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Reality Check with Barbara Longley

I’ve been wracking my pea-brain for a blog topic, and yesterday something happened that gave me an idea. I belong to my local chapter of Romance Writers of America, and we meet the second Saturday of each month. I’m the treasurer, so that means I have to attend—physically that is. I spend a lot of time in my head, and meetings involving a lot of sitting and being talked at usually send me into my own daydreams. Vaguely aware, I knew the group was talking about libraries and providing a presence to promote our organization and writing in general. Someone said something about our published authors, and someone else mentioned my name. Huh? I kind of came out of my imaginary world to listen, and that’s when everything for this blog clicked into place. Bear with me. This is more circuitous than linear.

When I was pregnant with my first child, I had this romanticized notion about the birth. First, I was certain I was carrying a boy. I bought all kinds of overalls, cowboy pajamas, and boy stuff. Second, I was convinced that the moment my baby was born, there would be this instant recognition and bonding.  After all, the child grew inside my body, and I anticipated the birth moment with great longing. I was the kind of expectant mother who held conversations with my unborn. I wrote letters even. Yep. I was that mom-to-be.

Reality. After seventy-two hours of labor. Yes, you heard right. We went the mid-wife route, and they are reluctant to intervene with the process unless mother or child are compromised. Anyway, after seventy-two hours of labor, my daughter was born. Due to the prolonged labor, her face was smooshed flat, and her tiny head had taken on a comical cone shape. I held her in my arms for the first time, gazed at her, and the first thing that popped into my head was, “Who the hell are you?”

There was no moment of instant recognition. Though we bonded, I can’t say that I knew her at all.  In fact, I’m still getting to know her, and she’s a grown woman with a husband and a home of her own.

What does this have to do with my debut novel, HEART OF THE DRUID LAIRD?

I had this romanticized notion about what I’d feel like once I was finally published. During that meeting on Saturday when my name was mentioned in conjunction with published authors, I didn’t immediately see myself as part of that group. I realized I don’t feel any different at all. I don’t think of myself as “published” versus “non-published.” My friends and family certainly don’t treat me any differently. I still have all the angst I had prior to publication, only the angst subject matter has changed. Now it’s—can I stay published? What if my books really suck? Before it was—will I ever get published? What if my books really suck?

Hah! I’m still the same insecure geek who spends way too much time in my head. Being published hasn’t changed me at all.

Thank you so much for inviting me here to guest blog, and thank you readers for joining me. For an excerpt of HEART OF THE DRUID LAIRD, please visit my website   Barbara Longley

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You can find HEART OF THE DRUID LAIRD at Carina Press, Amazon, Barnes & Nobel, and wherever e-books are sold.

Cursed with immortality, Dermot MacKay craves death. To lift the faerie curse placed upon him and his men over 1,600 years ago, he must return the soul of his reincarnated wife to the exact place and time of her murder. But her soul is currently residing in the very modern Sidney St. George—and first he has to convince her to accompany him to Scotland.

Sidney doesn’t believe Dermot’s wild claims of immortality and rebirth, yet she cannot deny that she is drawn to the sexy Scot. Nor can she explain the sense of déjà vu his touch elicits. Desperate for answers, she agrees to go with him—only to learn too late that to help the man she loves is to lose him forever…

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9 comments to Reality Check with Barbara Longley

  • 72 hours? Oh my lord. I did 30 with my first and by the time I hit day two with no baby to see for it, I believe I gifted my husband with the screeching words “This is all your fault!” or something equally touching and romantic. Happily many of the details have grown fuzzy with time – probably explains why we managed to have a second one 🙂

    But I agree that books are like babies. You sweat and labour over the little suckers for months and months. You read all the books (Spock and/or On Writing), hope you know what it’s like and of course, when it actually happens, bears no resemblance to the fiction you created in your head.

    But kids and writing are both worth it, IMHO. Huge congrats on your release, Barbara.

  • THanks, Elyse! Congrats to you too!

  • 72 hours sounds like a nightmare, but then I did the happy dance when I discovered I was carrying twins because that meant I had an excuse to have a C-Section, lol. I think I’m great mom, but I’m just no into pain, whether it’s natural or not, LOL.

  • Eh, I got over it pretty quick, and not all of it was hard labor. Thanks for stopping by, Claire.

  • 72 hours! You’re a true heroine!

    Your comments about being published are just so true. 🙂

    Good luck with your debut novel. I’m looking forward to reading it. Love the story line.

  • OH, thanks, Janni. I’ve been going around today saying, “I’m launched. I’m launched.” But the workday went like it usually does. :0)

    My daughter was worth the 72 hours, and It’s not like I could change my mind after labor started. Believe me, I tried that on the way to the hospital. :0)

  • Hey Barb,
    I’m so slow to this party, but what a wonderful blog. I think expectations are oftentimes the most dangerous part of any process. And I definitely share your epiphany about not feeling any different once you’re published. Insecure geek? I’m right there with ya, sister. Congrats on the book — don’t be insecure. It rocks!

  • Amy Hahn

    Boy, I thought my 42 hrs with the first baby was rough…you’ve got me beat. I really like your life lesson in this post. We so often think we’re “gonna know” something we have such great expectation for, but in actuality, it still takes us unexpectantly. Huh. I’ll be pondering this one for awhile today.

  • Thanks, Amy! Glad to see you here.