Thursday, March 05, 2009

Celebrate Good Times ... Come On!

I need to celebrate. Why?

I've just finished writing my fourth book in about thirteen months. If that doesn't sound like that big a deal, let me put it in perspective. That's 1228 manuscripts pages and about 255,000 words. That's more than three pages of writing every single day, seven days a week. That's having to come up with new scenes, new characters, new settings on a constant basis.

But there's more involved in this job than just the writing. There are several revision stages for every manuscript. There's keeping up a website. There's filling out art fact sheets for every book, giving the marketing department the info they need to do covers and back blurbs. There's marketing, conferences, workshops, signings, research.

I 'm the newbie here, so every other Rider, seasoned as they are, can likely top my year, but for me, this was a huge step. This makes me feel like a real writer. This proves my writing is more than a hobby. I'm a professional, you know?

To be honest, when I signed those contracts thirteen months ago, my palms were more than a little sweaty. I wasn't sure I could do it. And I knew that making a commitment and not fufilling it would more than likely kill my new career. See, when you promise a publisher a book, you can't just not write it, or turn it in late. At least, not unless you have a darned good reason for it.

Today, I'm proud. I'm happy. I'm relieved. I'm heading off on a real vacation in about a week. Is this cool, or what?

Here's the down side to a writer's elation at having finished her contract. I'm now unemployed! And the funny part? (There's always a funny part.) I don't care! Am I giddy? Yes! Am I brain dead? Yes? Do I care? NO!! Not today. When I get back from vacation I'll care. I'll get those proposals out, hopefully be contracted for a couple more books and start all over again.

So now I have to do my taxes. And then ... what should I do to celebrate?

I'm giving away a copy of my April 1 release, FROM THE OUTSIDE, the first of these four books I wrote this past year, to one commentor. And I might just do whatever she suggests as a way of celebrating!!!!

Helen

29 comments:

GunDiva said...

Congrats! That's a lot of work in a very short period of time! Wow...what to do now to celebrate? I'm a big fan of spa days - you know, a massage, facial, mani-pedi, the whole works! I've only done it once or twice in my whole life, because I "save up" for a real reason to pamper myself and celebrate. I don't want to lose the specialness of it by doing it too often, but I dream about it a lot!

Michele Hauf said...

Yay, Helen! Pretty cool feeling, eh? Does the saying "So Happy To Have Written" have more meaning to you now?

:-)

No celebration is complete without chocolate. 'nuf said.

Helen Brenna said...

Thanks, Diva! I think I will actually indulge in a few spa treatments over vaca!

Yes, Michele - to have written is sounding much nicer than before!

lois greiman said...

Oh Helen, I wanna be you. Sigh.

Go lie in the sun somewhere and eat too much. :)

tetewa said...

Congrats on finishing, I would celebrate by going out with friends and indulge in some margueritas!

Kylie said...

Yay, Helen!!!!! You deserve a break! Enjoy. I hope your vacation includes fruity drinks and cabana boys! I wonder if there's another occupation where one is so thankful to be 'unemployed'...at least for a while. (We always start fretting two weeks later, tho!)

Anonymous said...

CONGRATULATIONS! You've worked really hard this year--I know--and you deserve to celebrate this success with all of it: spa days, friends, cabana boys, fruity drinks, great food, chocolate and lots of sun. oxox Tina

Helen Brenna said...

Oh, I'm liking these ideas. Specially the cabana boy part, with or without fruity drinks!

Is it against the rules for the cabana boy to enter into the spa part of the celebration???

Thanks guys!

catslady said...

That really is fantastic and it must feel so good to have accomplished all this - no small feat!!

Well after vacation I think you ought to buy yourself something - possibly something lasting that will remind you of all you did - maybe framing the coverflats or a crystal paperweight - the possibilities are endless but something that you will look at and remember why you have it :)

Virginia said...

Oh wow, you have been a busy little bee! I think its time to kick back a relax with a great vacation. Go to a beach somewhere and kick back in the sun! Congrats on a job well done and getting everything done in such a short time! I think you need a long break, so just take it easy for a while.

Helen Brenna said...

Oh, good idea, Catslady!

And, Virginia, can I tell my editor you said that? lol

Keri Ford said...

Filling a contract--CONGRATS! I'd go buy myself slide to add to my bracelet. It would be the second one I'd buy myself (with the first one being to celebrate when I sold).

All my slides are dated and it's so interesting when I wear it to flip through at the dates to see what their special meanings are.

And how to mix cabana boy and spa treatment? Repeate after me: "Excuse me, but can you rub this lotion on my back?"

