Monday, August 16, 2010

Grandmother Spider

My friend--and author extraordinaire--Eileen Charbonneau does these great readings using stones and crystals. Some of the stones are marked with glyphs, and she interprets them depending on where they fall on the table. Eileen has done several readings for me over the years, but I learned right away to look for the Grandmother Spider stone, because it represents the storyteller.

I've been writing for years and years. First short stories, then books. But I have yet to publish. So every time Eileen does a reading for me, and that Grandmother Spider stone shows up in an auspicious spot, it feels like validation. See? I am a storyteller.

Hey! The road to publication is long and the rejections and setbacks are many. I need all the validation I can get!

Since my last blog for the R8, there have been two big changes in my life. And when I say big, I mean ENORMAL.

1) In June I signed with an agent. She loves my work--talk about validation--but more on that later.

And 2) on Aug 4th I became a grandmother.  I am, right now, even as I type, happily ensconced in Oregon, visiting my new grandbaby.

It's been a long time since the days when my babies were small. I'm amazed by how much I forgot. For instance, I remember quite clearly how precious new babies are, how time consuming, and how fiercely protective they make you feel. No wonder so many people refer to the books they write as their "babies."

But I completely forgot how easy it is to lose yourself in them. The whole world right now revolves around this baby girl. Feeding, bathing, changing, cuddling, worrying. It's all about her. And it's so easy. In fact, it's impossible to think about anything but her.

That's where the similarity between babies and books usually ends. People often refer to the books they write as their babies, but they very rarely treat them that way.

So yeah. Back to that agent. Did I mention I got an agent? I did! So now I have two people devoted to selling my work. And one of them actually knows what she's doing.

The only thing I know how to do is write my books. And that's what I was doing--until this amazing grandbaby arrived. But I head back to Maryland on Thursday, and when I do, I'm going to treat my work in progress like a new baby. I'm going to lose myself in it. Let the whole world revolve around it. Feed it and cuddle it and worry about it and if I'm very lucky, it'll become impossible to think about anything else.

Like whether or not the editor at Penguin has read my book yet.  Or the editor at Balzer & Bray.

Or how much I miss this baby . . .

Photo: Personal photo, taken by the blogger


  1. Awwww! She's so beautiful! You're right, Y. We all need to be consumed with our WIP's with the same passion and energy we give our children, grandchildren, or any loved one. It takes that kind of love to sustain you when things are bad or not easy.

  2. Awesome post, Yvonne. I think you're right. Losing yourself in the care and feeding of that baby is essential for its survival, growth, and success. Great analogy. Love it. Hug that baby for me. See you soon. Safe travels!

  3. Thanks, Lisa & Candy. The thing is, it's easy to lose myself in this new baby. It isn't so easy anymore to lose myself in the writing. But that shouldn't stop me from trying, right? And I do think it's synergistic. The more you focus on it, the easier it becomes. Here's hoping!

  4. Synergy - I agree, Y. I've been pretty dedicated to my revisions for the last few months and it is so much easier to get lost in the storyline when it doesn't take forever to re-engage with it. I'm back at the point where I'm thinking about it all the time. It's a good feeling. Now if I could just get my computer to smile when I make funny faces at it...

  5. It's like Stephen King's Ka-Pow Moment, isn't it? When two things come together, they're stronger and more meaningful together. Yvonne, you're on the verge of being everything meaningful a grandmother can be... and everything dynamic a writer can be. Wow! Congratulations!

  6. Lovely post, Yvonne. Hope the book absorbs you and you forget everything else until you get the wonderful news that not only have those editors read it, but there's a bidding war! Can't wait to see it in print.

  7. Having also been on the receiving end of one of Eileen's readings, I can echo the feeling of both validation and hope that you received in the search for Grandmother Spider.

    It is easy to say, I'm a story teller, I suppose as easy as it can be for some to say I am a mother or grandmother. Yet not feel so committed to the "baby" that I would be literally consumed by it. Sometimes, the fear of sending it out, to "let go of my baby" is really more about me wanting to use it as a crutch than about wanting to protect the story.

    It takes real commitment to fully absorb and real courage to truly let it go. I commend you, Y, in being able to do both.

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  9. (Had to remove earlier comment for grammatical error LOL)

    The validation for all things is in your heart. You've got the passion, tenacity, and talent to be a wonderful grandmother AND storyteller. Congrats!