Earlier this spring, I realized with a small shock that this year marks the 20th anniversary of my father’s death, and with that realization, another: I HAVE to finish this memoir. This year. And if not? Well, I admit there was a part of me that wondered if it might be time to hang it up and move on to some other project.
So, I set myself that goal, and as those of you who have been following me here and on Facebook and elsewhere know, I met that goal sometime last month!
I’m still kind of reeling from the fact of it. I wrote a book! Of prose!
I realize some of you might be saying, “Yeah, but what about the book of poetry? The chapbooks? Those are accomplishments, surely! Yes. They surely are. And I am proud of them, too.
But this feels so much different. Like the difference between, I don’t know, walking a long distance and running it. Different muscles. Muscles I am not on a first name basis with, you know?
So I’m still patting myself on the back a little over here. It feels good to meet a goal– to beat it, even. I finished with a month to spare, and have had time to re-read, tinker, and revise almost every day since. I have had time to write a full proposal that could precede the book into the hands of a publisher. I have had time to write a compelling, persuasive query letter to agents who will have a better chance than I of getting my book into the hands of said publisher.
And I know it’s persuasive because it has already caught the attention of four different agencies who have requested partial or full reads on the manuscript. That feels wonderful, affirming, and more than a little surreal. I know there are no guarantees in any of this, but even if nothing further comes of the agent route, there are still small, indie and university presses I can approach. Contests I can enter.
And even if nothing comes of that, I finished it. Finally. And, for me, just in time.