The Casualities of February: Leonard Nimoy, A Second Seahawks SuperBowl Win, and My Book Deal.

Posted on
Feb 27, 2015

“This month has kind of sucked,” I told Rand yesterday.

When he began to dispute this (because to dismiss an entire February thanks to a few unfortunate events is antithetical to his logical and – somewhat paradoxically – upbeat nature), I merely whispered “Seahawks” and he immediately fell silent.

“Man,” he said after a quiet moment. “February has kind of sucked.”

Halloween 2009.

I hate to label any month as bad, because I feel like it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy; you are so mired in things being awful that you close yourself off to anything that isn’t. Still, I am glad that February is nearly over as I write this. Only today and tomorrow are left. Thank god it’s not a leap year.

And while it has been bad, I am quick to note that it has not been terrible or utterly devastating (I hesitate to say this, as there are still 36 hours on the clock and it only takes a second for your life to change irrevocably. Under certain circumstances, 36 hours can be an eternity.) I have thankfully not lost anyone incredibly dear to me in the last 27 days. My faculties and those of my loved ones are intact. My marriage is seemingly made from one of the strongest substances on earth. I am loved and healthy, and presently eating organic popcorn straight from the bag.

When I say that February has sucked, it is because I have chosen my words carefully. I am borrowing from the lexicon of 14-year-old me, who had experienced few heartaches. Movies, parties, traffic – these are the things that can suck. Things that, even at their best, are trivial. We do not describe death or war or illness in those terms. There are better words to use.

Today, I awoke to the news of Leonard Nimoy‘s passing. I was saddened the way we are when public figures and celebrities die – through our memories, the death of someone we’ve never really known becomes personal. I have not lost a friend. But I have lost a Vulcan. It feels strangely similar.

Two days ago, I learned the small publishing company that was going to release my memoir is scaling back their operation. Manuscripts that are already “in the pipeline” will be published. Though mine does not fall into that category, my friend and contact there generously extended this offer to me as well – they would publish my book, if I wanted. Unsure of the subsequent support I would receive after launch, I declined the offer.

The most unforeseen casualty of this month has been my book deal. It was gone in what felt like an instant, though not quite as quickly as it came (for its arrival was nearly absurd in its simplicity and speed. In hindsight, I tell myself that nothing good comes that easily). I didn’t even need to write a pitch. I realize that if I had to create one now, I wouldn’t know where to begin.

Now, I find myself somewhat adrift. I have a manuscript, but no publisher. I’m heartbroken, but also oddly relieved (if my book had been published before all of this went down, I think the situation would have been even more complicated and potentially devastating). I find myself plagued by the same questions that accompany any setback: What could I have done differently? How much time have I lost? Am I a total fuck up? This last one weighs most heavily on my mind. The most comforting answer I can come up with – and still believe – is this: Maybe, but aren’t we all?

I am not entirely sure what my next steps are. The logical answer is that I keep editing my book, that I continue to transform it into something of which I can be proud, while exploring all of my options – whether I go the self-published route or something more traditional (should that latter opportunity present itself). It seems only fitting, on a day like today, that I rely on logic to dictate my actions. After a taxing February, it gives my heart a reprieve.

I am incredibly grateful to all of you who have helped me on this journey. To everyone who has shared a post, sent me a kind email, left an insightful comment, or retweeted a link. To those of you who thought my book was worth publishing before I’d even written a word. To my family and friends.

The amount of kindness and support I’ve received is overwhelming. It robs me of my words.


All except for two: thank you.

Leave a Comment

  • Shanna

    You are a terrific writer! I’ve read every word since I discovered your blog. I hope things turn around soon.

  • Ruth

    You’re still one of my favorite writers, and people. Love you.

  • Lindsay Wassell

    “Thank god it’s not a leap year.” Good point.

    I’m unaffectionately referring to this month as a “stinker”. Let’s compare notes in the near future and marvel at how long ago and far away it all seems. Your book will be fabulous, no matter what form it takes and when it gets there.

    This stinker can get stuffed. March FTW!

  • Laidlaw

    All the writers I have spoken to in the last year basically say the same thing- it’s not worth it to even look for a publisher anymore, because they no longer support their writers. Writers that care about the finished product, marketing, and distribution of their book, self-publish.

  • Cheering you on from half a world away!

  • I am ready to kickstart your book!

  • With your fan following this book thing is a minor setback.. yes Mr. Spock ( that is what he will always be in my memories ) passing away is real sad and that is irreplaceable loss.
    But your book will recover and sell including here in India. ( you don’t know but you have fans here 🙂 )

  • Will Stevens

    I’d buy a Kindle version of this and I’m sure many others would too. Also, a friend of mine attracted attention from agents after very modest success of a Kindle-published book. So don’t think of self-publishing v traditional as an either/or. I’m pretty sure you’ll nail it on both fronts.

  • Write long and prosper.

    I see you doing something like this:


  • At least you didn’t get 10 ft of snow dumped on you in February like we did in Boston 🙂

  • I am 100% sure we all will read that book sooner or later and as we all love your blog we will love your book – and we all will support you – at least mentally.

