...I was thinking about self-publishing my novel SUGAR. I'd given myself until my birthday and if I hadn't sold it, I was going to publish it myself. That was ten years ago and here I am having the same exact thoughts again about my novel Glorious. And so I'm going to give it till September and then self publish. What else can I do after four years and seven drafts? Let it sit forgotten at the bottom of my dusty desk drawer? I don't think so! (hand up in the air and head spinning on neck)
Yesterday, I spent the latter part of the day strolling down memory lane. I re-read my journal and found that I have been complaining about the same things for ten years! I came across an email from an old boyfriend that I'd printed out and stapled to one of the pages in my journal. It was a poem about love -- yesterday was the first time that I noticed that the email was originally sent to his attention and he had added some of his own sweet sentiments and then forwarded it on to me. I don't know why I never noticed that - blinded by love I guess. Anyway, he's now married to that woman who'd poured her heart out to him in poetry. C'est la vie, right?
While I was digging through my past (which by the way is kept in a blue plastic bin) I stumbled across four different versions of SUGAR.
The original, a 17 page short story.
Opening line: "I was crying again today. I know it's silly 'cause my husband tells me so. But even though its been 10 years I can still feel the pain of loss." (*cringing*)
Version 2, 192 pages.
Opening Lines: "The winter was something unlike anything the residence of Toshtown had ever see. Monday through Wednesday, sometimes Thursday, the temperature drop way below freezing and suddenly sky rocket into the 80's" (Pretty bad, huh?)
Version 3, 220 pages.
Opening Lines: "In a place where cotton once grew for as far as the eye could see, mother's who did not speak the same language as the white men that whipped and spit on them, looked up at the sun and wondered how it could shine so brightly and still allow this thing called cold to chill their bones..." (getting a little better - but still no cigar!)
Version 4, 290 pages:
Opening lines: "Jude was dead. On a day when the air held a promise of summer and people laughed aloud, putting aside for a brief moment their condition, color and where they ranked among humanity..."
The final version was sold ten years ago. But before it was sold, I received 73 rejections. Yeah, 73 - -so keep the faith aspiring authors -- keep the faith!
Causes Bernice McFadden Supports
Hurston Wright Foundation
Girls Write Now
Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS)