• S. Yumi Yamamoto

Ending with a Bang

This final week of NaNoWriMo has been a roller coaster, and not just because I've been struggling with the novel. It's been emotional. Like, every emotion under the sun in less than a week.


Let's cut to last Thursday, Thanksgiving Day.


I navigated dinner alone with people I didn't know (probably embarrassing myself along the way... I'm that idiot who tells 10 stories when trying to tell one). Then navigated a Skype session with the family on Friday, which sent me into a delayed fit of rage. Not necessarily because it was my family; more because I'm tired of misconceptions about writers, writing, and the writing process. To save you the pages upon pages that I decided to delete instead of posting, here's the long and the short of it: fuck those artists who felt the need to give themselves an air of mystery, fuck the people who perpetuate myths about writers and writing, and fuck people who don't want to be told the un-romantic truth about what creating art really looks like. I just... I was on my period and really emotional. Like, I knew I was being emotional and I still went 1000% Aggretsuko about something I know better than to let under my skin.


Still. I'm mad.


Then, of course, we must discuss the monthly tragedy that is mensturation. This was a doozy. I don't normally get this emotional, I felt sick and achy, headaches, cramps, and overall a sense that no amount of sleep would ever cure my lethargy. While I do get pretty bogged down by my period, it's not usually like this. I blame the altitude (no scientific evidence apparent, or needed). Luckily, I was saved at the very end because I got to try out Thinx, and I love them. I've never felt so free to bleed in my life. That made things tolerable through the weekend. That, and tons of rain. I love rain.


November is apparently the rainy season in Zimbabwe, which makes me extremely happy. I'm dying to wear jeans and cute sweaters, and have copious amounts of tea (more than I already have), and I just haven't been able to do that in the middle of summer. Now that the rain has come, it is sometimes like a monsoon: nearly white-out kinds of rain that make me wonder if I should be worried about flooding inside my house... Regardless, I love the rain. I got to snuggle under blankets and be a happy little cinnamon bun with tea, snacks, and my laptop.


The only thing left this week, to cap it all off, would be panic. And boy, howdy! Did I ever panic.


This happened Monday night, almost midnight my time. I settle down in bed, feeling pretty good about myself because I'm ahead of my NaNoWriMo goal for the day, and I turn on Netflix for some easy binging before bed. I also think that I should check my emails because it's been a while, and there's probably a shit-ton of CyberMonday emails I should delete.


BUT I WAS WRONG. I WAS SO, SO WRONG.


Sitting in my "Updates" tab of my inbox was an agent request for the first 50 pages of my novel.


*internal screaming*


*external screaming*


*screaming into the void of social media*


This is the last agent, the VERY LAST one, that I've been waiting for before I make a hard decision to go Indie or to polish up a different, more traditional YA book. The email had been sent 5 hours before, which totally meant that everyone was out of the office and no one was going to check anything for several hours. I still panicked.


Luckily for me, I already had 50 pages edited and ready to go... but I still did another read through and nearly threw up my empty stomach out of nervousness and excitement. I sent it off, and then of course I couldn't sleep. I tried Netflix, but I couldn't concentrate. I turned off all the lights at 4AM, but I'm sure it wasn't until about 5AM that I actually fell asleep.


I am writing this Tuesday afternoon. I am now a complete wreck. I am tired, still achy and ill, excited and nervous, in need of more tea than could possibly exist in my world right now, and a hug. Maybe a good cry, too. I don't know.


I've seriously waited my whole life for this step. It's not even a guarantee that this agent will take the novel and represent it. It's JUST a request for more information. Still, it's one step further than I've ever gotten before, and that feels like validation. It feels like all the time, effort, and student debt was worth it, like this could actually be my career. It's a tempered sort of joy, trying to be unashamedly happy for this step, and yet trying not to get too excited because 1, there's another 4-6 weeks I have to wait, and 2, because there's still a chance that the agent decides its a pass. I will be crushed if I get too excited.


Still, I'm looking at who I want to design my book cover, and what kind of PR merch I might want :) It's fun to dream! It's why I chose to do it as my career ❤️


I still have about 4,000 words left to write before NaNoWriMo is over, and it's going to be hard. I have my head and emotions everywhere but this novel. And yet, it needs to be finished. Things must be resolved, and I have three days to do it. I refuse to let it go out with a whimper. I'm better than that. Now, more than ever, I know I am.

'Vega Nask'an' artwork by Junedays

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