I’m sitting here sipping coffee with almond milk in it, looking out at the fog. There was a train a little bit ago, with the whistle blowing all the way through town because of the heavy fog. I’m still not used to train whistles, living in New England and Alaska, trains were not part of my landscape. My life has changed so much in the last couple of years, both externally and internally. It’s got me thinking, along with Sarah Hoyt’s post at Mad Genius Club about the changes in her life since she had her first book published.
Looking back it seems like it was only yesterday I was that writer who kept flinging stories into the void and getting them rejected. The writer of no future.
I’ve known Sarah for some time now. I’ve been proud to have her as a mentor. And I know how she feels. Dragon Noir will be my sixth novel, and I look at that number and wonder where it came from. I followed a different path than Sarah did, rather than knocking at the door until my knuckles were bloody, I found a stile and went over the fence myself.
This last year, I discovered as I totted it all up for the taxman, I actually made money on the books. This was… unexpected. I’d planned for my books to come out slowly, as I’m working my way through school, and in twenty years, to have them as a back-up retirement plan. Instead, they are flourishing and demanding more of my time and attention.
Without Sarah Hoyt and Dave Freer and Darwin Garrison and Amanda Green and most of all my dear First Reader, I wouldn’t have taken those steps to climb up on the stile, and then down into the pasture, filled with a little illicit glee at evading the Gatekeeper. Without my daughter urging me to write Vulcan’s Kittens I couldn’t have moved beyond the short stories I insisted were my natural writing length. But here I am, in the ‘published’ place, and it’s not that the grass is greener, it’s that it smells like freedom.
But the fog is lifting, and I should get back to the work of the day. I have a list, and the coffee, and maybe even some writing will happen.
If you want to get the recipe for Sticky Date Pudding, by the way, and don’t forget to pick up one of Dave Freer’s books while you’re there, follow this link. I promise, you won’t be sorry you made it, unless you wind up eating it all yourself!