Bad news first, reflection second.
I will be unable to publish BOUND until January, which means that it will probably not be available until February/March.
I'm sorry--I know that there are a couple of people who will be crushed, but we just can't afford it and the fact is, we're doing birthdays for two children and Christmas for four children between now and January--we should be broke, or we are not spoiling our children near enough to perfection.
Didn't I sound all grown up just then? The truth is, I am disproportionately devastated.
I had not realized until Mate told me that we just couldn't do it, how much of my time and energy and sense of self-worth I had poured into an endeavor that, truly, does nothing to contribute to my family. The idea of having to put off any sort of reward for that work hurt me in unanticipated ways.
I cried all night. I felt awful for this--Mate felt bad, and it wasn't his fault. He didn't spend too much money on yarn or books this year--I did, and I have no one to blame but my own scatterbrained fiscal management, of this I am sure.
But...but work has been horrible--I haven't been able to leave even my most well behaved class to do their work for more than three minutes without having to make them stop throwing spit wads or talking or stealing (yes stealing) something small and stupid from my classroom. I feel powerless, impotent, unqualified for a job I usually adore and wherein I usually feel accomplished and useful.
But...but the house is a pit. We have larvae crawling on the celing from an as of yet unidentified source--and although I've tracked down as many cracks and crevices in the kitchen as possible, I am sure that somehow, somewhere, I am to blame for this crawly manifestation of my own domestic inadequacy. There is not one room I can walk in, not one, where I am not tripping on a toddler's toy, an adolecent's back-pack, or my own damned shoe. I can't remember the last time I vacuumed, and my bathroom would overgrow a petrie dish like those maniacal little twelve pronged amoeba in the movie Evolution. The last place I need to be spending time is at work, in the half an hour of peace I give myself before I go home that sometimes turns into an hour, slaving over what amounts to hope and a pipe-dream, when I should be holding my children or cleaning the crumbling mortgage that houses them.
And yet, I can't make my five year old, the screaming toddler inside of me, stop bawling. I can't. It's more spoiled than the cave-troll, and twice as stubborn, and it wants it's voice to be heard and it wants BOUND on the market where people will praise me for it, because it is starving for praise in ways I cannot fathom.
When I get feedback from my books, I don't feel powerless or impotent or inadequate. My students (a select few) read the books and love them and admire me for them, and my inability to get them to actually open a book and do 6th grade level work doesn't seem to matter any more. Most of my praise comes electronically--no one can look at me and see that I've been a failure at my diet for many years now and unless I give them pictures, no one really gets a clear idea how awful my crappy house really is, and it certainly doesn't matter that I'm pushing forty and that I have yet to learned how to be a grown-up.
When people praise my books I feel giddy with my own potential, and intoxicated on my own value. It's more addicting than any drug and a more potent, sensual, throaty and tantalizing siren aria than any nasal nattering towards fiscal responsibilty--in fact it's singing now. It's begging me to find a way to work the books, when I know that I can't, it's howling my name, insisting that BOUND is good, and real, and more complex than anything I've done before, and shutting it out is like stuffing beeswax in my ears and trying to make myself work on mundane tasks while I know the music of heartbreak is vibrating through my soles even as I walk.
My inner-five old is screaming to hear the pretty music, and I've got to find a way to make that brat shut up, because my real children need me more.