  • dude, february has sucked. very sorry to hear about the loss of your book deal, but am sure that you have written meaningful words that will find their way to the people who need to read them.

  • Maybe February has sucked. But March is a brand-new month, with spring on the way. That’s worth celebrating. I know that book will happen. You’re an amazing writer and another publishing company will see that. If anything, know that you have given comfort to others (aka ME) who also sometimes feel like a fuck-up and take comfort in knowing we’re not alone. I really look forward to seeing how this experience leads to something better for you! <3

  • Liz

    Sucky month 🙁
    WHEN (not if) your book is published I will buy it.
    I will buy it for my friends too.

  • Jen

    I’m glad you’re considering self publishing, because I was going to enthusiastically suggest it if you weren’t. I would love to buy your book directly from you! I’ll know more of the proceeds are going to fund your continuing awesomeness that way.

  • Hi,
    I know it sucks when it happens! All the pain of being an unpublished author. I’ve spent two years on a novel only to learn that it will not be published. But don’t give up, you’re so young. I’m convinced you’ll make it. And never forget: You got all of us interested in your writing, so it must be worth something. Keep the spirits up!

  • February has definitely sucked, i have to agree. I’ve spent the entire month sick and staring at a thermometer reading negative degrees every day. Good riddance, February. I’m very sorry to hear about your book deal, Geraldine. But if the manuscript is even a fraction as good as this blog (and I’m sure it is), I am positive you’ll find another way to publish soon. Keep the faith!

  • Colleen

    Hang in there, Geraldine. It’s now March, the sun is shining (at least here in Portland – a very good sign!) and we’re all ready for a better month. I’m sorry to hear about your book not getting published YET – but I have no doubt it will be published. Those of us who love your blog can’t wait for it!

  • Andy Cook

    I ventured to your site today for the first time in a few weeks to check out what you were up to and am a bit bummed to read this post… especially the parts about the book deal falling through… that does suck.

    I’m really confident though that it’ll all work out for you in a way you aren’t going to even expect. Based off your subscriber list alone I know there’s a large community that ravenously consumes what you write and loves what you have to say, so your memoir is bound (see that novel pun there?) to be published soon enough.

    Let me know if I can help in any way possible. You know where to reach me on the Interwebs.

  • So sorry to hear about your book deal falling through, Geraldine. I know how disappointing it must be to have something like that taken away from you. You will pull through and when you do, I’ll be one of the first one to hit “ORDER” when your book comes out 🙂

    P.s. I love that the blog is getting some love from you – these updates are awesome!

  • Emily K

    Curtis Sittenfeld is just as cool in real life. Hope you get to connect with her in-person one day.

  • Jan

    Losing the book deal is very discouraging, after all the work you’ve done. But I’m sure you’ll get it published, one way or another, and probably sooner than you think! I love your blog and your writing, it’s a fun “mental break” in my day. Hang in there, have some cake and carry on!

  • On the bright side, February is the shortest month of the year. Don’t worry, things will work out. Can’t wait to see your book!

  • Maya

    Well, if you ever get it published in any form, I’ll be queueing up to buy it!

    • Everywhereist

      Thank you, Maya. 🙂

  • NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! I wanted your book to be published soon! I’ll paypal you some dollas or coupon vouchers or something and you can send it to my email! 😀 I promise I won’t upload it to the world for free or anything like that (I’m a good person!) ((usually!!))

    I’m a lurker who has been following you for years – but like, a really shy and quiet one who rarely comments. ANYWAYS I’ve been looking forward to your book for SO LONG — longer than the new season of game of thrones and the thought has crossed my mind that a few days after your book is released, I will have read it, and then where does that leave me!? I’m sure it will work out and get out to the world soon though, even if it means we have to wait just a little longer. (You can’t keep the people waiting too long though, it’s only a matter of time before readers start turning on you and break into your house to get their hands on that book!)

  • I don’t want to be accused of link spam but given you have a solid audience can I suggest self publishing. These guys are solid and could help you realise your dream. It is a dream right? Sure it is, every writer dreams of being published so I expect nothing less. At worst you could be pre-selling your book. That’s right people will pay to reserve their copy in advance and if you still want to go down the traditional publishing route, it never hurts to have a pre-sale list.

    Anyway good luck and we all await the release. And please don’t edit it to death, let someone else do that because you are too close to it to be the editor as well. You should know that.

  • Britt Skrabanek

    So sorry to hear about your publishing woes, but I definitely feel you have enough of a following built up to self-publish successfully. And the beauty of that…uninhibited artistic freedom with your work.

  • I have no doubt that you’ll find an even bigger and better publisher! No doubt at all.

  • Lily

    You’ll get it published! Please get it published 🙂

    I love your writing and can’t wait to crack open a whole book of it.

  • Curtis Sittenfield is a great writer! If you ever want to swap notes on self-publishing, let me know. I have just published a book and, well, it’s been interesting! Definitely pro’s and con’s of going down this route…..

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