Jane said...

Congrats on finishing your fourth book in thirteen months. I need to do my taxes, too. I would probably celebrate with a massage and/or a mani/pedi. Of course we have to have some magaritas and spend the rest of the night relaxing and watching some dvds.

flchen1 said...

Wowowow! Helen, you're one busy lady! Congrats on getting all that done!! When you're off on vacation, I definitely recommend sitting around enjoying the attention of those cabana boys (or your husband--he might object to too many extra cabana boys...) and lots of cool, fruity drinks. Maybe one of the cabana boys can flip the pages of the beach read you've picked up :) And yes to the spa day and yes to something to commemorate each of your completed projects!

Maybe you could also treat yourself to a housecleaner when you get back so that you can rest up afterwards!

Again, yay, you!!

Helen Brenna said...

Man you guys are firing on all cylinders today. Jewelry, dvds and a housecleaner ... I like. I like!

And, Keri, you sound like the voice of experience there with the cabana boys! Tee-hee.

Playground Monitor said...

Having just finished writing the first draft of my first book, I have the UTMOST respect for your accomplishment. Some people think writers just crank out manuscripts one after another (and I swear, I think Nora does) but it's not that easy. As you said -- new characters, new scenes, new GMC, new everything. I'm taking a break while I wait to hear back on a contest and also write the lessons for an online class I'm teaching next month. Then it will be back to revising this book and making notes on the next.

I'm all about pampering. Get a massage, facial, mani/pedi, and anything else they have.

If your vacation is a beach locale, take along a couple of the books on your TBR pile and read, read, read. If your vacation is a mountain locale, take along a couple of the books on your TBR pile and read, read, read. If your vacation is Vegas, take along a couple of the books on your TBR pile and read, read, read. You get the picture.

Marilyn

Helen Brenna said...

Thanks, Marilyn. And another good idea. I'm hoping to put a big dent in my tbrs!

Maureen said...

Congratulations on getting all that done! You should celebrate with a shopping trip to get yourself ready for your vacation followed by a dinner out.

robynl said...

Congrats and a big yahoo!!! to you.
Celebrate by having goodies and a movie night out or at home. Make sure you gets snacks that you usually don't allow yourself and INDULGE. You should go out before the movie night and buy a special relaxing outfit and get your nails done.

Estella said...

Congratulations!
Try some sun, sand and fruity drinks!

GunDiva said...

I really love the idea of mixing the cabana boys with the spa treatment ;) And definitely the make a dent in your TBR pile idea.

Congrats again!

Helen Brenna said...

Thanks, guys! I'm passing all these ideas on to my dh as justification - the Riding readers said ... lol. I'm feeling more celebratory by the minute!

Betina Krahn said...

Congratulations, Helen! I'm so pround of you! This just goes to show that you can move mountains if you want to!

Can't wait to see these books hitting the stands! ARe they related?

Kathleen Eagle said...

Helen, you made me smile big and silly. Finishing one book is orgasmic. Four in a year is like filling the sky with rockets, woman!

Helen Brenna said...

Hey Betina, thanks. Yes, 3 of the books coming out in Aug, Oct and Dec are set in the same location. Mirabelle on Lake Superior, a bit like Mackinac Island in Michigan. It's been fun creating this world with people who connect in all the books. My first experience with this. I'm hoping to write one or two more set there as well.

Kathy, glad I could make you smile today! Rockets in the sky is a great way of looking at it!

Kathleen said...

Congrats on you books Helen. NOw this is how I would celebrate. Go to the spa, have the works, full body from head to toe. Have sea salt scrub, soak in a spa tub with fragrent body oil. Take your fav book, or a glass of your fav beverage, champayne or what ever you like. Have a facial and then a massage. Then have the pedicure, manicure. Have the warm parafin treatments on your hand and feet. Nothing feels better.
Then go home, pull out your most sexy outfit and have your partner or best friend, or whom ever take you to the best place to eat in town. Order a great dinner, and champayne and then hit the peak nightstop and dance the night away.
The only way to go girl.

Laurie said...

Take some time to relax and do what you enjoy doing. Call friends, get together with them, see a movie, read books, listen to music, bake something YUMMY!& INDULGE!

CONGRATS!!

Helen Brenna said...

Thanks, Kathleen and Laurie!

I'm posting the winner of From the Outside now, but it's ...

tetewa !!

Happy Friday!

Jeanne said...

Oh. My Gosh. Con-grats-2-U Girlie... now you gotta go to Disneyland! Then to Sedona so you can learn how to walk on the earth (and breathe! breathe!) again.