My thanks to everyone who's sent positive vibes and encouragement my way. I have to say that the outcome of today's editorial phone call was as good as it could possibly--realistically--have been.
Of course, the pipe dream is that an editor will come banging on the door...um, via the phone...and say how much they loved your book and how they want to publish it RIGHT NOW because of its overwhelming awesomeness. But seriously, how often does that happen?
For me, the sentence that sticks with me from today's phone call was about how the editor thought my novel was good, but that it could be awesome. Now, that's ALREADY several kinds of awesome. But I made sure to try to convey the idea that I want to go that route--I want to improve it as much as possible. I don't want to be one of those writers who can't take feedback. I honestly want to make this a part of my career. I can only hope that I didn't sound like a nervous, over-eager, spazzy wreck on the phone (that blighted instrument of torture that makes me sound like a small child!).
So, here's the deal: I received some detailed feedback over the phone--none of which seemed out of left field or impossibly difficult or excessively scary. Some of it will result in major structural changes, but I've done that sort of thing before. It can, theoretically, be done again. Some of it is just tightening up and polishing. It all sounds like positive change that will bring out the core of the novel rather than drifting far away from my original intentions. This was a HUGE relief.
I'll be getting written notes next week sometime, after which I'll buckle down on this thing again and give it whatfor. Then, I'll resubmit it. If I can deliver the goods--and that's what's in question at the moment--then, hopefully, fingers and toes and eyelashes crossed, this could be it. If not...well, I guess then it might be time to think about setting this one aside for a while. There are my other three (!!) novel manuscripts begging for my revision attention, not to mention the graphic novel idea that Rob and I have been talking about, a project I want to work on with short-short stories and etchings, and NaNoWriMo coming up in November (did I mention that this particular manuscript was started during NaNoWriMo? If you remember the local NPR segment that I was on--THAT novel.) Either way, I feel pretty energized. It's one more step in the right direction. I'm very hopeful. Also full of red wine.