Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Book Child


Friends. 

I haven't been here for a while because I have been: consumed, amazed, altered, hard at work. The last time I was here I talked about sending my "book child" out into the world. That week turned out to be, to my utter surprise, a whirlwind, that ended with my collection of short stories, HALF WILD, being purchased by Ecco Books, an imprint of Harper Collins. I'm now working with my dream editor on that book, and on a novel, too, which I'm hoping to have a first draft of by early next summer. (HALF WILD will be published in August of 2016.)

My life has, overnight, become, something radically different than what it was before. Who knew that such things happened? I've written a fair amount about here on this blog about the struggle between parenting and artistry, and with transparency and honesty about the struggle to make a living doing what we do. My husband and I have struggled, a fair amount, up to this point, to make a living, as (caveat/clarification) artists. We're artistically inclined. Artistically driven. Uncompromising on many fronts. It means that we've lived in this unfinished house for many years, and have each been working at least three jobs at once. (Of various, part-time natures.)

But that all just shifted. I am, this year and next year, making a living as a writer. Who knew such a thing was possible?

My husband and I just installed solar panels in the field next to our house, so that we can generate all of the electricity we use, from here on out, from the sun.

My short stories bought those panels.

And those funky, beloved, green doors and windows pictured above and below? Those were salvaged when we first built our cabin. Two of them don't open. The one that does open is rotting and lacks a screen. They're all single-paned and require duct-tape, plastic, and fiberglass insulation to keep the drafts out in winter. Which means...those windows are on their way. This Thursday they'll be replaced by double-paned glass, that opens and closes, with screens to keep the bugs out in the heart of summer.


They represent a lot to me, those windows. My youth. My aesthetic sense. My chosen poverty. Those windows belong in the stories in HALF WILD, and to the characters of HALF WILD. And yet. I'm also delighted. Honored. Unbelievably grateful. To be able to make my house better, tighter, more livable. To support my family. With words. Who would have thought such a thing possible? Not me, the daughter of carpenters and bus drivers and farmers.

Every day seems a little miracle of sorts. Every day I'm grateful. And face the page with...well...as much humility and reverence as I can muster.

Be well, loves. May the fall bring its sweet and particular blessings, and your dreams manifest in one way or another.

~R