I've passed a good couple of weeks as a writer. The writing life (at least for me) most often involves alternating periods of boom-bust, feast-famine, mania-depression...choose your metaphor, but the fact is we writers often go through long periods of working away quietly at the desk with nothing from the outside world, followed by intense bursts of activity, publicity, and scrutiny.
Summer was basically my "fallow" period and now things are ratcheting back up. I like both states, but I've had enough of being fallow for a while so the activity suits me. At the beginning of October, my co-author Andrew Bienkowski and I had a great book club meeting in Niagara Falls. Great food, great discussion, and some really engaged and astute readers. We also sold a lot of books, which always amazes me at book club events, because all the people attending have already purchased and read the book. So it means they liked it enough to buy copies to share with others. Truly, we are blessed to have such supportive and generous readers.
Later that week I was on a panel at the Erie County Library discussing the influence of Poe on popular culture. Poe's work influenced me a great deal, so it was wonderful to have a chance to talk about the man and his work. Oh, and we even received an honorarium from the library. A very nice surprise, that.
I had to order more books this week, always a good sign. :)
A piece of historical fiction of mine (about a devastating forest fire in the Adirondacks in 1903) just went live at Lacuna: A Day for Burying.
My short story Christmas in Phuket which Literary mama published earlier this year was nominated for Dzanc's Best of the Web 2011, an honor, for sure. And especially heartening as it's part of the marine ecology themed collection that I'm hoping to find a publisher for soon.
I attended an amazing lecture by Her Deepness, Sylvia Earle, Ocean Ambassador. What a generous, expansive, clear-eyed speaker. And she spoke completely without notes. When I grow up, I want to be her. Okay, a cross between Margaret Atwood and her. That's my plan, anyway.
I had a story accepted for an ocean anthology, the proceeds of which will go to help fund the ocean studies of SCRIPPS--excellent, that.
But amid all of these positive accomplishments, I find that I still have negative scripts perpetually running in the background of my brain. It's all too easy to highlight the rejections and downplay the acceptances, the affirmations. And McKenna Donovan talks about this very tendency in a series of ongoing posts at her blog: Negative Scripts--Part II. I participated, as did a number of authors whose work I admire. It's a good reminder that no matter how successful we writers may appear to the outside world, there are always demons we find ourselves are forced to confront.