So, how often is a person solicited for a chap manuscript? Never, right? Yeah. So first, I get solicited, and published and such. Granted, it isn't like random house, but considering how few times I've been published in print, the solicitation was enough to be HUGE to me.
So you figure, it's done, it's out... now it's my job to sell it, the publisher's job is done, yes? Oh no no no!
She calls me tonight talking about a contract for a series. Of course, this is contingent upon sales of Poetic Acceptance, but we're looking at the possibility of another 4 chapbooks in the next 3 years. I am the only poet she's thus far been willing to make this offer to, and of course there are a few loose guidelines as to subject and theme, but nothing that far off from what I do anyway.
So now I'm so thrilled and excited and breathless and... petrified! This means in order for me to make this happen, readings are going to have to happen. No more thinking or whining or griping or procrastinating, I have to go do this. I have to SELL this bad boy.
I have been holding in this ridiculously female scream for about an hour now, and I don't know whether it's a scream of joy or one of terror, but it's coming, building like Doppler's train! It wouldn't be so frightening if I had ANY experience with reading. I've never even attended one! And there isn't, therefore, anyone local enough to hold my hand through this process. I mean, it's me all me here people.
And I KNOW that this is a huge turning point in my life, in what is potentially a writing career. And I don't want to detour off into no where land based on fear. But fear, especially for me,right this second, is a major, palpable entity, and it's sitting on my chest.
So, I've decided that I'm just going to have to stop listening to myself, and start believing what other people tell me about myself. I'll approach this like every other peopblem in my life, E-style. I'll just do it. Swallow that little bit of bile in the back of my throat, and go. There's one thing you learn when you're a closet scaredy cat. To survive, you just smile and go. I can do this. Super D says so, and well, I have no choice unless I want to look back on this day and kick myself in the ass.
The next event I can find locally is:
June 7, Tuesday, 7:30pm. Poetry Reading & Sharing at Barnes & Noble in the Arboretum (Charlotte, NC) M. Scott Douglass will read from and sign copies of his new poetry books, STEEL WOMB Revisited (Main Street Rag, 2005) and Dip Says Hi (Rank Stranger Press, 2005) followed by a poetry sharing and group critique. Details: Brooke Shope, 704-341-9481.
So, looks like I better order some more chaps and frikken go. And find some more readings and events, and some more... and write, I have 4 chapbooks to write in the next 3 years!