First, Happy Belated Birthday to my sister who turned twenty yesterday *dies*. I can't believe it! When did that happen? Oh well, Here's to at least 80 more years!
Also, last week was a very weird week, starting with the "weird" rejection letter to me being just mentally and spiritually exhausted with the whole writing thing. I literally glared at my WiPs for a minute, wondering if they'll ever get finished, will they ever see the light of day once they are *eyes Manna Tree*, did I bite off more than I can chew *eyes Vietnam Story*, will some other off-based agent think my writing "isn't strong enough" and "redundant" *rolls eyes*. I talked with my father on Friday, and he told me something that I had never thought of before he said it--many times it's really not about talent who gets published. It has less to do with you and more to do with the flaws of the industry. And I agreed, and not because my ego needed stroking, but because I talk with other authors who, in my humble and not-so-humble opinion should've been snapped up and published last year. And while e-book publishers are wonderful because they offer you an audience, I defy anyone to say the ultimate goal of an author isn't to make it to NYC and end up on the Bestsellers' List and on Oprah and The Today Show and etc, etc, etc. In other words, maximum audience. These authors who I think of . . . people STARVE for their type of writing, and if agents are so stupid/unwilling to take a risk on them (even if it's not a risk . . . unless the risk is selling too damn many books/books that expand the scope of who a black woman is supposed to be, how a black woman is supposed to be loved, and who is supposed to love her and vice versa), then they DESERVE to miss the boat. If agents and publishers are more willing to give advances to and publish plagiarists than people with real, genuine, authentic talent, then poo on them! I know there are agents, however who are willing to take that risk, however. That is the only reason I and the others of whom I speak haven't given up yet. You find the books, as few and far between they seem to be now, that offer something new. Those books keep hope alive, even if that flame flickers dangerously at best sometimes.
And then, others have been so encouraging to me, keeping me in their thoughts, calling me out on certain message boards :-p, join my group, tell me how excited they are for my book to come out, talk with me into the wee hours in the morning, and make me not care I have to be up in three hours to go to work, texting me because I'd accidentally blocked them on IM while I had explained away her absence by thinking she'd finally gotten the life we had promised ourselves we're gonna get one day lol. Those who just keep me sane and reassure me that it was okay for me to put myself out there and go for it. I'll admit. I'm terrified. I'm terrified my skin isn't thick enough to handle the negativity. I'm terrified that I may exceed my very modest expectations and then not know how to handle it. I'm terrified of talking about my book to strangers and sounding like an idiot. I'm terrified of being asked questions about my writing to which I won't know the answer. Someone told me I'm a much better writer than speaker. Golly. Not something you want to hear, you know, if you have to go and do promotions and sell your book to random people. For so long, my writing has been just a private part of me, and in my tiny nook in the universe, I can talk to folks who know me as a writer and understand, or at least don't hold it against me if they don't. This must be how our parents felt when they watched us in their rearview mirrors as they left us behind on college campuses, or when they let us go to the head of the alter where some man would now be taking care of their baby girl, or when their baby has a baby of their own. Being Plumville is my baby, regardless if it's "the middle child" of sorts (RJC is my first and foremost baby, my thesis, the one that started it all, really). So the obvious question is why start off with Being Plumville? Because I finished it first lol. That's really why. I'm proud of it. I received just great feedback on it (special shout out to mirevas). I believe in it. And it was my original fiction debut in the Internet world, so I figure, why not a debut on a bigger scale?
Anyway, this is a long-winded post to tell folks "thank you". I'd been pleasantly surprised by the encouragement I'd received this past weekend especially. I didn't realize . . . yeah. I just didn't realize that many folks were eager for my writing or read this blog or the group. It's . . . weird . . . but I'm thankful. I guess, there are so many undiscovered authors out there who I think are just amazing and I'm trying to catch up with them. It's not envy, just an appreciation for their art and craft and how they apply it. For people, apparently, to think the same way of my writing is overwhelming. But in a good way.