Donna Everhart

Early Christmas Present

It started before Thanksgiving – three days before, approximately.  As I looked at my calendar pre-Thanksgiving day, I realized the two weeks following would be about as crazy as crazy can get.  And it was all going to happen even though I was still trying to believe I was in summer mode.  I was clinging only to a memory, though.  The memory of  daylight lasting two hours longer, the idea the air was still silky and warm, and that it would be six months before any holiday shopping had to begin.  Pfft!   Suddenly, like someone flipped off a light switch while I was trying to find my way out of an unfamiliar room, the cold air swooped in, it’s dark at five, and Christmas is here.

Since we hosted both sides of the family for a large traditional Thanksgiving dinner, I’ve felt like I’ve been shoved into Christmas with barely a breather from Thanksgiving.  This always happens if the turkey holiday comes late.   I’ve decorated the outside, picked out the tree, decorated said tree, had the tree fall over in the middle of the night, (long story about our tree and the tree stand we had to use) cleaned up that mess, re-decorated the tree, helped my  mother in law decorate her tree, attended Cotillion, attended my book club’s Christmas luncheon, celebrated a birthday, started shopping for gifts, wrapping the gifts and sending out cards.

Today, I’ll be wrapping some more and sending out cards, and tomorrow I will attend “Christmas With Friends,” (a regular gathering that falls on the second Monday in Dec). This weekend, I’ll travel an hour to bake cookies with my mom, a tradition we’ve held onto for more years than I care to mention.   But, in spite of that bone tired feeling, the hectic schedule, the realization there is still much to do, I’m basking in the knowledge that my latest draft is getting the positive comments I hoped for.

The latest from my agent on Friday was this, “I’m reading along with a new associate who’s got a very, very sharp eye and she LOVES the pages, and wants to know when she gets to see the whole manuscript!  I will be reading later tonight. Yay!”

A Christmas present delivered early!

After all the false starts, the bad review from my editor back in June, a complete re-write of the first one hundred pages, the struggle to find the characters, the plot, the slog of getting this brand new story in place, the fear of using two different writing techniques I’ve never tried…, it seems the effort has paid off.  I am not done, there is a long way to go to THE END, but the work and worry, and finally, the fear I had somehow derailed, and would never write anything decent again has been put to rest- for now, anyway.

That was all it took.  One sentence, which I’ve read about fifty times since Friday, wiped out months of doubt.  At this point, the rest of the holiday season will shine brighter than my neighbor’s gigantic, over-sized Christmas ornaments.

But…, I don’t need to tell you…, because you know how this feels, right?





2 thoughts on “Early Christmas Present”

  1. July 1988 a newspaper editor I submitted to called and said he liked the piece I’d sent him but that he wanted a rewrite; I was alluding to the truth without actually revealing it.
    “We don’t do fiction,” he said, “you’re a good writer.You can do this.” I did it, he loved it, It was my first paid piece. I wrote many op-eds for him after that.

    “You’re a good writer.You can do this.” I’ve been floating on those words for twenty-five years.
    That editor became a journalism teacher at UCONN. When my daughter was enrolled in his class and the students spoke about why they took journalism, she mentioned my name. His compliments of my writing in front of the class made her very proud. I will always be in debt to that man for his confidence in me. It was a career changing short sentence.
    Yes, I most certainly know how it feels. Your gift is precious, as was mine, and one we must pass on.
    I am getting excited about your book and can’t wait until the process, like Averill’s, becomes your own…and ready to share.

    1. I’m still waiting to see what my agent thinks, but it seems this new “associate” is someone he regards highly. I’ve not allowed my thoughts to go as far as yours, b/c I don’t want to jinx myself – LOL! But thank you for that…, all I can do is hope that the next 2/3’s holds up to this first 110 pages. (bites nails) XO

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