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Once upon a time, I wrote a book

Of course, I've written many. It's just that so far, only the one has sold. It was called AT THE BOARDWALK, and it arrived into the world in 2012. It got a good review in Kirkus (but no star). It was carried in Barnes and Noble throughout the country (but only in paperback). It was featured on the picture book wall in B&N (but only for about six weeks, and not long after that it was no longer in B&N stores at all).

Perhaps you have already guessed where this is going, but maybe not.

My book got published. That was "the end" of a long story for me, right? I had been writing for years and blogging for years and going to conferences for years, working hard and hoping and waiting. And it had finally happened. And I immediately started looking for two things: (1) the next deal (which still hasn't come) and (2) for the other shoe to fall - some of which you can see in the first paragraph, inside those parentheses.

Even as I was excited that the book was real, I was focused at least equally on the things that didn't happen, like stars and awards and hardcovers (which exist, and have been carried online and at many independent book stores) and more. I didn't celebrate each of the wonderful things that did happen as they arrived. And I should have.

Intellectually, I knew how hard it was to get published. That Kirkus giveth, and often taketh away (with devastating reviews, which I did not get). That B&N doesn't carry every book that comes out, so having it in their stores was huge. That having it ON THE WALL was enormous. But rather than celebrating those big deals, I was quick to look at the "buts".

And now it's 2016. I am excited that I've sold poems to anthologies - including some that are still in the pipeline - but I haven't sold another manuscript of my own.

This business is still hard. Also? It's hard, when things are static over time, to even remember all those good things that happened. To remember, even, that I had a book in the world.

But just yesterday, a friend sent us an audio file of him and one of his young sons reading one of the stanzas in my book. It was adorable - that small voice taking over from his dad and reading (or perhaps just reciting) the words. It's a favorite of theirs, and they read it often.

And I was reminded that I wrote that book, and that it got published, and that it is out there in the world being read by parents and children. And that is worth celebrating.

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( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 6th, 2016 11:56 pm (UTC)
That's awesome. :) (And yes, the journey is hard and loooooong, sigh)
TS Davis
Sep. 7th, 2016 04:46 pm (UTC)
Little voices, taking over
...and that's the thing; if you've changed ONE life, you've done a thing that so many other people have no evidence of having accomplished.

It is something you did, that you'll always have done, and that someone will discover later -- even if writers sometimes feel they're only as good as their most recent book. Words LAST.
JoAnn Early Macken
Sep. 23rd, 2016 12:38 pm (UTC)
Yes and thank you!
I am so with you inside those parentheses! Hooray for poems in anthologies, books that stay in print, & blog posts like this one that reach other writers paddling along in the same boat!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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