The Journey Continues

For so many years, I heard the journey to publication was hardest when writing the book. After all, one has to come up with the idea, develop the plot and characters, and then go through what seems like an endless process of editing and revisions. Most of us also have to spend a year or more with a critique group, having others look over our manuscript for story holes, or major problems. A few writers spend the month of November pounding out their manuscript during NaNoWriMo, of which I've done for six years, and won all six times. But the process seems all that much longer for a NaNo story, since we have a real mess on our hands.
I found out, however, the hardest part of the publication process happens after the story is sold. There's the hooray moment, the long seconds of absolute shock as you see the acceptance letter, and the shriek of absolute joy as the news sinks in. This is followed by trying to read the contract. Big emphasis on try there. It's actually better to wait a day or two before attempting to navigate a contract, so you don't sign fast (just in case someone changes their mind – even though that's rare). Then the waiting starts.
In my case, the waiting wasn't long for the initial part of the process. I turned in the contract and then concentrated on finishing my NaNo project for last year. But my concentration was split. How long before I began to see the fruits of my efforts? Would my editor contact me before I finished what I saw as my last year participating with millions of writers trying to put out at least a 50,000 word novel in 30 days? Would my time even be my own as soon as the book was released?
Well, I finished what I have decided is my last NaNo project. The responsibilities of promoting my book must come first, and NaNo demands too much of my time during November to ensure I can do that. But I'm still waiting for Softly Say Goodbye to release.
Oh, my editor and I are doing well. Very well, in fact. I'm at the point where I'm waiting on the last round. And this wait is for one reason only. I used the lyrics from a song in my story – lyrics I thought at the time were vitally important to the story line. Then I made a discovery. If a writer uses lyrics, they must have the permission of the songwriter prior to publication. Okay, I can live with that. After all, this is a wonderful story. The songwriter, and the band who performs the song, will get all this lovely free publicity. But…
Oh, yes, there is a but involved. I'm in a holding pattern – and it's akin to what a passenger on a cross-country or intercontinental flight must experience when arriving at their destination, and they discover they must circle the airport for any number of reasons. Mine is quite simple, but extremely frustrating.
The song Here We Are by Breaking Benjamin was produced by one record company, but the band is now under contract with another record company. And that company is owned by Disney!
Disney, you say. Oh, yes, Disney. So, I'm now writing letters and searching for individuals to contact about permission. Today, I must make calls, and check on the progress of a snail mail letter, in order to expedite this process. But I promise, Softly Say Goodbye will come out, even if I have to change the wording of that vitally important line. Since, as I've discovered, it will only take a few minor changes to have my own words and not a line from a song.
Hang on with me as this journey continues. And be ready to cheer – for I am determined to do this!

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