I believe in the power of the boomerang.
Whatever I fling out into the world usually comes back to me (the when of it being predicated on the strength of my toss). So I am mindful of my intentions, ever aware of my focus. I want to create consciously, not live life on the default settings.
And now that you know a little bit about me from Part 1, you may realize that I am ready to find my audience - no longer content to watch the grays sprout as I hitch my creative future to the whims and whimsy of the literary gatekeepers.
I am ready to toss the boomerang, people.
I am trusting in the new channels of connection, reaching into the ethereal realms with great enthusiasm - hoping to find those that will receive my offerings at exactly the perfect moment, in exactly the right place. The magical space - the crisscross between writer and reader that transcends the physical, a melding of the minds into something new and fantastic.
Since 2006, I have written four and one-half manuscripts (the halfer was written in three days for a contest). Each of these works is vastly different. And as various agents take their time perusing my fourth (a deeply psychological thriller), I have decided to focus anew on my first. My first born keeps me up at night, demanding to be out in the world - sick and tired of being locked inside.
Rather than continue to lament the loss of the agent who had signed on to represent this particular manuscript, I am now eager to match the characters inside with the appreciative suitors that I know are waiting. I can feel them waiting. My motley assortment of cast-offs are yearning to have some life breathed into them... in the way that only a reader can.
Yes, you... blessed reader.
So instead of "loss" and "what a waste" permeating my mindspace, new tenants have arrived - "Lulu" and "createspace". And yes, it is a strange new world. But I must admit that the idea of controlling everything from cover design to editing has me rather excited, as it always pained me a tad to relinquish such decisions. Now I can attend to even the smallest details of my sweet little opus, and not have to worry so much about the black toxic sludge filling the Gulf, the cannibalistic tendencies of unregulated capitalism, the constant click-clacking of my knees, or the fact that I truly thought Justin Bieber was an adorable junior lesbian when I first laid eyes on him.
Ahhhh, control. Sweet control.
But wait, there is so much to consider. So many details.
Now I am fretting... the flipside of having control is that I am now responsible for everything. No hand-holding, or letting someone else (usually an expert) handle it. What was I thinking? I am not a technician or a formatting expert. I'm tired of trying to figure out all the ISBN options, tax issues, imprint concerns, and copyright jargon. And I don't really want to figure out spine width or buy image software.
I just want to write!!! String words together until my fingertips tingle with the buzz.
Okay, I'm breathing again. I am a person, not a publishing company. And I just got overwhelmed for a second... or two or three.
I can do this. I owe it to my creations. After all, the last thing I want to do is toss fear and frustration out into the ether, as I'm more than sure I'll end up side-swiped by the sharp edge of my anxiety. (It's just that I really didn't realize how much I dislike formatting... in other words, I'm intimidated by it).
Okay. I now know the image I want for the cover of my first born. The mere thought of it keeps me wide awake at all hours (that, and I simply can't sleep while wearing socks). If I use this image, then the front of the book will actually represent the tone and theme in a way that I had initially visualized - a friend described it as being both "beautiful and murderous".
Although the book's not really about murder, in the literal sense. But it does delve into the dark ways we try to undermine the soul. (The book tells the story of a very damaged young woman, who is slowly being eaten alive by the horror of her past. The childhood abuse she suffered is manifesting as a growing physical deformity... she has one big boomerang effect on her hands).
I'm not sure if I'll end up using this image or not - not sure if I'll be able to create the cover myself or hire someone else to do it. I'm not sure about a lot of the details I was once so excited to be in charge of.
But getting this book out to readers is the one thing I am sure of. Even as I wait on agents, who wait on editors, I am sure of this. I don't really care how it gets out there, as long as it does. It is my duty to see to that. And I will.
Because nothing has ever moved me more than art. The diverse array of artistic expression that I was exposed to shaped the best parts of me, inspired me to continuously evolve my potential. It is art (and nature) that counterbalance so much of what is harsh and barren in this world.
Art is creation, and creation defies destruction. It is the best in us, and of us.
Our creative endeavors will keep us from our worst tendencies - they will save our lives.
And they will keep us alive. Fully engaged.