This morning I am determined to climb out of the liminal space I’ve been in for some time, and at least to get a toe hold in the vast world of fiction writing. It seems as though my whole life I have been twixt and tween things, starting with my shoe size. Never just the perfect size. A duck foot—wide in front, narrow heel.
I spoke one way at home, but as soon as I hit first grade, I knew the vocabulary of my family was very different from my teacher’s tongue. Which would I use—the standard English of my teachers, or the brogue we used at home? Matter of fact, I don’t even know for sure what brogue we spoke, and I didn’t know the word at all in first grade.
I earned a college degree and married and had two children, but still it seemed that whatever part of my life I was in, it was always somewhat awkward, and somewhere in between where I had been and where I was going.
As it was when in 2001 I decided to enter a Master of Fine Arts in Writing Program. It was then I realized just how twixt and twisted I was: would I study poetry since I’d had a few poems published in literary magazines, or fiction with only files and files of rejections (after all, I was submitting stories to the NYerand AtlMoLOL), or CNF since I loved writing letters? (I mean, since third grade I’ve been writing letters.)
My fiction didn’t sound exactly like the fiction of younger writers at Spalding University. When I thought I was creating characters that might be too quirky, Mary Clyde suggested that perhaps they needed to be a little more so. Other mentors worried with me over using correct English in dialogue when it was coming from a character like the ones in my childhood. Teachers of English have a tough time with the southern tongue.
And Selling 101 was not in the Spalding curriculum. Thank goodness.
So as I’ve meandered back and forth and in and out among the genres, it has been anybody’s guess as to how to impart/sell what words I’ve written? I swore in my first years of writing poetry I would never go around giving away copies of my poems as some poets did just to have an audience. I lied. Later, with my first full length poetry book, I gave away very slick book marks with the title poem written for my grandson on it. So here I am, confronting the launch of a novella without an agent, just feeling fortunate to have a publisher/editor anyway.
But how does one sell the words in a poem? A short story? An essay? A blog? A novella. Hey, now—this is a new entity! A novella weighs a little more. A smidge of added heft. By the pound? Ounce? Truly I feel like resisting the whole process: what if my little world hates it? What if I do? Where do I start?
Amazon is so large it can’t be ignored, I’ve heard from one side. Amazon is the A-word, I heard from an Indie bookseller. I’m so non-commercial and non-technical I can only figure out that once again as a writer I’m in the middle again.
I’m in the middle and we’re all in the middle of a Covid-19 quarantine. Double trouble.
But I’ve been holding my breath and stalling long enough. This is the link to my Amazon author page for A TALE OF THREE WOMEN. amazon.com/author/thekathleenthompson As soon as I see a paper copy, I hope to be announcing some virtual visits from my favorite Indie stores.
Let’s meet again soon on a screen of some stripe. Cheerio!