“Every time you lose, you get better.” – Ian Somerhalder
I have both my girls to thank for today’s renewed sense of purpose.
Talking with Dee regularly about AOWT has gotten me revved up to write after a bit of a dead spell, in which I have been focusing only on the blogs and house and home stuff.
And yesterday Emily asked, “Mama, tell me a story.” As we drove to a friend’s I began to recount Book 1 (what I have written thus far) of the Chronicles of Liv Rowan. I stopped at one point to make sure she was getting it, and she definitely was, better than I had hoped, “I LOVE your story, Mama, it’s AWESOME!”
There’s nothing like a young child’s encouragement to make me feel good about things and raring to write some more.
So a big thanks to both. Now it’s time to get to work.
And I just can’t hide it. I’m about to lose…
Stop right there! You are NOT going to start quoting song lyrics from the 70s!
Oh yeah, sorry about that. I’m not sure what came over me.
So anyway, after a long silence, I have news. The War on Drugs: An Old Wives Tale may be far bigger than I thought.
At least three people have read it, and all have had very positive things to say – one of them was rather vehement that I at least attempt to get this published through a traditional agent and publisher.
I had become sure that no one, no one, would want to read my book. I had dismissed it as self-indulgent memoir, but after getting feedback from others I am looking at the manuscript in a new light.
The vehement reader was my eldest, Danielle. She was quite insistent that I make some corrections, tighten up the research, and immediately begin searching for an agent. She was so insistent, that I offered her a co-authorship on the project. She accepted and we began the first emails/calls back and forth discussing our plan of attack.
- Settle on any additional add-ons to the book. Are there any additional chapters needed, any major shifting of discussion or emphasis?
- Research and quotes done correctly – yeah, I’ll admit it, I was lazy and used Wikipedia a “couple” of times!
- Get together a query letter and an outline of the book – NOW – and start shopping for an agent.
In the non-fiction world you can actually shop out a book before having even written a word. However, that is difficult if you are not an established author, so we need to have as much of the manuscript done, and a clear and concise outline in place, and one hell of a query letter – to be truly effective.
This is time sensitive after all. More and more states are moving towards legalization, the controversy and disparity between what the public demands and the lawmakers decree are growing larger by the moment.
I want this book to reach people who are on the fence. Who see nothing but the path to hellish addiction in any drug use and change their minds.
Today I mentioned my manuscript to an elderly patron of the library I know. She brings her granddaughter to story time each Tuesday. I told her, “The book is about our experiences in the drug war – when my husband was caught growing marijuana.”
“Good,” she said, “I’m glad they caught him.”
She’s a kind woman, and I was rather surprised by her statement, “Why do you think it is good?” I asked.
“Well, using marijuana leads to other more dangerous drugs.” She replied.
“My husband smoked pot for more than 20 years and he’s never once turned to other drugs.” I pointed out.
“Well, maybe not him, but most do.” She protested, “At least that’s what they say.”
Every wonder about that mysterious they? I’ve got a couple of books that reveal who they are, and they are inevitably lying.
“There are research studies, most of them done in other countries since it is an illegal substance here, that discuss that very fallacy.” I said.
My calm self-assured demeanor seemed to encourage her to ask more questions. She asked why people smoked it and what did it do? She also asked about how my husband had handled withdrawal when he stopped smoking.
I explained the feelings of relaxation, euphoria and increase of appetite. “That’s why it is recommended for cancer patients – it usually helps with pain control and the nausea from chemo.”
This struck a nerve with her. She had apparently gone through being treated for cancer and had chemo treatments which had robbed of her of her appetite. “The only thing I could bear to eat were Blizzards from Dairy Queen,” she said ruefully, “my husband would go and get six or seven of them and line them up in the freezer for me. For weeks that is all I could eat.”
We laughed and I told her that Dave had never experienced withdrawal symptoms when he stopped smoking.
I doubt I completely changed her mind, but I did bring up the ridiculous example of how we are no longer able to grow hemp in this country, although our Constitution was written on hemp. Hemp was a “must grow” crop that American colonists and later the citizens of the Early Republic era were required to grow.
In the end, I left the discussion feeling as if I may have changed her mind on several things. Or at the very least, I have given her something to think about. After hearing feedback from the rough draft readers, I have become convinced that this book has merit in a bigger audience than I might reach via self-publishing.
So here we go, on the roller coaster, and I’m excited at the idea that I’m not alone in this, but have a capable and talented young woman working beside me.
With all of that said, I’m off to work on some research – I’m reading a book by Judge Andrew Napolitano, Lies the Government Told You: Myth, Power, and Deception in American History.
Meanwhile, Dee is reading Smoke and Mirrors: The War on Drugs and the Politics of Failure.
On we go!