First, my plane did not crash. (Make that planes, five of them, and not a single one crashed. What luck!) So I am back at home, alive, perfectly able to edit my draft novel/monstrosity before anyone reads it.
But after two weeks vacation, I really don’t feel like it. We’re having a mild spell in central Canada, the days are getting longer and sunnier, and I’d rather avoid office work until next November.
Thankfully, I have new motivation to keep me tied to a computer: my first novel, Walking Backward, is a finalist in the Canadian Library Association’s 2010 Book of the Year for Children Award!
I was sent the news by the awesome marketing folk at Orca Book Publishers (Dayle and Leslie, who are always on top of things I never even heard of). I first thought, hmm, what does this list of the likes of Arthur Slade and Gordon Korman have to do with me?
Then I saw my name. And it was second on the list! (Okay, it’s alphabetical – R. J. Anderson beat me to first place. But still, I’m way ahead of Eva Weisman and Tim Wynne-Jones.)
Seriously, this is a huge honour and I’m thrilled to pieces.
But, having been raised Catholic, guilt follows quickly on the heels of any thrill. So I’m feeling that I should have finished another novel by now. (Truth be told, I’ve finished several. But they’re all younger and sillier and, most notably, unpublished-er than Walking Backward.) What I mean is that I should have another novel lined up for publication by now.
Why? So that when I walk around wearing my new T-shirt that reads, “My first novel is a finalist for the CLA 2010 Book of the Year for Children Award,” and people ask, “When is your next novel coming out?” I can give them an answer.
So I have to edit my monstrosity sometime before November. I’d do it right now if I didn’t have to walk the dog.
Make that dogs, two of them. My sweet old dog and I are babysitting a neighbour’s pup. He’s huge and half-wild, with tonnes of energy to burn out there in the fresh air. Honestly, look at this tough guy: if he asked you for another walk, would you say no?
Maybe I’ll get to the book at sundown. Till then, I’ll bask in my good news.