Week Three of being an author

Being a published author is a roller coaster ride that I can no longer disembark. I feel great, then nervous, then high again, then I want to throw up. Then I feel excellent. Right now I feel pretty good. Maybe I’m just getting used to it.

On the outside, my life is exactly the same as it was before. Dennis is still the best husband in the world. My apartment walls are still green. Still addicted to Reese’s Peanutbutter cups. I pay the bills, I do the dishes, I am still thinking about organizing bathroom closet. I am not complaining: I have a great life, but I guess I expected a parade. This is absolutely silly because I did two conventions in the past three weeks which means I had over 10,000 people saying “Congratulations!” even when they were not interested.

However there has been changes, just they are more subtle. Here are two:

My friend Rebecca and I are hooked on stargazing. We started last summer. By winter, I realized I can always spot the inner planets as well as Jupiter even within city lights. We hear the words aurora or meteor shower; we bundle up, and head out of the city with celestial binoculars, Starwalk loaded on my I-Pad and snacks in the cooler to a secluded spot in the middle of the night.  This new hobby came directly from the research of Other Systems. I can make out the constellations–especially Ursa Minor and Major, Virgo, Lynx, Pegasus and Draco specifically because I drew them out for the trailer.  Now that I know I can spot Draco it also means I can spot the Cat’s Eye Nebula without aid of a star map. That being said looking at the star maps are fun and we play with Starwalk constantly when we are out there. Especially so we can see which satellites are flying overhead. Satellites look like tiny meteors : you can see them flashing across the sky and then they are gone.

Another change is how I consume books and movies. With my art background, I enjoy paintings and sculptures at a technical level. One of my favorite things  is to go to an art museum and begin dissecting a painting with my eyes. Figuring how the artist captured light or emotion—well now I look at novels and films the same way.I cannot seem to read a story or watch a movie for pleasure anymore. I automatically start dissecting it. I find myself studying the way other authors choose to put words on the page. The patterns of stories. Are the words visceral? In movies, I watch camera angles and all emotional reactions both inferred, subtle, and obvious. The colors or lack of them. Did it work or not? And if not, why not? That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy them, because I do, but it isn’t the same.

Anyone else gone through changes like these?

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5 responses to this post.

  1. “I cannot seem to read a story or watch a movie for pleasure anymore. I automatically start dissecting it.”

    I find myself doing this all the time. It’s usually a bother, but it makes those great movies/books even better, because they aren’t so readily dissectable!

    Great insight, I’m very interested in the lives/routines of published authors. Congratulations!

    Reply

    • Thank you Zach for your kind words and commenting.

      Since you asked: here is my routine. Assuming I do not have a convention: I write or draw comics anywhere from four to twelve hours a day five days a week depending on my husband’s work schedule. I also try to set one afternoon a week aside for business activities: ordering, filing, paying taxes, etc. (My husband also loves his job and often works 50 to 60 hour work weeks, so I try to work as much as possible when he is at work. So if he calls and says he is going to be late: I tend to make myself a sandwich for dinner then work late too.)

      My day is broken up by the need for coffee and the biological functions of the two cute furry mammals whom share the house with us. This includes one 30 minute to an hour long walk around midday. I fully admit this walk’s length is weather dependent, but it is at least 30 minutes as I take a neighbor’s dog with us. I also try to remember to exercise and eat lunch, though at times I am so excited about what I am working on, I forget. However I can never forget to take the dogs out, because I trained them to ring a bell. Tycho will start softly, but then start slamming it against the door, if I don’t take them out. (Rosie has no need to ring the bell, she trained her brother to ring it for her.)

      Reply

      • impressive training with the dog bell.
        I’m trying to set a schedule for my writing and sticking with it. 12 hours is amazing! 4 is great too, I admire your dedication, I need to get on your level.

  2. Hi Beth,

    I can’t say that I’m fond of stargazing to the extent that I make it an event, but yes, I absolutely read hypercritically, and because I’m also a theater adjudicator for the Phoenix metro area, I can no longer watch a play without noticing the lighting, sound, props, scenic design, etc. I agree, it doesn’t mean I enjoy these things less. In fact, I might venture to say that it makes me appreciate them more to be able to note the finer points of an artist’s craft.

    And I can definitely relate to the absence of a “parade” with the release of Rose’s Will, although I did just find out it won the Best General Fiction award from LFRCA, Lesbian Fiction Readers’ Choice Awards. Oh wait! I think I see a float with my name on it coming down the street! 😉

    Denise DeSio
    Author of Rose’s Will

    Reply

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