If you read my blog, Letters to Daniel, then you know I have bipolar disorder. What makes life functional is that I eat properly. Take meds according to a strict schedule. And get a good night's sleep.
NaNoWriMo wreaks all kinds of havoc on that. I like coffee anyway. Let's be honest I kind of abuse the stuff normally. Around NaNo time the only thing that I do correctly is take my meds. And even then, when I need the word count. I'll push my second dose ahead by a few hours so I don't get too sleepy to write. That coupled with an abhorrent abuse of caffeine and crummy sleep on a lousy mattress daybed that's 30 years old and falling apart is recipe for potential disaster.
On the plus side I have all the confidence in the world that Bella Morte:Beginnings will reach it's intended mark of 70K. I'm 2500+ words from the halfway mark. I remember when I ran a marathon yes folks this 297lb lady at one point lost enough weight and trained properly for a 26.2 mile footrace. Why? Because I'd always wanted too. The shorter distances of track and field were flashier more marquee events. But it was the marathon that both marked the beginning and ending of the Olympic Ceremonies. Hence my struggle to write a 70K novel.
I've written 60K. And I tried everything I could to get around having to have that many words in order to submit to Intrigue Publishing. So I knew a longer novel was in me. I just didn't know how to do it. So through a process that started with a simple tarot card reading and an idea for a character Bella Morte was born. As you know I am now on the path to finishing that novel.
The dark hour I am referring to in the title of the post is not a crisis of faith of whether or not it's good enough for New York. Or even a literary agent. Or that I'm going to finish it. Because, you see, I've made my mind up and set a clear goal and 70K will happen. Probably sometime during the first week of December.
The darkest hour I face is in the fear of rejection. And this doesn't just have to do with the book Bella Morte, it speaks to the fact I just spent $260 in contest entry fees. These are not scams. Their film festivals and Script Pipeline First Look. And the judges are Benderspink and Paradigm.
For those not associated with the world of film and television these names mean nothing. But I'm old enough to remember when Benderspink took online queries. Let me put it this way. In my early twenties I sent out 500 query letters. Got 5 responses. All of them no.
Honestly, I'm a better query writer now. I'm pretty bad ass at it. More yeses than nos. And I have credentials that make for a desirable package. But still in my bedroom with my 4 foot pre-lit tree from Big Lots to my left and my crummy bed to my right the fear in this 38 year old woman's body is intense and choking. I want to send out the query letter now before I get cold feet. But when I do that I inevitably choke on the enormity of 70K and the book is lucky to reach a full 50K.
I struggle, I have an incredibly successful small press career. 9 books out across three publishers. 1 self-published. 3 Amazon Bestsellers. Awards. A home for Bella Morte should New York not pick it up. Bu the fact remains I want that. I want it badly. I want the television treatment to get picked up. I want to be a showrunner for it. (Head Writer for those not familiar with television series parlance).
It's a lot to want. And at 38 I wonder if New York and Hollywood are meant to happen. In Hollywood it's an old boys network. And Hollywood is all about relationships. I know in some ways it's just insecurity and the illness talking.
Bella Morte is good stuff. The treatment kicks ass. The pilot kicks ass. The book has been awesome to write. In my darkest I wonder if anyone will ever see it. Read it. Or care about it as much as I do. I know some people will say you have successful blogs and what not. And don't get me wrong I am sooo grateful for everything I have been blessed with. Great friends. Great publishers. And I've met a lot of cool people I wouldn't have otherwise met but I know in the end I don't want to write in a vacuum.
It is often said a book is not complete until reader reads it. And a show/movie isn't done until people have either viewed it on television or paid to see it in a theater. Even though I sit in my darkest hour, I know all is not lost because the story has not left me. And the only thing stopping me from seeing if Paradigm wants my book or my television series based on it, is a click of the mouse.