I look at prolific writers with a mix of admiration and envy. How do they do all that? They publish a book or more every year, go on tours, and give interviews without missing a beat of their writing routine. I write in hiccups between mental breaks, jobs, and self-doubt. I lose my train of thought between relocations.
I lost the first draft when I took my writing flash-drive to work by mistake one day. Somebody found it and didn’t return it to me. “The Shattered Mirror” was lost forever. I grieved only briefly. It wasn’t good anyway.
So I started again, this time with the help of two great writing teachers: Theo Pauline Nestor and Ariel Gore. I finished the manuscript in December 2014, and a complete revised version by December 2015. When I thought the book was ready, I submitted to several small presses and started to accumulate rejections. Frustrated, I ranted in social media about it.
Two comments changed the course of my process toward publication. The LA poet, Ashaki Jackson offered to have a look at my book. And the amazing romance writer, Aurora Rose Reynolds suggested self-publishing.
After Jackson’s prompt intervention, the manuscript looks like a solid book now. She helped shape the chapters into a cohesive story, suggesting all sorts of changes, from organization, to details, to sentence structure. With her input, I prepared the last draft to send to the copy-editor for a final clean up.
Now I am working on self-publishing my book, which will hit bookstores in the fall this year. But before registering the ISBN, it was time to change the title. I went through several options looking for the strongest chapters, or for a central metaphor. Then I saw it, looking at me from the other side of the page, an elegant creature with powerful wings.
Although it took me a long time to reach this point, I am confident I have written an honest book and that my readers will love it.
It has a beautiful and intriguing title, which will be announced soon. Stay tuned.