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When is it real?

I am sitting here staring in wonder and joy at my book contract from Algonquin for my novel BREATHE.  OK, I admit it.  I was worried that even though they said they wanted the book, they might change their mind, that something would go wrong, that I would wake up and it would be a dream. But here it is, and I keep staring at it with absolute joy.   Why do I do this to myself? This isn't my first novel, or even my third. Are there writers who are so supremely confident that every novel they write gets easier, every sale easier and their confidents sprouts like weeds?

I have all sorts of superstitions. I try not to tell people what my books are about while I am writing them for fear the story will vanish, or worse, someone will say, "Oh, I just read a novel about that!" I have a ritual every morning before I write. (I can't tell you what it is.) I have lucky earrings, lucky music I have to play to keep me at my desk and in the hypnotic world of the story.

Sigh. I don't know, but I do know that the contract makes it wonderfully, blissfully real.  And it makes the writing on my new novel a bit easier, too.

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Congrats, Caroline!!

Take the contract for lunch! Give it wine! Be the designated driver!

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Hmmm ...

<<I was worried that even though they said they wanted the book, they might change their mind, that something would go wrong, that I would wake up and it would be a dream.>>

 You've just given me a whole new insight into why, three months after getting married, I keep looking at my wedding ring.

After 9/11, I  bought a bag of rice and kept it in the glove compartment of my car for about six months. Made me feel safe. (You know, just in case the jihadists stormed the country in their fanatical quest to put all Americans on Atkins.)

More recently, I printed out five copies of Google directions to our "earthquake rendezvous point" and stashed them in strategic locations, including two car glove compartments and the big box of earthquake emergency supplies (canned brown bread, anyone?) in my garage.

Two years after my first book distinguished itself as the statistical one in ten that actually earned a profit for my publisher, I'm a little afraid to talk to my editor because my second book hasn't sold as many copies (yet). I'm wondering if they'd love me more if I voluntarily gave back some of that advance and returned the M&Ms I took out of the honor bar in Portland during my book tour.

Here's hoping that, in you, this feeling is just a quirk and not my brand of bona fide safety-seeking pathology. Otherwise, I'll see you at the place that sells fallout shelters to backwoods survivalists.

Half kidding (half not),

June

P.S. Congratulations!

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book contracts

Caroline -- congrats on another book sale.  I've only sold my first one and I was ecstatic. Every step is so real and so uniquely real, it seems. Looking forward to selling my second one. -- William Poy Lee