A Year In Conclusion

At the beginning of every year, there's often a song that sort of speaks to me, which I pick as my "anthem" for the year. My theme song. 2010, I believe it was Change by Taylor Swift. 2011 it was Seasons of Love from Rent.

I picked 2012's theme song early on. Long Live by Taylor Swift. It seemed natural to me. It was the song that described exactly what I wanted my year to be: "Long live all the mountains we moved, I had the time of my life fighting dragons with you..." Obviously I wanted to spend the year fighting dragons. Metaphorical dragons, at the very least.

By the time March hit, I'd been listening to this song a lot. A lot, a lot. I'd also been querying a lot, and I'd had some promising requests and other not-so-promising rejections. HEAPS of rejections, but the requests stuck out a bit more. I was starting to get a little hopeful, and a little crazy at the same time.

The day I received, out of nowhere, a phone call from an agent who offered revision suggestions on my manuscript was the day I made an insane pact with myself: I couldn't listen to my theme song anymore until I signed with an agent.

HA, I said.


After all, absolutely nothing pointed to the fact that I would actually sign with an agent anytime in the next week month decade. Sure, an agent had taken the time to dial my number. Sure, he'd had nice things to say about the opening of the novel, but that didn't mean anything was actually going to happen. That didn't mean he - or anyone - would like the revision.

But I'm a strange person sometimes, and I apparently like to make weird pacts with myself, so I made one that day. And after I'd made it, I couldn't bring myself to go back on it. I couldn't get three notes into Long Live without frantically switching to the next song.

Thanks to All That Is Good and Holy in the Universe, I didn't have to go without listening to the song for too long. Two months, to be exact.

I can't tell you how pleased I was the day I signed with Alison Fargis of Stonesong and allowed myself to blast Long Live in my car with the windows down. "The night you danced like you knew our lives would never be the same."

Well, the story doesn't exactly end there, because you should know by know that I'm a VERY odd person, dear readers. And I love making ridiculous pacts with myself. Sooo now we come to the next major stage of my year....

Submission Hell.

Except it wasn't hell. At least, not in the sense you're thinking of: fire and brimstone and all that jazz. Not even, really, in the metaphorical sense: a writer ripping his/her hair out for months on end.

Extraction went out to editors on October 9th, two days after my twentieth birthday. The week earlier, a brand-new story idea had struck my brain, and I was in the early days of jotting words down on paper. So, it was easy for me to let Extraction slide to the back of my mind for a bit. For a couple days, at least. See, I actually kept a sporadic journal during this time, so I can show you exactly how my thought process went:

October 10, 2012 12:17am
I don’t know how I’m going to get through this. (Okay, well, I was actually really nervous at first)

October 12, 2012 12:08am
I thought it had been longer than a day [October 13 update: oh wait, it was]…anyway. Didn’t worry too much about subs today. [name redacted] (translation: his girlfriend) was slightly more of an issue. The Result: Five minutes ago, I decided to name one of my characters [name redacted] I.E., [name redacted]’s girlfriend from the Desolate.

HA, okay. *forces self to stop laughing*

My posts thereafter went back and forth between comments like:

October 25, 2012 6:57am


November 19, 2012 10:47pm
Whatever happens, happens.

There were actually some other posts in there that were sort of depressing. Because of non-writing related things.

BUT ANYWAY, the good this year ended up outweighing the bad. My journal posts finally culminated in the glorious:

November 21, 2012 7:26pm
I am going to be a published author.

And I wept tears of joy.

But back to the whole Long Live thing. See, somewhere during these 43 days of submission, I once again made the crazy pact with myself: no more theme song until I signed with a publisher (actually, there was one other option, but I'll let y'all guess what that was. *snort*)

Once again, I was like WHY AM I DOING THIS and WHAT IS EVEN THE POINT and NOW I'M JUST GOING TO BE REALLY SAD BECAUSE I WON'T BE ABLE TO HEAR THE SONG EVER AGAIN, but I guess maybe it's a good thing I'm weird, because I went ahead with it, and that made it the coolest thing ever when I found out I had a publishing offer and let myself hear the song as a reward.

It was a beautiful moment. *sniffle*

All in all, I had a ridiculous year. I went through so many crazy emotions. Everything from terror (the spiders in my bedroom) to cautious hope (getting the email that said "can we set up a time to chat?") to heartbreak (crying in the shower) to pure and utter happiness (meeting my agent in NYC). There are so many more emotions and moments to come.

I've never been more grateful. I've never been more scared. I've never been more excited.

Dear readers, I want you to remember: every moment, every second of every day and every month and every year is ours. So don't waste it. Squeeze every drop of life out of this moment, and the next one, and the next after that, and make something beautiful out of it.

Remember this: We are infinite.

Long live all the magic we made, and bring on all the pretenders...

                                               One day, we will be remembered.


  1. I absolutely needed to hear this today.. going through hell personally, and haven't written in a week because of the holidays and was just feeling overall miserable and discouraged. This helped me. Thank you. Now if I can just get myself to write (book #2) when i get home tonight... Gonna start revisions on my first book in the New Year... resolutions anybody?!? :P

  2. :) I love you. You're amazing.

  3. Awesome Stephanie! It must run in the family. I make pacts with myself as well :-) Happy New Year! 2013 is going to be a great one!!! "Verso Le Stelle"!

  4. This song must have related to your life very well.

    That feeling of knowing that you'll be a published author must be amazing.
    I hope to join your ranks some day :P :)

    Check out my blog sometime.

  5. Amazingly good! Happy 2013 everyone. and oci i went to this website and did shopping also got great discount on my cart. Great and easy to see everything website:)!

  6. awww Stephanie this story is so cute!!!
    And that song!!
    I have one like that too- Here's To Us (Glee Version), I'm saving it for one day, God willing!
    Best wishes,