family so had no need to learn. Of course, we said yes! We'll take her. They warned us there might be health problems but we figured with our military medicine, we were the perfect parents to take care of any problems she might have. We went back the next day to get her. They brought a small box of toys and she came wearing the only dress she had. With the book, weeks turned into months and there was no word from Covenant. I finally convinced myself they simply didn't want it and didn't quite know how to tell me. I must not have taken out the right words and scenes. I hadn't revised it as they hoped. Then quite out of the blue I received an e-mail from an editor with word that Covenant had accepted it and we would begin the process of editing for publication. Rejoicing!! In New York, we were told one of the reason we were approved for adoption was that we were military and we would be taking the child out of the area so the parents and the foster family wouldn't have to have the pain of seeing the child with another family. 12 days after we received Lorraine Paige (we changed her name) we left New York. The finalization of the adoption would occur in Kokomo, Indiana sometime in the next year, whenever the state got around to it. So she still wasn't really ours yet. They could come and take her away any time they felt like we weren't good enough parents. Just like the editing process. If it doesn't come out right - if I don't do it right, the proffered contract will be taken away. On a side note: The day we went to court for the adoption to be finalized, I was very pregnant with our firstborn son. It will be interesting to see if there are any additional benefits that come along with this manuscript being published!