Dear Diary: July 2014

Dear Diary July 2014Does anyone else feel like 2014 is flying by? I can’t believe we’ve already reached the end of July. This month was very, very good to me for two different reasons.

First, I finally met my editor! She was a lecturer during the MFAC residency at Hamline University, which is just down the street from Northwestern, where I work. I went to hear her speak about an editor’s perspective on publishing, and she was bright and funny and wonderful, all of which I already knew from my phone conversations and emails with her. The next morning, I met up with her at a coffee shop and a list of questions I had about her suggested edits, and we had a great conversation about Truest. She had mentioned the day before that she wasn’t sure debut authors knew they were allowed to give a little pushback to their editors, and– while I definitely want to be easy to work with– it gave me a little permission. It felt as if the vice-like grip that’s been squeezing my heart for the last few months relaxed a little.

We also talked about several ideas I had for my next book, one of which I’ve written a first draft. She was excited about both ideas! Meeting and visiting with Jill was just what my tightly-wound, tortured little heart needed. I can already see how meeting her in person has improved my anxiety: the next time she contacted me with major revisions, I didn’t experience the same panic that I typically would. That, my friends, is PROGRESS.

The second thing that was fantastic about July was that I went on a “literary vacation” with my dear friend Elyse. We stayed in a condo in Duluth, and we spent most of the time working on editing, writing, and research (me for Truest and my next novel, her for a freelance editing project she had and for her master’s thesis). I’m not sure I have anyone else in my life who would be willing to go on such a “boring” vacation. I put “boring” in quotes because, though most people would have found it to be so, Elyse and I had a blast! Our condo was magnificent, and we two introverts were perfectly happy to spend most of the day on our respective laptops, clickitty-clacking on the keyboards. She is a true gem. We went on our first literary vacation last summer and decided to make it a tradition. To be honest, I’m already excited for next year. (How wild is it to think that next summer I will be [hopefully] finishing up my next novel and preparing for Truest‘s impending release date??)

butterbeer3We made butterbeer and watched Harry Potter.  Next year, we’ve decided we’re going to make Dauntless cake and watch Divergent.

One other little update for you all: I am trying my darnedest to get healthy. I have lost 18 pounds; I’m working hard on combating my trichotillomania; and I met with a therapist last night to start working on my anxiety issues; I had my desk at work ergonomically fixed up and I bought a laptop wrist pad since my wrists have been acting up (for years now, due to overuse!). I still practice ERP therapy whenever my OCD flares up. And I’ve also spent time with my favorite kiddos too– play therapy? All in all, I’m just really expecting 2015 to be a REALLY BIG year for me, and I’m doing my best to get myself ready for it. I feel great about these decisions and actions and would love your support and encouragement!

One last thing. I’m working on final edits to Truest, which has been alternately anxiety-inducing, depression-inducing, lethargy-inducing, panic-inducing, and exciting. I’m hoping August will be high on the exciting and low on the anxiety … but I’m not holding my breath.