Oh where to start! I feel like this month has flown by – at the same time, how is it December already?
The Fall Book Crawl (November 23, 2019) was a grand adventure. Fellow author Ben Van Dongen gave my husband and I a ride to the Tecumseh library – quite a trek, if you know the area! Fellow author Christian Laforet lent me a table to set up my books and such – everyone liked the open suitcase look: if an apocalypse hit, I could sweep everything into it and be on my way. The library was enthusiastic about having eleven authors set up in their community room. Fellow author Tim Gabrielle, the mover behind the operation, had his hands full with last minute questions like are there plates for the cookies, and where should the snack table go. It’s no small feat to organize space for ten other people, most of who you’ve only just met!
Spending the afternoon with authors and readers was life-giving. Some friends dropped by, and my husband brought me cookies and coffee and took care of my stuff when I wandered around. The only down side of the day was that I did not sell any books. This wasn’t an optimal outcome, but hey, that’s show biz. I’m not a great self-marketer, and when I meet people at events I don’t immediately hand them my business card. I have a lot to learn in terms of how to sell books, and some great local examples to learn from (like the authors at the Book Crawl, for example!). So my goal for 2020 is to be a better author, in all of the facets of what that means.
Ultimately, that means writing books, right? NaNoWriMo went well for a week and then I had a week from hell (in terms of word count), and after that, I just didn’t have the energy to catch up. I did manage to reach around 17 000 words, which is a great start for when I go back to the manuscript. It’s a space opera, and I love the characters. For all of the writer’s angst, it was an enjoyable month playing around in a genre I don’t write in very much.
And now that life is getting back into a rhythm and holiday times are coming up, I finally feel ready to return to my novel manuscript. I finished a first draft this summer, had a fantastic discussion with my editor/friend about it, fellow author Hanan Hazime, and am now preparing for draft two edits. It’s a little overwhelming? I have notes from my writing group to go through, Hanan’s edits to implement, and whole scenes to add. But I really think this book is something special. That’s what’s so exciting (and terrifying) about it.
Been reading some Madeline L’Engle this month too, her memoir/ book about writing called A Circle of Quiet. A Wrinkle in Time and one of its sequels A Wind in the Door are two books that speak to deep places in my life. They remind me of this quote from her:
“A book, too, can be a star, explosive material, capable of stirring up fresh life endlessly, a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe.” – Madeleine L’Engle