- On December 29, 2020
The year is coming to an end, thank heaven! Twenty-twenty will unquestionably go down in history as one of the absolute worst years EVER. For me, in addition to enduring the well-covered horrors that plagued the nation, 2020 was a mixed bag of accomplishments, disappointments and unfinished business. And like so many others, I’m hoping that start of the new year will mark a turning point.
On the plus side, I finished my first novel, originally titled The Vermicular File. After a few rounds of editing and polishing the manuscript, I’ve decided to change the title to Bandun Gate, a reference to the spooky site where the action takes place. This name-switch was primarily a marketing decision, since several of my ‘previewers’ found the unfamiliar word ‘vermicular’ difficult to remember. If the book does become published, I want readers to be able to find it easily, and that starts with knowing the title!
I began ‘shopping’ Bandun Gate to agents and publishers, and so far all I’ve had is one rejection and a few ‘we’ll take a look and think about it’ responses. So I’m keeping my fingers crossed, looking for new places to send the manuscript and hoping my book will find eventually find an audience. In the meantime, I’m still tweaking it here and there and trying to make it the best it can be.
While waiting for something (anything!) to happen regarding Bandun Gate, I’ve also started another project. What began as an exercise in short story writing (intended to help me hone my literary ‘voice’) has taken on a life all its own. I finished one piece then another and another, and developed a theme to connect all the stories together. Before long, I’d outlined enough individual tales to fill a book (about 40,000 words,) and am getting ready to query this concept, too. Short story collections are a harder sell, however I think my ‘hook’ will have wide appeal and make the work attractive to publishers. Again, fingers crossed!
Yes, 2020 was a terrible year, and I’m glad to see it end. But when I look back at where my writing career was going into this year, I can’t help but be amazed and excited over the progress of the past twelve months. I’m not even sure how it happened, really. There were weeks (months, even) when I hardly wrote anything at all, numb from all the crazy going on everywhere. Then somewhere along the line I realized writing was a great way for me to escape into a world I could control. I soon found myself spending as much time as possible in that calm, comfortable place. The result was not only a respite from stress, but a mountain of finished product.
That’s the lesson I’m taking into 2021 — no matter what happens, just keep writing. Something great will come of it!