"All dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them." Walt Disney
A long time ago, when my youngest was 1 year old, we got our first computer. I had a love/hate relationship with that machine, but in spite of my limited understanding of how to use it, I decided to write my first book. You see, I'd been writing poetry since my teens. Words had always been my friends, and I had stories to tell. And so, like anyone with a mission, I dug into research, plotted my story and typed the words that would, from that time forward, define me. But unlike Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams, no one came when I built my magical world, word by word by word. Except Jack. ;)
"If you can dream it, you can do it." Walt Disney
Years passed. My children grew. And with this new freedom, I had more time to devote to writing. I worked harder and sent out my finished work to agents and editors, ever hopeful someone would see my genius. It was a hopeful time - a lonely time. Especially when rejections came swift and true. But even steel must be tempered. I kept this in mind as I began subsequent books and connected with my writing chapter as a lifeline.
"Throw another buoy!"
"You don't build it for yourself.
You know what the people want and you build it for them." Walt Disney
Herein lies the dilemma. As a reader, we know what we like to read. But as a writer, how do we access that passion and harness it, mold and scuplt our worlds in such a way agents/editors/readers can relate to them? For the past two weeks I'd been grappling with this very idea, especially after some bad contest results. As a result, I began to ask myself serious questions about my future. I was nearing another birthday, the deadline for publishing I'd given myself years ago. How long did I want to keep at this? How far was I willing to go to bring my world to life? (Even the gold pirate in Cozumel refused to answer.)
"Get a good idea and stay with it. Dog it and work it, until its done and done right." Walt Disney
A week ago, I left work and ran some errands. Because I hadn't had time to eat, by the time I got home, I was ready to plunder a ship for grub. Once I'd gotten my rations, I put my feet up for a bit before going to my computer to trigger mayhem in the 1800's. Before I did however, I peered at my phone at 3:00 p.m. and decided to peruse my e-mail. That was when I saw it! Standing out like a flame was a message from Jennifer Lawler at Crimson Romance. Thinking I'd just gotten another rejection, I opened it. But it wasn't a rejection this time! It was an offer to publish my book, DUKE BY DAY, ROGUE BY NIGHT!!!! I spoke slowly and steadily to my mother, as if hearing the news aloud would make the reality that much clearer. Then when no cannon fire resulted, and after a hushed silence, Mom and I busted out with loud SQUEEE's and hugs. (Take that Pembridge Scholars!)
"It's kind of fun to do the impossible." Walt Disney
I've done what was said was impossible. I met my personal deadline and am now celebrating an exciting future with Crimson Romance. Thank you, Jennifer Lawler, for taking a chance on DUKE BY DAY, ROGUE BY NIGHT!
If you've ever partied in this half of the hemisphere, you'll know no partay is right unless Jack comes along. The two of us have dipped into the Rum keg. BYO to the partay!
What's the biggest surprise you've ever gotten in an e-mail? Was there Rum involved?