The old adage that if March comes in like a lion it goes out like a lamb, or vice versa, sure proved true this year. As I wrote last month, March came in with teasing spring-like temperatures filling everyone with hope that winter was coming to an end. Unfortunately, for those of us who are so over winter, it went out like a lion. Saturday the 31st a late winter (early spring?) snowstorm blew through. I was in Florida driving back to my son’s house after several glorious days in Key West; but I did see lots of discouraging pictures on Facebook thanks to family and friends who wanted to be sure we knew what we were missing.
For April we say, “April showers bring May flowers.” Is that true for April snowstorms? Do they bring May flowers? If April comes in like a lion will it go out like a lamb? I sure hope so. You see, on the third we drove back to Wisconsin and into the second half of a two day snowstorm. Our driveway greeted us with at least a foot of new snow. My husband, of course, is elated as he will get in a few more ski days this weekend, maybe even next weekend for his birthday. Me? I wanted to turn the truck around and head right back to Florida. As I said in my previous blog, “Vacation”, I was expecting the snow to be gone, at least a good share of it, by the time we returned. I was not happy going from temperatures in the 80s to temperatures in the 20s.
We are an impatient society. Right now we’re complaining about the cold and snow, wishing it were summer. Not so many months from now it will be summer and we will complain about the heat and humidity, the mosquitoes. We complain when it rains, and when it doesn’t. We want instant gratification. We want what we want and we want it right now.
Writers are no better than anyone else. From the moment we plot our novel we want it complete. We want that first draft to be perfect and sell immediately. We want it to be #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. Writing a novel isn’t the same as reading one. A really good book can keep a reader in their seat from start to finish in one day; but a really good novel is not easily written. The author spends several years writing and rewriting. Then there’s the marketing timeframe. First we send a synopsis and sample chapters and wait, maybe months, for a request for a full manuscript. Then we wait, maybe months, while they read it. After that, if accepted, we start on our editor’s changes, followed by more waiting. You get the picture. Writing and publishing a good novel does not happen overnight. We know this, yet we expect it. We want it and we want it right now! I’m in the middle of that cycle with both of my novels. “Mary Bishop” is a full manuscript submission waiting for a response. “The Healing Heart” is about a quarter of the way through a rough first draft. When “Mary Bishop” sells and “The Healing Heart” is being marketed I will be busy writing the first draft of my third novel.
Golf leagues are scheduled to start in a month. Hard to believe when I drive past a course still buried in snow. Especially after driving by so many down south that were green and busy with golfers enjoying the warm sunshine. I know if I’m patient our course will soon be green and warm, too. So I will be patient.
In the meantime, while I wait for the snow to melt, and while I wait to hear the final decision on “Mary Bishop”, I will keep writing my second novel.