What a disturbing image!
I won’t pretend I put too much thought into the images I attach to these blogs. Or to the blogs themselves. This is an improvisational space. An open journal. Unedited and unadulterated. Reader beware. But please stick with me. I like having you around.
I chose this image because I was going to write about writing this week.
Why? Because I spend lots of time writing.
I finished the first draft of a science fiction novel last summer. Well, it’s kind of a science fiction novel. It’s also memoir, horror, self-help, and spiritual. Because I never settle easily into one genre. Maybe it’s ADHD. Maybe it’s brilliance. Maybe it’s the opposite of brilliance. It’s not for me to say, I guess. I’m no critic. Just a maker of things.
The original title of the book was The Creature at the Bottom of the Europan Ocean. My revision process led me to see that the book was more about me than it was about a fictional alien blob. So the title now is The Person on the Other Side of This Book. I like that title. Because it might be referring to the author. Or to the reader. Really, I think the title is about the connection between the reader and the writer. And that’s what I think my genre-blurry book is about. The connections between people.
I’m thinking about what I wrote above about these blogs. The heart of writing, for me, is building connections between people. Even if I’m not sure what I’m doing or where this is going. I like having you around. And I hope you like having me around. And blogs or novels or whatever other genres you might imagine give us a way to be together. To slow down and think together. Feel together. That seems important. Especially in these times. But in all times, really.
Reading and writing create a space for us to come into relationship with each other. Maybe that’s my definition of literacy. Part of it, anyway.
I’ve been shopping The Person on the Other Side of This Book to literary agents since last summer. No luck. Lots and lots of rejections.
There’s all sorts of possible reasons for my failure to find an agent. First, I’m told rejections are par for the course. I’ve certainly gotten used to them in academic publishing. And now I’m learning to accept them in creative publishing.
Another reason for my failure might be that my book blurs genre. Hard to market something that falls somewhere between science fiction and memoir. Agents, it seems to me, want something that is easier for them to sell. Something that fits a genre. That ain’t me, baby. No matter how hard I try.
Or maybe I’m just no good at selling my book? A query letters and a synopsis. That’s what most folks want. Very hard for me to capture this strange science fiction novel in that way. And the opening pages set the stage for what comes later. But I’m not sure they stand on their own. I’m not sure they don’t, either.
Perhaps my book sucks? That might be the case. I actually was just skimming through the manuscript this morning. I think the book is beautiful. I think it’s what I want it to be. So there’s that.
I’d like to avoid self-publishing. I’d like to find an agent and go through an actual publishing process. So far no luck. But I’ll keep at it. I’m obsessive. I keep at things. For better or worse.
At the end of the day writing seems to matter to me. Regardless of how or if it moves into the world. So I’ll keep at it. Keep trying to come into relationship with others.
That feels important.