Over a week ago I admitted to being a writer, provided as evidence the reveal of a shiny new book cover that is to contain a collection of short fiction. The update is that I continued to struggle with formatting issues, in my ineptitude too ridiculous to discuss. Now I am somewhat less inept. I also found more editing and revising to do, the net result being further delay to completion of the publication of this collection. So still I wait.
I am not sure exactly what it is I wait for. A book, available to any and all…
I can tell you how the waiting goes, what it is like. The cliché simile might be a seesaw or a yo-yo, ups and downs. I vacillate between pride and paranoia, delight and dread. It is exciting to know that soon I will have a book out in the world; it is also extremely frightening. Maybe it isn’t good enough; maybe the stories should have remained as my private little time takers, a hobby tucked away in my computer. Bad reviews? They will no doubt be written and will no doubt be warranted; they will confirm my own doubts.
If I judge this book by its cover, I am more confident. I enlisted Tim Barber of dissectdesigns.com and was very impressed with the process and the result. When I remember that many of the stories debuted at ShiftnShake and received encouraging comments I dare to hope that a wider audience might enjoy them. If I remember that I wrote these raw and for myself, and that the rest doesn’t really matter, I relax a bit. If I look at it as an exercise and learning experience then I have nothing to lose. I have yet to articulate what it is I hope to gain. (Sorry, Charli, I didn’t do all my homework.)
Maybe I hope to gain some credibility as a writer, beginning with myself. I have self-published two other books and I also have a bad habit of downplaying them; just silly poems; just chickens; just for fun; just self-published. This book feels different, and not just because it is prose instead of poetry. I can’t so easily laugh this one off, will not be able to hide behind humor. This book will want to be defended, not dismissed.
What have I done?
Still, let’s get rid of those old playthings, that seesaw and that yo-yo, replace that simile. Yes, there are ups and downs, but it’s more like that terrain called rollers, repeated ups and downs that I enjoy encountering on my bicycle. Some riders are cautious going downhill then complain at every uphill. But if every time you crest one hill you tuck and take advantage of your downhill momentum you are propelled well into the next uphill, minimizing its impact on your progress. Not to be dismissive of the ups and downs, but rollers are kind of fun. And any day is a good day for a ride.
On your left!