I won't lie. These past two months have been amazing. A string of friends and family have made their way across the ditch or up from the south, visits that always make my heart sing, and me start acting like a tourist. As well, after a long list of writing rejections, some of those literary seeds I wrote about back in April have bloody well begun to take over the garden!
I stayed true to my promise to consistently keep writing and submitting - amongst all the teaching - despite an apparent lack of progress. I also thought it wouldn't hurt to share some personality in my queries instead of staying petrified about saying the wrong thing (after reading and re-reading the darn thing ten times to make sure it was error free and professional sounding enough). Turns out editors, agents and publishers are just like you and me, people going about getting their work done. Some of them don't actually seem to mind a little back and forth banter. When I applied the same perspective to my writing, that is, it's essentially a marketable product rather than a gold leaf sliver of my soul, the fear of rejection lost its sting. I'm even grateful for some of those rejections because on closer inspection it was clear the story in question needed more drafting, so I did.
I have a few publications and people to thank for giving me a chance and you will find them listed with links on the front page of this site. Namely, Quadrant, Femagogy Zine and The Hong Kong Review. There is also a short story making an appearance in an anthology soon! However, it was Helen at Atlas Productions who, despite being hit with two completed manuscript submissions one after the other which did not quite fit the company's brief, proceeded to sign me up anyway to write a crime novel. She has quite literally made my longest held dream come true and I will be working hard over the Christmas break and early part of next year to bring this new story to life! It's all right if you want to feel sorry for my family. They'll appreciate your kind thoughts. There are so many plot twists and character developments going on in my head right now they are not receiving many coherent answers to any of their questions.
Joining a writers group has been another development and it is fantastic to have monthly meet ups with the Sisters in Crime and cheer each other on. A diverse bunch of writers, publishers, journalists and academics, we all validate each others' need to spend hours of our time wrapped up in our imaginations, hoping that our next story will be the one we get to share with an audience!
This weekend I am off to Genre Con for the first time. To all you creative dreamers out there, get connected, step into nature (okay, maybe the library) and stay tuned for some serious fan-girling on the blog next week! And if it all starts to feel overwhelming - and in my brain it often does - take some time to just hang out with the people who matter most to you.