In the week leading up to the release of The Ghost Shink, the Accidental Gigolo & the Poltergeist Accountant, I was a nervous wreck. A mess of anticipation and insecurities. Would people like it? Would they buy it? Would they laugh? Or, horror of horrors, would they laugh at me for my foolish belief that I might be able to cut it as a writer?
I called my mom, telling her I couldn't stop thinking about it and she gave me some advice that turned out to be surprisingly brilliant. (Not that my mother isn't often brilliant, but more that her advice was about the last thing I expected and, amazingly, just what I needed.) She told me to do a puzzle.
A puzzle? You ask, as I asked. But I was willing to try anything to get my brain to stop spinning in a circle of excitement and doubt, so I went to Fred Meyer and bought a puzzle. A lighthouse. I took it home, broke open the box, and went to town. For three hours, I jigsawed. For three hours, I focused on the details of shape and color. For three hours, I didn't think about my book. Not once.
I did that puzzle six times that week. Twice on the night before release day.
Now we're in the countdown to Serengeti Heat. The anticipation, the nerves, the stew of self-doubt, isn't as bad as it was last time, but I'm still a certifiable wreck. But time time, I'm trying a new tactic. My college friends and I are meeting up at a positively idyllic lake in Wisconsin for a weekend of wave-running, kayaking, sunbathing, and reminiscing on those good ole college days. I'm taking a vacation from the anticipation. Wish me luck.
And if all else fails, I still have that puzzle.