Sometimes petals are set in stone, sometimes the wind carries them away. Stories fly free of the page, but we can't say where they will fall or if they will grow. We just keep etching our hearts out and inking again.
Hurrah for September! It's my b-day month, and the SCBWI Dakotas 2021 Fall Conference is coming up soon. Assuming I can free my hand from cat hugs, I plan to send Bad Species off on the sea of submissions in a few weeks. I think it's been at least FIVE years since I've tried querying a novel, and I'm honestly kind of excited to see where my stories take me now . . . until I hit the reefs of rejection! I'm ready.
I've been sharing poems I wrote a long time ago on Wattpad for fun, and I think this one suits my mood perfectly:
Undaunted by the scorner’s scoffs,
The nosy earwig, or the multi-pedian
Myriapods of discontent—
Believed in flying.
Her essence distilled in threads,
Tender-binding, silken strands
That wrapped her plump, ember-body
Round and true (As a seed).
Moon and sun orbited her cocoon,
Stars trailed by in a milky gauze;
A new world evolved within a Word.
Lucency called her out.
So, leaving the ground behind
For the bliss of air-spent ways—
She gave her grace to wings.
|Iffy Magic book trailer art by Audrey Bagley|
Time to get real, folks. I recently tallied my grand total earnings as a self-published author . . . around $400 dollars. Not even close to clearing the cover art, illustration and other costs. And then there are all the years I invested into writing each book to consider.
Becoming a self-published author has forced me to confront so many personal limits, like my understanding of how to format, edit, and revise, and experiment with cultivating an online presence. I'm naturally an introvert, but I am working on branching out of my comfort zones, and learning from fabulous fellow writers. I joined SCBWI in 2018 and absolutely love my local chapter! I'm amazed at how much I glean from all of their different writing styles, and I deeply value their critiques of my work.
While I may continue the self-publishing route in the future, I'm currently getting projects ready to submit to agents and editors again. All my experiences have molded me into a very different writer from the girl who first sent out her stories on the sea of submissions. I really didn't understand the power of revision fifteen years ago, five years ago, even still today. I don't think I will EVER stop learning how to revise!
For in the wise words of Emily Dickinson, "We play at Paste till qualified, for Pearl."